Fighting for you
by Celina Simmons
You may have seen in our previous publication the front page article about a student’s experience dealing with the Sweetser Promise Line. If you haven’t, it’s safe to say it wasn’t an easy experience to go through, and this student wasn’t alone.
I was able to speak to the in-house counselor provided to students through this SMCC/Sweetser partnership, Cait Farrell. I wanted to address this struggle but also learn a little bit about her to share with all of you who may be wondering if you should seek out her services.
In response to the difficulties some students have encountered accessing the service, Cait shared that right as this Spring semester began, the Promise Line had undergone some changes. “I, personally have been addressing the struggles the students were having, with the staff at the Promise Line for the past few weeks. They now have fixed the issues- I was quite frustrated as well!” she assured me.
She was also grateful for the students who had addressed these issues, “That’s how things get changed for the better- But please let me know if more difficulties arise- I will definitely address it!” It’s reassuring to know that we have people who are willing to fight to help us get through this funny little thing called life.
To learn a little bit more about Cait, I came up with a few questions about her life and her work.
- How many students would you say have taken advantage of the Sweetser partnership so far?
I see clients daily from between 8-5 typically.
- Why did you become a counselor?
I was a teacher for about 15 years, all over the world, and found that I also enjoyed working with students, of all ages and backgrounds, when they brought more personal concerns to me- This lead me to go back to graduate school a second time around, and study clinical psychology in Baltimore- I have always been interested in how to work with all of our human-ness. It’s a complicated world with complicated things to adjust to and I love looking at the puzzles of life and seeing how to best navigate them, for each individual and also how each individual can best navigate the other individuals around them- their families, friends, peers, employers etc.
- What sort of concerns do you see students having when they come to see you? ( I know this sounds personal but I think it would help a student feel less uncomfortable and more apt to ask for help if they know other students are going through the same things)
Each person brings a very different concern or concerns. Many people struggle with how to best navigate anxiety, that which leads to anxiety and the results of feeling anxious. Many people struggle with depression as well. Many people also, in addition to the afore-mentioned concerns, also talk about sexuality, sexual identity, gender identity, political fears, time-management, how to be healthier physically, such as with sleep, diet and exercise. Many people want to learn breathing and meditation, many people have relationship concerns with their families, friends, loved ones, many people struggle with addiction to multiple things- We are human, and anything all of us deal with, every one brings to work on- I can also make referrals to other resources as needed.
- Why do you think it is important for students to see a counselor?
It is important for people to meet with a counselor if they feel they have things to work through, and need an objective person to work through these things with- plus it just feels good to talk!
- Do you have any mental health tips and tricks to share with students who aren’t ready to see a counselor yet?
It’s just important to become ready to talk. It takes time.
Cait’s office is a very calming and safe place. I, personally, adored the decor and felt a very relaxing energy. If you think you need to see professional counseling, consider taking advantage of this partnership. It’s free to all students without insurance, thanks to the school. I think what we learned from these students experience is that even If it doesn’t work for you, you should never stop trying because there IS somebody out there willing to fight for you.
Categories: Campus News