Marshall University Counseling Center reaches out to students

September 22, 2018
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Members of the student organization One Body talk with fellow students as the Marshall University Counseling Center hosts "We Are ... Here for You Day" on Thursday at the Memorial Student Center plaza in Huntington.

HUNTINGTON — “We are here for you,” read one student out loud as she entered the Memorial Student Center plaza Thursday. “Who’s here for me?”

The Marshall University Counseling Center, that’s who.

“This is ‘We Are ... Here For You Day,’ which is sort of our brand and the message we want to get across campus,” said Candace Layne, director of the Counseling Center.

Positioned in front of the doors of the student center, representatives of the Counseling Center offered students free food, hygiene bags, snack bags, free T-shirts and the chance to write a positive message in a card to a friend.

“A lot of students are really doing it,” Layne said. “We’ve even made some to hand out to random people, just to say have a good day. Research shows that if we just ask questions and let people know they have support and open lines of communication, people are more likely to seek mental health help.”

The Counseling Center offers free counseling to full-and part-time students. Layne said they help students with homesickness, anxiety, test anxiety, depression, gender and sex issues, and generally transitioning into college/adult life.

It also offers suicide prevention training on campus, along with other outreach efforts. This was the first year for We Are ... Here For You, which will continue through the week into Saturday, Sept. 22, with a suicide prevention tailgate booth and a PSA that will play during the football game. The event coincides with Suicide Prevention Month, recognized in September.

Mental health and well-being club One Body took advantage of the day to recruit new members. Club President Leandra Harper, who said the club was formed in February 2017 after the death of her brother, said she wants the club to break down the stigma of mental illness and show how it impacts people.

“If it hadn’t been for my support system when my brother died, I wouldn’t be here,” Harper said. “I want to provide that support to others.”

The club meets at 6:30 p.m. every Tuesday in the John Spotts Room of the student center. Harper said members focus on self-care and provide a safe space to talk freely about mental illness. They also go on outings, like a recent trip to The Pottery Place, and are having a Halloween party next month to raise money for a local organization.

The Counseling Center is located on the first floor of Prichard Hall. Walk-ins are welcome, but students can schedule an appointment by calling the center at 304-696-3111, emailing counselingcenter@marshall. edu, or completing the referral form on the Counseling Center website. Students may also refer a friend.

Follow reporter Taylor Stuck on Twitter and Facebook @TaylorStuckHD.

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