APSU Student Counseling Services wants to make mental health services more accessible to its college students.

On Nov. 6, SCS hosted Fall Festival in association with their campus services.

“The goal behind the Fall Festival was to create a fun and relaxing atmosphere for our APSU community,” Isaiah Hurtado, a staff representative for Health Services said. “This time of year, in particular, seems to be very stressful and busy for our student population, so we wanted to create an event that would separate them from their stresses, even if it was only for a few minutes. Based off the attendance from our students, we hope to continue doing so for years to come.”

SCS has promoted themselves through various outlets over the years. SCS offers lectures at APSU 1000 courses.

They have also partnered with other departments and organizations to promote wellness workshops.

“Two of the most proactive ways we promote ourselves is actually having counselors embedded within certain departments and groups on campus, in addition to constantly interacting with students on our APSU Health and Counseling social media platforms,” Hurtado said.

According to the empirical studies paper, “Stigma and Help Seeking for Mental Health Among College Students,” public stigma surrounding mental illness is higher than personal stigma.

The studies also showed that personal stigma is negatively influenced by the need to seek help, unlike perceived public stigma.

The majority of adults with mental health issues do not seek out help.

They either delay seeking help or do not comply with treatment.

These findings conclude that overcoming stigma would serve to break a barrier in receiving help for mental illness.

Jessa Brown, a graduate student and counselor in training said, “I have learned personal stigma may be related to whether or not college students seek help for mental health issues,”

Brown continued, “Other contextual issues to consider regarding help-seeking behavior are the individual’s gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, cultural and ethnic identity, spiritual identity and perceptions of psychotropic medication and therapy.”

SCS promotes a program called Let’s Talk.

Let’s Talk provides college students with informal appointments with trained mental health professionals.

Drop-in hours for Let’s Talk last from Monday to Thursday in different locations.

As part of this program, students are offered a diverse set of individualized one on one counseling sessions. Scheduled appointments are not required, and they provide their services for free.

SCS also offers Group Counseling from Monday to Thursday.

SCS allows small groups of students to discuss similar concerns they are facing.

Group counseling allows students the opportunity to learn new coping skills and support one another through whatever struggles they are facing.

“I advise anyone struggling with mental health issues to seek help by speaking with a professional counselor, psychologist or psychiatrist,” Brown said. “Other resources for individuals facing mental health challenges include talking with a trusted friend, family member, clergy member, physician, or school counselor.”

Additional information can be found on the Student Counseling Services’ website, http://www.apsu.edu/health-and-counseling/.

Student Counseling Services can also be reached through their official Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter.