Has the stress of college life pulled you under the weather? Are your responsibilities and relationships suffering? If they are not, do you find that you are still miserable or anxious more consistently for less reason? Counseling Services strives to create a safe place for students to tackle their issues and find a better quality of living at APSU, with up to 12 free sessions per year.

“Sometimes it’s hard for students to know what to make of their needs or problems or issues,” Director of Student Counseling and Health Services Jeff Rutter said. “I think it’s never wrong to call and ask my staff people to give some feedback.”

If a student is experiencing severely impaired functioning in social, academic or occupational situations, it is more certain they need assistance, but such symptoms are not required for a student to get help.

“Just general distress tends to be the early warning sign that I recommend students listen to, before it gets to the point of impaired functioning,” Rutter said.

There are many misconceptions about counseling that could keep students in need away, from worries about privacy to judgment from friends and family.

“A lot of information about psychotherapy comes through movies and in movies you sometimes see somebody lying on a couch talking with a person who’s got a clipboard and it’s not that way at all, it’s more like an informal conversation with somebody who cares about you,” Rutter said.

Students do not have to worry about information about their sessions leaking to people they do not want to know. If anyone asks for information on a student or client, representatives of Student Counseling and Health Services cannot give it. If someone asks whether any individual is coming to receive counseling in the first place, Student Counseling and Health Services says they cannot confirm or deny questions of that nature.

“Another misconception is if I go get counseling than suddenly I’m different from the rest of my friends. The truth of the matter is everyone on this planet has feelings of anxiety and worry and sadness and those feelings are normal, and getting help sorting them out is normal too,” Rutter said.

To set up a counseling session at APSU’s Student Counseling and Health Services, clients can call the office or visit themselves.

While Counseling Services is currently located on the second floor of the Ellington building, they are in the process of moving and will relocate across the street to 524 College St. All visits on Wednesday Oct. 12, and afterward should be at this new building.