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Counselors in residence help students adjust to campus life

Published: February 3, 2022 Author: Ellie Coldiron

As spring semester moves forward, some students may be feeling stressed, whether it’s about being back on campus, the pressure of classes, or other issues.

To help address this, Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS) has partnered with OHIO Housing and Residence Life to offer students a unique resource to talk about their mental health, connect with other campus resources, and learn how to manage stress and anxiety.

Let’s Talk Hours is a program that provides walk-in counseling and crisis management sessions. Additionally, students can reach out to counselors-in-residence for consultation on ethical situations, decision-making, or if they are worried about another student.

“This program expands the hours for students to receive services. It is more informal because it’s not ongoing or long term,” Alex Reed, supervisor of the counselor-in-residence program, said. “It is a great resource if students want information about CPS and to talk about what is on their minds. There’s no limit on the topics they can discuss.”

Counselors-in-residence are doctoral students in clinical psychology or counselor education programs who have a master's degree and have completed at least two years of supervised clinical training. They are also supervised during Let’s Talk Hours by full-time CPS staff. The three counselors-in-residence are Levi Toback, Chanda Pinkney and Daniel Amparbeng.

“We are seeing students reaching out less even though we know there is a greater need for support. We want to remind students that it’s okay to ask for help,” Toback, a fourth year clinical psychology graduate student and counselor-in-residence, said.

Housing has worked to embed the counselors-in-residence into the OHIO community and provide an after-hours outlet for residential students. Students can meet for a single session, go recurringly as needed, go between CPS sessions, or receive a referral to ongoing appointments with CPS.

“Basically, CPS supervises all of the counseling work, and on our end, they (the counselors-in-residence) live on campus. We provide them apartments in the residence halls,” said Jen Maskiell, director of residence life operations. “The main focus of the program is the Let’s Talk hours. It is really a service for students who might be experiencing something immediately and need someone to talk to and don’t want to call the emergency number. Or, they feel more comfortable in that setting than going to CPS during the day. They can just come over to the LLC. Nothing goes back to their families or RAs, and there is no financial paperwork needed.”

The counselors-in-residence currently offer mental health and well-being programming for students through Housing and Residence Life, as well, to increase their outreach.

The counselors-in-residence are available Sunday through Friday from 5 to 10 p.m., which expands the typical hours students could access support. Students can go in person to the Living Learning Center 160, call 740.597.9145, or email CounselorInResidence@ohio.edu to schedule a Microsoft Teams meeting. This program is completely free and confidential for all OHIO students.