College is stressful. Try as some people might to argue otherwise, college is daunting in more ways than one. Not surprisingly, the numbers of people suffering from mental illness are on the rise, and as more and more studies are being done, it is becoming increasingly evident that mental health awareness has sat in the dark for a long, long time.
According to a study by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in three college students reported prolonged periods of depression, one in four reported having suicidal thoughts or feelings and one in seven students reported engaging in abnormally reckless behavior.
All the while, 30 percent of reported problems with schoolwork were due to a mental health issue.
Springfield College is no exception to this issue, and that’s what the Counseling Center on campus exists for.
“We are the mental health agency on campus,” said Springfield College Director of the Counseling Center Brian Krylowicz. “We have the health center who does the medical, you have the career center who does the career [aspect], we help with the psychological.”
Krylowicz is one of three full-time counselors at the Counseling Center, as well as four other Graduate Associates, all of whom are equally capable of providing students with the help they need.
“We don’t see it as an ‘A squad’ or a ‘B squad,’” said Krylowicz. “We try to place people with the right person for them and we go from there.”
According to the May 2014-May 2015 annual report, the Counseling Center provided face-to-face counseling services to 359 students, which is 11.1 percent of the student body.
The counseling center is available to help students address a variety of issues that college-aged students can find themselves in, from routine stress, to anxiety, depression, and everything in between. Krylowicz cites that one of the prevalent underlying themes of the aforementioned age group is the fact that by and large, this is the first time many students are having to take care of themselves.
“We know there’s a lot of stress,” Krylowicz said. “We’re just here to be really quick access. A lot of times our students struggle with going off campus for help, so we’re here to be on campus, deal with a lot of the developmental normal stress, but then a lot of life stuff happens. People have a lot of tough stuff that they’re dealing with.”
In a time within the United States where there is more outspokenness on mental illness, the Counseling Center creates hyperlocalized access on campus so students can learn more about mental illness, whilst removing some of the stigmas around it.
Many members and employees of the Counseling Center advise, or are active members of clubs on campus, and from eating disorders to LGBTQ awareness, the Counseling Center has proved to be more than just a place for therapy. They had roughly 75 programs last year, and are continuing to try and keep that number growing.
The Counseling Center is a free service, and available to all members of the Springfield College community. It is located on Wilbraham Avenue, and shares a building with the Health Center. For more information, call (413) 748-3345.