The Honors Program and Student Counseling and Psychological Services at Augusta University have partnered to host a mental health program from 1-3 p.m. Sept. 14 at the Quad Wall Building on the Summerville Campus.
The event, titled “Let’s Talk,” is a space for students to have a brief, informal and confidential consultation with a SCAPS counselor. At the one-on-one consultation, students can ask questions about the counseling process and determine if counseling may be a fit for them.
Dr. Elena Petrova, director of SCAPS, thinks casual, relaxed events like this help reduce the stigma around psychotherapy.
“Informational events like this usually occur in other buildings on campus, in a private and quiet space. This helps students who are ambivalent about counseling more easily access a counselor, and it could be helpful to students who worry about the stigma of seeking counseling.”
The event was brought to life by Amanda Cruz, program coordinator and LLC coordinator for the Honors Program. Cruz, a current student in the Master of Public Administration program, knows what it’s like to be a student struggling with mental health.
“As someone who battles mental health struggles daily, it can feel isolating and overwhelming. When I started opening up about my struggles, I realized there were so many others who could sympathize. When I joined the Honors Program, I made it my mission to continue openly talking about my own mental health,” she said.
“My transparency has fostered an environment within the Honors Program where students feel comfortable talking to me about their mental health. Though I continually refer students to use what SCAPS has to offer, I am only one person. This fall semester, the Honors Program admitted the largest class in history: almost 200 new Honors students. So I reached out to Dr. Petrova to see how I could help, and how a partnership with SCAPS would impact the larger Honors population.”
While this Sept. 14 event is intended for Honors Program students, all students are welcome to attend. SCAPS hopes to collaborate with other campus partners to host Let’s Talk for other student groups, including students in the residence halls, student athletes and more.
Students should note that Let’s Talk is a consultation service: It is not formal psychotherapy or counseling, and does not constitute mental health treatment. It is also not a mental health emergency service.
At Let’s Talk, students will meet with a counselor one on one, share their concerns or experiences, and obtain support, ideas, suggestions and resources from the counselor.
Let’s Talk is a good fit for students who:
- Are not sure about counseling and wonder what it is like to talk to a counselor
- Are not interested in ongoing counseling but would like the perspective of a counselor
- Have a concern about a friend and want guidance on what to do
For more information about Let’s Talk, email Amanda Cruz.