The Fox Journal

Student Newspaper

Counseling services relocate to campus

By Nicole Krueger

Student counseling sessions have tripled at UW-Fox in the past three years.

Campus administrators attribute the increase to the new location and promotional efforts of the counseling services.

Students, faculty and staff have the opportunity to attend up to six sessions per academic year that are free and confidential.

“As the word has gotten out about what we have to offer, more students have been utilizing [the program].

“I think it helps that we’re on the actual main campus now. We were in [building] 1655, which was nice because it was confidential, more secluded for students…[the new location] is still really nice,” Dede Harris-Bruss, licensed professional counselor at UW-Fox, said.

Many people on campus have raised awareness about the program this fall.

“Faculty and staff are helping to promote the program. We have students that are helping to promote the program. We have the counselors that are promoting the program. So [students] are more aware of the services provided [on campus],” Carla Rabe, assistant campus dean for student services, said.

Reception about the program has been positive around campus.

“I think it’s a good resource to have on campus just in case people need to talk,” freshman Kara Gruber said.

[College students] might not have other people to talk to. Even just having someone to talk to where you know it’s gonna stay private is good,” sophomore Matt Van Thiel said.

Campus counseling services began in fall 2008.

Before the program’s inception, students were referred to outside agencies to pay for counseling services.

Counselors from the Samaritan Counseling Center of the Fox Valley were contacted by UW-Fox to help students explore solutions.

The arrangement ensures that anyone will have a professional and confidential experience.

“Four years ago, [campus administrators] were kind of trying to figure out what agency they wanted to contract with so they met with several people and they chose to go with [the counseling center], so that’s how we got involved,” Harris-Bruss said.

The first year resulted in about 100 student sessions and the second year doubled with about 240 sessions.

During the third year, student sessions increased to around 350 sessions.

“In the previous years, we’ve had 20 hours to work with and now we’ve been able to bump that up because of [increased counseling sessions]. It’s just been amazing the amount of students that have been coming in,” Harris-Bruss said.

Counselors meet with individuals on a range of issues dealing with stress, anxiety, depression, relationships, suicide and domestic or sexual abuse.

[Counselors are] professional, who are not going to be judging anything, just listening.

It can make a huge difference on whether one succeeds or not in college,” student counselor Doug Bisbee, said.

“I tell students that I think it’s a sign of strength when someone comes in for counseling. “It’s showing that they have some things that they’re struggling with and they just want to be able to work on them,” Harris-Bruss said.

Bisbee and Harris-Bruss also promote self-help programs and additional training on campus, such as depression screenings and relationship building workshops.

“We can work on coping strategies, learning strategies; we coordinate with Student Services so that the students get the help that they need.

“[Counselors] are here to help students succeed,” Bisbee said.

UW-Fox Counseling Services also distributes a monthly newsletter via campus email.

To schedule an appointment with a counselor, please call (920) 832-2697 or stop by room 1309.

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