Student Psychological Services Available at No Cost to Valley Students.
By: Jacqueline Carter, Staff Writer
Suicide is a leading cause of death among youth attending college and universities in the United States according to The National Center for the Prevention of Youth Suicide.
Attending college can be overwhelming. Students and individuals may experience feelings of loneliness, inadequacy, and depression. These feelings are common among college students and there are on-campus services available to help.
“Many students have concerns about being where they should be, about being good enough and issues related to self-esteem. Thoughts about suicide are not as uncommon as you would think,” said Intern Therapist, Erinn Shmaeff. “Because of the stigma associated with mental health, students won’t seek help. Having feelings of anxiety and stress are just a part of life and it’s okay, no judgment.”
Bryce Knox, broadcasting major, agrees. “Personally, I wouldn’t have a problem taking the services, just for that select few people, they might feel kind of nervous about it. Some might be somewhat embarrassed but more say peer-pressured out of doing it because they feel other people think it’s silly.”
According to the CDC, there are many factors that can put a young person at risk for suicide including: history of previous suicide attempts, history of depression and other mental illness, alcohol or drug abuse, family history of suicide or violence, physical illness and feeling alone. However, these factors alone don’t necessarily mean a suicide will occur.
Student Psychological Services provides therapy to Valley College students at no cost up to 12 visits per semester. Any information discussed in a therapy session is kept completely confidential. However, if students are uncomfortable seeking on campus services, referrals are available to community mental health centers throughout Los Angeles. Fees for psychological services are determined by each community mental health center.
“We visit classrooms and offer workshops weekly and monthly because we want to lessen the stigma of mental health issues and to try and normalize the feelings of anxiety and stress,” said Shmaeff “We’re here to help and if you don’t want to talk to us, contact the Student Health Center, reach out to somebody.”
Suicide can be prevented. Depression is treatable. If you or someone you know needs help contact Student Psychological Services at 818-778-5708. Appointments and walk-in hours are available in the Campus Center Building, Room 108.