It is important for students to find time to focus on themselves and seek help when it is needed. The MU Counseling Center is a resource where students can connect with counselors and mental health professionals to receive help with a variety of issues.

The Counseling Center’s services include crisis and emergency services, individual and group counseling, skills classes, consultation and training.

MU Counseling Center Director Christine Even cites a few challenges incoming freshmen deal with — the main one being adjusting to campus life.

However, the Counseling Center provides a variety of free resources to help students adjust to change.

Even says the best way to reach the Counseling Center is to call the office at 882-6601. After calling, students meet with a clinician to determine what services are best suited to meet their needs.

Following this process, it may be determined that individual therapy best suits a student. In this situation, the student would meet with a counselor “who is a good fit for their presenting concerns and can work with [their] schedule.”

“The average number of sessions students use is five, with some students needing fewer and some needing more,” Even said.

Some students look for someone to talk to regularly or know they need long-term support. This is not a service the Counseling Center provides. However, students may meet with a referral coordinator to connect with a provider in the Columbia area who will meet their needs.

While individual therapy is available, Even said a “thriving clinical skills and group therapy program” is a viable option for many students.

This past spring, 14 different groups focused on specific areas such as social anxiety, gender and challenges that students of color and international students face. In these groups, students learn skills needed to address the group’s topic. A full list of these groups can be found on the Counseling Center website.

It is important to note all programs were virtual through the summer, except crisis-related services. The Counseling Center plans to offer in-person services during the fall.

MU student Adam Busack contacted the Counseling Center following a visit to its website. Busack explained that mental health issues run in his family, and he used the Counseling Center’s online resources to discern what he was going through.

“There’s a lot of free quizzes to take which (are) very helpful. I think it’s wonderful that they have those available to all students,” Busack said.

If a student does not personally need help from the Counseling Center but needs advice to help a friend, the Counseling Center provides consultations to aid the student’s efforts.

Even said there are misconceptions about college life, and it is normal for students to struggle to adjust to life in a new environment. Her advice is to accept help when it is needed.

“That’s part of adjusting,” Even said. “I would say just to be patient with yourself, and to reach out to the support around you.”

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