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College and university counsellors are here to help

Counsellor Katia Coholan speaks to student Jonathon Tan in the Health, Wellness and Accessibility Services centre at the Welland campus. PHOTO BY ANGEL-LEIGHIA CHAPMAN-KLAASSEN
Counsellor Katia Coholan speaks to student Jonathon Tan in the Health, Wellness and Accessibility Services centre at the Welland campus. PHOTO BY ANGEL-LEIGHIA CHAPMAN-KLAASSEN

By ANGEL-LEIGHIA CHAPMAN-KLAASSEN
Staff Writer

The Welland Campus counselling services location may have changed, but the dedication of the counselling staff has stayed the same across all campuses.

It’s generally accepted that post-secondary is a stressful time for most students, and whether it’s about school difficulties or personal issues it can be helpful to have someone with whom to talk.

“Since our service is client-centred we really help individuals explore and resolve their individual problems and concerns – whether these are school concerns, problems related to their work or in their personal life,” says Sheryl Johns, manager of health, wellness and accessibility services at Niagara College.

According to Johns, the counsellors will each see between five and seven students a day, helping clients with everything from relationship difficulties to finding learning strategies and mental-health concerns.

Students tend to seek out on-campus counsellors around midterm and at exam times, when time management is crucial for success.

They may also seek counselling at the beginning of a term, when many students have just moved out of their homes and are having their first independent living experiences.

Anxiety and depression are on the rise in youth. A growing number of students are coming into post-secondary with mental-health issues and are seeking counselling services more often.

“The demand for service has absolutely increased and that’s a national trend,” Carrie Landa, director of behavioral medicine, in an article by BU (Boston University) Today. “Students are not only coming to school with pre-existing mental-health issues, but with additional stressors and anxieties about performance and fitting in socially.”

Finances are a major source of turmoil for many students who pay month-to-month rent. Counselling staff can provide resources and encouragement to students who feel lost or buried in their stress.

“Students are encouraged to access the services of our professionally trained counsellors at any time of the year and especially when there is a change in their overall wellness,” Johns says.

Counselling offices are open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m., with evening hours until 7:30p.m. on Wednesdays at the Welland Campus and Thursdays at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus.

Students can call for an appointment or visit their campus’s Health, Wellness and Accessibilities Services office.

Welland campus: 905-735-2211, ext. 7778/7635
Niagara-on-the-Lake campus: 905-641-2252, ext. 4408/4449