FOR THE QC
The Counseling Center created the “Let’s Talk” series, where students have access to mental health consultations in short, informal sessions. According to a Student-L email introducing the program, the sessions are conducted by graduate-level counselors from the Student Counseling Center, under the supervision of a licensed psychologist.
Dr. Rebecca Romberger is the Director of the Counseling Center, and is in charge of the “Let’s Talk” consultations. “We have recently started a new program to decrease the wait time to talk with a counselor as well as increase accessibility to those who might not otherwise seek counseling,” said Romberger. According to the Counseling Center’s page on the Whittier College website, about 15 percent of students make appointments per year, and one in five students utilizes the Counseling Center’s services before graduating.
However, “Let’s Talk” is designed to accommodate student’s busy schedule and potential hesitance to seek help. “The Student Counseling Center is under great demand for services due to the recent incident in Las Vegas and the California wildfires, along with mid-semester stressors and the overall challenges of being a student currently,” said Romberger. “Let’s Talk” brings the Counseling Center to students.
The “Let’s Talk” outreach is a program modeled by Cornell University and offers brief (15-30 minutes) consultations in the residential halls for students who want to talk about a present issue or concern. Graduate-level counselor, Ali Madrid said, “Our team is working diligently to attend to all students requesting services by developing new programs; we believe this was a more efficient way to meet the needs of our community.”
Students fill out a confidential data form and then meet with the counselor to discuss their problems. Graduate Counselor Rachel Wu said, “By offering walk-in times in the res halls, we are close by and commuter students are welcome to walk in to our hours in Turner or Johnson Halls as well.” If the counselor feels the student could benefit from additional counseling, they may connect the student with the Counseling Center to figure out the best way to move forward.
Sessions are first come, first serve. Students wishing to partake in the service should go to Johnson Hall — Mondays, 8:30a.m.–11:30a.m. Tuesdays, 3:15p.m.–4:45p.m.Wednesdays, 2:15p.m.–4:45p.m.—and Turner Hall First Floor Office in the lounge 1:30-4:30p.m. As there are no appointments, there may be a wait. If there is, a sign will be posted on the office door instructing students to wait.
“In addition to the one-on-one consultations, the “Let’s Talk” program also has a de-stress component to it as we facilitate weekly activities,” said Madrid. Activities are provided in the Johnson and Turner lounges on Mondays to serve as stress relievers. Examples of previous events are puzzles, game week, and mindful coloring. “It’s a fun, informal way for students to meet us, talk about daily stressors, and seek solutions in real time,” said Madrid. The next activity for Nov. 6 is Thankfulness Leaves.”
The Counseling Center has a variety of other services for students, including individual therapy, couples therapy, and psychiatric services. All of the Counseling Center’s services are free for students. Although sessions are intended to be short-term, counselors will refer students to further psychiatric evaluations for long-term therapy that will work with their insurance.
Reaching the Counseling Center is quick, easy, and free. “All full-time enrolled students residential and commuters are welcome to utilize these services,” said Romberger. “Students who are experiencing crisis, including risk issues such as suicidal or homicidal thoughts are encouraged to walk into the Counseling Center directly (8am – 5pm; located next to Campus Safety), utilize the 1-800-SUICIDE hotline, or counselor on-call services.” An on-call therapist is available 24/7: for emergencies call 562-907-4211 and ask to be connected.
“As a community, it is our responsibility to support one another,” said Romberger. If you have a mental health concern or need support for a friend, please consult the Counseling Center at 562-907-4239 or email@example.com.