Counseling Center moves into new space to better offer healing, refuge

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Five added rooms will be available to give students safe space.

The Counseling Center at California Baptist University moved locations Feb. 26 to a new building off of Monroe street, behind CBU’s baseball field and the Health Science campus.

The reason for the move was to expand beyond the nine rooms they previously had. The new location contains five additional rooms, bringing the total to 14. Other benefits of the new building are more outdoor space and a larger resting room for the staff.

Dr. Natalie Rios, assistant director of the Counseling Center, said she is grateful for the move and expansion.

“There have been times where it’s so hard to fit as many students as we wanted to,” Rios said. “We want to be available because it takes so much courage for them to even call us in the first place. For us to have this space creates a lot more opportunity and more open doors for us to be a support to our students and to make sure when they’re needing help, they can come to us and get the help they need.”

Dr. Jeff Biddle, director of the counseling center, said he hopes a more prominent location will help students be more aware of everything the Counseling Center has to offer and feel more comfortable about seeking help.

“We’re all broken. Whether you’re going into a crisis, you’re in a crisis or recovering from a crisis, we all need help at one time or another,” Biddle said. “This has been our goal to help students understand that this is not shameful to go to or admitting a failure.”

The counseling center has emphasized the power of prayer, dedicating a time to pray for the brand new location.

“Taking a building and dedicating it to the Lord is like a formal invitation to say, ‘Lord, we are here to serve you,’” Biddle said. “This is sacred ground for our students, we want them to know that when they step in here that the Lord is present here.”

One benefit of the new center is the resources available to the staff that will help them aid the students who are struggling with various disorders.

“We see everything from students struggling with anxiety to clinical depression, we see a fair share of eating disorders, we deal with suicidal idealizations and even schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, so we see the full spectrum,” Biddle said.

According to Biddle, the first time most major emotional crises’ occur is between the
ages of 18-23.

“Not only are our students going through a tremendous amount of emotional and mental health issues, it’s first onset, meaning that most of our students have never struggled with some of these things they are now experiencing on the college campus,” Biddle said. “That’s very significant for us to be aware of.”

Andrea Ramirez, freshman English major, said she believes the new location will benefit both the counseling center and students.

“It’s definitely going to raise the awareness of the center,” Ramirez said. “This move is going to benefit a lot of students who were more shy about getting help.”

The counseling center is now open Mon-Thurs. from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To make an appointment, students are encouraged to visit the counseling center as a walk-in or call (951)689-1120.

About Misty Severi

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