Blackburn College offers several kinds of counseling services on campus to help students look after their mental health.
“We attempt to address almost every mental health need on campus from homesickness and loneliness to more moderate mental health conditions,” said Tim Morenz, the Director of Counseling Services. Students are free to schedule an appointment when in need of any kind of guidance.
The school offers both private and group services. Among the group services, there are meditation, grief recovery, and men’s and women’s leadership groups. Some of the other services include mentoring, conflict mediation, mental health screening, support for managing anxiety, depression, and stress, and several others. Further information can be found on the Blackburn website under Student Life. “Whether it is to help with stress reduction, managing relationships, dealing with anxiety, depression, psychosis or trauma, we provide trained clinicians to help students at nearly every level,” Morenz said. “We like to listen with an open mind and a full heart.”
Recently, counseling services have moved from the Student Life office to the Lumpkin Student Success Center, where students can visit Morenz’s office. This places access to counseling services alongside other academic resources, such as tutors, study sessions, Writer’s Block, and the library’s databases. He said, “We hope to communicate that counseling is just one of many avenues for a student to be successful at Blackburn.”
Students can set up meetings with Morenz through firstname.lastname@example.org. They can be held virtually or done in-person at his office in Lumpkin 121. “Once we meet, we discuss the presenting issues and decide on a course of action. Sometimes that can be self-help resources. Sometimes we decide on the frequency of a meeting schedule. Sometimes we make a referral to a community provider, all centered around the best interests of the student in mind,” Morenz said.
With the ongoing pandemic, it is especially important now to look after one’s own mental health. Times are uncertain, and situations can change quickly. “The pandemic has been a huge concern for the mental health of students, faculty and staff. While it has taught us the ability to be improvisational with our coping strategies, it will be an issue to deal with for a long time coming,” Morenz said. “I think it is important to realize that you cannot process a trauma while the trauma is still happening. You must attend to your own safety and wait for the trauma to end. Until then we cut ourselves some slack and attempt to do it with the other people in our life and hope they do the same for us.”