Campus programs help beat the stress

As final exams draw near and the pressure of academic burdens mount, the College offers services to ensure the psychological wellbeing of the students – especially where the threat of suicide is concerned.

Lion’s EMS and psychological counseling have ensured there have been no suicides committed on campus.

Many freshmen immediately question why the showerheads in the Travers and Wolfe Halls are set so low on the wall, or why all windows are wired shut so that they only open an inch or two.

Though these measures may seem excessive, they are part of a comprehensive plan to prevent suicide attempts.

According to Carrie Vizthum, chief and president of Lion’s EMS, the squad witnessed about 10-12 suicide attempts last year.

However, so far this year there have only been one or two instances.

Vizthum also reported that the subjects tended to be freshmen and sophomores who overdose on pills.

Contrary to popular belief, however, the EMT squad cites relationship issues rather than academic stress as the most frequently encountered cause.

Larry Gage, director of couseling servies at the College and an integral part of its Psychological Counseling Services for over 15 years, is an example of the counselors’ dedication to the wellbeing of the students.

Gage said a combination of spirit, mind and body makes up a person’s total emotional and physical wellbeing.

He feels that the suicidal ideas are not soley caused by academic stress, but that the added stress incites previously existing concerns.

Gage said the peak times of academic stress are as midterms, finals and major projects.

Gage said all students should focus on the strengths that earned them admition to the College in order to help relieve tension.

Pyschological services has more than 10 programs to meet the needs of the students, including brief counseling sessions for specific problems, crisis intervention and evaluation, screenings to determining the extent of illnesses and career counseling.

Psychological Counseling Services are open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on all weekdays from September to May.

To schedule an appointment call (609) 771-2247 or visit the Health Services Office in Eickhoff Hall 107.

For emergencies during hours when the offices are not open, an off-campus crisis hotline is available.

The hotline, run by the Helene Fuld Crisis Center, is available 24 hours a day and can be reached by calling (609) 396-HELP (4357).