by Melissa Federspill, staff writer
Advanced graduate students seeking master’s degrees in counseling at Sul Ross State University-Uvalde offer free counseling sessions to the community.
Students in this program are completing clinical hours needed to become licensed professional counselors or school counselors. Each counseling student works with a department supervisor concurrently while completing clinical hours.
This outreach program aims to assist community members by helping individuals learn coping strategies that aid in adjusting to difficult issues that arise in day-to-day routines.
These no-cost and confidential sessions take place on the Sul Ross campus in designated offices, where individuals are paired with a counselor based on requisites.
Tiffany Culver, associate professor of psychology at Sul Ross stated that the program is a great resource for those in any age group, as mental health is important for those at every stage of life from adolescence to seniority.
“Life is stressful, even in the best of situations,” said Culver. “We are not born equipped with ways to handle the stress we face in life and sadly, our environments in childhood and/or adulthood have made our lives even harder. Sometimes we work unbearable jobs, have problems with our significant other or realize how stressful parenthood can be.”
“Regardless, we need others to listen to us and perhaps provide us with strategies we can use to help us deal with our stress. Counseling is the best thing you can ever do for yourself and your loved ones.”
Free mental health services are valuable to Uvalde County with an estimated 4,440 people without health insurance coverage, according to the U.S. Census Bureau 2013-2017 American fact finder survey.
Culver, also the chairman for the Highway 90 West chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, offered additional no-cost resources including a suicide prevention hotline and a crisis text line.
She stated that many adolescents prefer text messaging as an alternative to speaking to or meeting with a counselor. According to the Center for Disease Control vital signs report of 2018, suicide rates in Texas increased 19-30 percent from 1999-2016.
The national suicide prevention lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. To utilize the text message crisis hotline, text “hello” to 741741.
To inquire about counseling services at Sul Ross State University, contact graduate clinic manager Larissa Dovalina at 830-765-0939 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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