With the end of the semester approaching fast, it means exams, papers and presentations are soon to come. Sometimes it can feel like it’s just too much to handle. The Student Counseling Center in Forest Grove and in Hillsboro, located on the HPC campus, is a resource available to help students get the help they need during hard times.
The Student Counseling Center offers a variety of self help strategies that will help reduce feelings of anxiety or provide productive stress-management techniques. According to Robin Keillor, PhD, the director and licensed Psychologist at the Pacific student counseling center, that the counseling center helps approximately 10 percent of the university’s students each year, and each year approximately 70 percent of clients are new clients to the counseling center. The staff encourages students to recognize that counseling can be helpful for a wide range of concerns, and not to hesitate to contact them for additional support to help with their success at Pacific.
“The average number of sessions that students continue in counseling is about 6 sessions in a year, and the range is from one to about 35 sessions in a year,” said Keillor.
According to Keillor, students are eligible for up to 15 sessions per year that are subsidized by their student Health and Counseling Fee, which means no additional charge. A small percentage of students benefit from longer term treatment or support, and have already established a good working relationship with their counselor here at Pacific. These students are offered the option to continue counseling, and they are charged a $15 per session fee for extended service.
In few cases, students may be referred off campus if they will benefit from specialized care or services that are outside the scope of the counseling center, such as chemical dependency treatment.
During the academic year (mid-August through mid-May) the Forest Grove clinic is open weekdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Tuesdays and Thursdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. appointments are available. Urgent walk-in appointments are available weekdays noon to1 p.m.
The Hillsboro (HPC) clinic is open Mondays through Thursdays 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Fridays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hillsboro urgent walk-in hours are Monday through Thursday 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Fridays 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Both clinics close during the winter break and the university Spring Break, and they are only open two days per week during the summer months.
The Student Counseling Center offers a variety of services for Pacific students, but the relaxation room, or Oasis, in particular is for stressed out students. The relaxation room has a brown leather massage chair, dim lighting and curtains for privacy. They provide a light box, which helps people with seasonal adaptation disorder, or just to brighten ones mood.
They also offer a computer program called “Bio Feedback” which teaches students, through different activities, how to control their breathing to remain calm.
“The number one thing we do is help people cope with stress and survive being a college student,” said Wellness Coordinator for the Student Counseling Center, Kim Chadwick. “Which is very stressful not just during finals, but in life.”
Any students can use the Oasis for up to a 45 minute period. The number of times a students can visit the Oasis in one week is unlimited. The Oasis goes by the Student Health Center’s hours and it is necessary to call in advance to schedule an appointment.
“If you can manage your stress now, it will help you handle yourself better in the long run,” said Chadwick.