Despite needed improvements, Guilford Counseling Center still above par

Anxiety. Depression. OCD. Panic Attacks. Whatever the disorder or illness, you are not alone.

The Guilford Counseling Center, located by the lake, provides both private counseling and support groups to cope with the emotional health of the student body. The services are free, and appointments are assigned around your schedule.

The groups include a grief group, a sexual assault survivor group and a drugs and alcohol abuse support group, to name a few.

The question is how effective are they?

There is a great list of qualities that the center has. However, there is always room for improvement. As a student who has used the center as a resource since my first year, I can see both the positive and negative.

From the perspective of those who work at the center, there are significant positives to getting help from the center.

“The students who make a good connection here and are ready and have the will to do the tough work do make changes,” said Counseling Director Gaither Terrell.

The counselors also show enthusiasm in their jobs.

“It is always gratifying to see the ways in which students respond and change as they go through the counseling process,” said counselor Libby Inman.

The counselors are able to provide these positive changes partly due to their years of experience. Ranging from 6 to 20 years at Guilford, counselors can be trusted to know what they’re doing and do it the right way.

In order to seek improvements, the center releases regular services for students to fill out and give their inputs.

One in particular is the limited ability to get a diagnosis for any condition at Guilford. For those who do not have the resources to seek a diagnosis for a mental health condition, particularly since it can be very expensive, there is a sense of reliance on Guilford’s services to have the resources and trained professionals to test for and diagnose these conditions.

However, this is sometimes tricky, particularly for learning disabilities.

While learning disabilities are usually not considered a mental health issue, many individuals with learning disabilities may also have mental illnesses and vice versa. Therefore, it is crucial for Guilford to have the resources to diagnose both mental illnesses and learning disabilities so that the roots of each student’s problems can be fully addressed and fully addressed.

After all, a diagnosis is only half the battle.

For further improvements, a large part must be put on students. The Counseling Department can very rarely force a student to get help. For the most part, the student must have the courage to make the call and see a counselor.

This is not to say that it is easy.

“The system does not typically value neurodiversity,” said Disability Services Coordinator Kim Burke, referring to the spectrum of capabilities and disabilities in the brain amongst the world population. “If the system were more inclusive and universally designed, we would see a lot less anxiety and depression.”

In an environment that stigmatizes mental health, it is difficult to have the courage to get help. Despite this, there is still hope.

Once again, as a student who has an on-campus counselor, it is worth the call. Despite some of the needed improvements, you will be walking into an environment that will support you.