Students facing personal issues can turn to the Student Psychological Services Center for help and guidance.
By Lonnie Dominguez, Staff Writer
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 16 million American adults are affected by mental health issues each year, but fortunately for the students attending Valley College, help is available through the Student Psychological Services Center.
“If students are experiencing difficulties in their life, it affects them academically,” said Dr. Carl King, head of the Student Psychological Services at Valley since 2001. “Our purpose is to enhance student success.”
According to King, many students seeking help suffer from a lot of stress, depression, family problems, anxiety, and relationship issues. The effects of which can cause difficulty sleeping, difficulty concentrating and problems in motivation resulting in a lack of confidence or low energy.
Common methods used to help students dealing with issues like these involve individual counseling and meditation groups.
“If someone is in need of long term counseling,” said King, “we make an assessment then a referral is made to a community resource.”
King added that students are helped with their issues by one of five interns; each of which is a student with a master’s degree in psychology and currently in the final stages of earning their doctoral degree.
One of those interns is Jonathan Ly, who has been working at Valley since fall of last year. He handles around six to 10 cases a week per week with patients ranging in ages between 18 to 25.
Ly said that a lot of his patients come in seeking help with stress and anxiety management, and that there is a lack of awareness that these are very common issues that many students face. In addition he said that they tailor the counseling to each student’s specific need.
“Everybody can stand to gain something from our services,” Ly said. “It is not to say that we can help every single issue, but even if you came in with something that we can’t do ourselves, we are very good at connecting people to resources.”
Aside from stress, anxiety, and academic issues, psych services also helps students with many other issues including alcohol or drug abuse, housing, sexual issues, eating problems, grief, cultural problems, suicide issues, and more.
Students are allowed up to 12 sessions a semester as long as they have paid their $11 health fee. Counseling is confidential and no information will be revealed without the student’s written permission, except as required by law.
For hours, walk-in times, or to make an appointment with Student Psychological Services Centers should go to www.lavc.edu/studenthealth or call (818)778-5708.