During Mental Health Awareness Week from Oct. 5-Oct. 9, students had the opportunity to listen to presentations across campus by some staff members from the Counseling Center.
Jeff Biddle, director of the Counseling Center, said that its purpose is to raise awareness for mental health, as well as for the Counseling Center. It is also to destigmatize the view of mental health.
“One of our visions and dreams here is that students would see counseling not just for people who are at the end of the road, but that it’s a normal thing that all of us need,” Biddle said.
Biddle spoke on a topic called “Identity Theft: Who Stole My Identity and How Do I Get it Back?”
“We’re talking about the fact that God gave us an identity and our identity is in Christ,” he said. “But there has been a huge effort to steal our identity away.”
There are also various other topics from other speakers, such as Tesia Webster’s “Sexual Trauma and Ways To Heal.” Webster is a Marriage and Family Therapist intern at the Counseling Center.
Webster said the process of coping with sexual trauma is different depending on the individual.
“Victims and acquaintances of sexual trauma survivors should come and gain a better understanding of how to (cope) and walk alongside a survivor,” Webster said.
With presentations ranging from anxiety to grief to depression and relationships, the topics are designed to suit the needs of any college student.
“We tried to provide a buffet of what we thought were some of the main things that regular college students struggle with,” Biddle said. “We’re hoping that a student can look at our schedule and be able to say, ‘I identify with that one (topic).’”
Regardless of whether or not a student is dealing with a specific problem, Biddle said he still encouraged students to attend the presentations.
“A lot of times our mentality is, ‘If I’m not hurting, why would I go and reach out and get help?’” he said. “But so much of the help can be preventative.”
Natalie Rios, assistant director of the Counseling Center, offered the benefit of making people feel less alone in
what they are battling.
“Events like this raise awareness,” Rios said. “It also creates opportunity to create communities of support.”
Biddle said he hopes Mental Health Awareness Week gave students an opportunity to reach out to the Counseling Center, a place where they can feel protected.
“We want our students to understand that we all go through times where we are hurting and we need to reach out and get help, and this is one avenue,” Biddle said. “It’s right here on campus. It’s safe and secure.”
For more information about mental health and further assistance, the CBU community
can call the Counseling Center at 951-689-1120.