By Tucker Paquette
The Springfield College Counseling Center, a service that offers free and professional counseling to students, is introducing multiple new programs this year. Located right near the entrance in Massasoit Hall, the Counseling Center is also continuing a few other events that have been successful in the past.
The Counseling Center provides both individual and group counseling, primarily focusing on mental health-related issues such as anxiety, depression and relationship problems. Luckily for students who may be searching for help in one or more of those areas, or who need assistance with another issue, the center is well-equipped to provide assistance with its supportive staff and different offerings on campus.
One new program the Counseling Center is introducing this year is called Happy Hour. The objective of this event is to get people to meet their peers in a non-counseling setting. The Counseling Center is working with both Student Activities and the Academic Advising Center on this initiative.
“Sometimes people feel very isolated, or they don’t feel like they know enough people,” said Brian Krylowicz, Director of the Counseling Center. “We’re trying to form ways that people can get together for something very fun.”
Krylowicz adds that participants will connect the Happy Hour activity and the challenges it poses to real life. In this way, a deeper reflection is mixed in with a laid back, fun time.
Happy Hour is not the only new event the Counseling Center is offering this year, however. An event called Common Ground will also be happening on campus, where a group of people who are passionate about diversity will convene to discuss a given topic, then they’ll try to discover a common ground, as the name indicates.
While Happy Hour and Common Ground are new initiatives this year, the Center is bringing back programs like Pride Cares, which was founded last year. An objective of Pride Cares is to train students on how they can help a peer if they need it. Also, this program aims to increase awareness about available campus resources among the student body.
Another returning event is Fresh Check Day, which is an annual mental health-themed event, one that has been going on for almost 10 years. This year’s edition will be held on Oct. 4 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Naismith Green.
All four of these programs will hopefully be (or continue to be) helpful to Springfield College students, but the Counseling Center is about more than just offering activities for people to partake in. The counselors also want students to know that they are there for them if they need support.
“We try to be very responsive and very quick to get people in,” Krylowicz said.
As for how to reach out to the Counseling Center, walking in the door is just one way for a student to do so — they can also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 413-748-3345.
A counselor will do an intake appointment with a prospective counselee to get a sense of what service(s) they are looking for, then the process keeps on moving from there.
“If they end up saying ‘I’d like to continue with counseling,’they get assigned to one of our counselors, and usually that starts within a couple of days after that,” Krylowicz said.
Krylowicz, who has been at the Counseling Center for 11 years, hopes that students who are having difficulties don’t try to take it all on alone.
“But please connect with others,” Krylowicz said. “Do that with family, do that with friends….. but then know that the Counseling Center is here….. We try to be incredibly easy to talk to and easy to connect to. And so if anybody needs help, know that we’re here.”
Photo Courtesy of Springfield College