Living away from home, working and going to school can all take a toll on over-stressed students.
According to the Web site healthyminds.org, one out of four adults will experience a depressive episode by the age of 24. The site has also found that half of all college students report feeling so depressed at some point that they have trouble functioning.
“I think counselors come into play when a student’s support system fails to get them through an issue and they are still having problems,” said ADA Student Coordinator/Counselor Margaret Rapp. “Everyone has, to an extent, their own form of support system through friends, family and themselves. When that fails to work, that’s when I believe they should probably seek help through a counselor.”
Throughout high school, most students are aware of counselors who are available whenever needed. However, college can be a different story.
“College is a very stressful environment, and many kids are going to school while working and even taking care of families at the same time, and that can be very hard for them,” said Dr. Stephanie Eijsink, the physician who treats students at the on-campus clinic.
To help students with this adjustment, TJC Support Services has two licensed counselors available. Rapp takes care of students with disabilities as well as counseling. Tracey Williams is in charge of academic tutoring as well as some counseling.
Many students, with or without counseling needs, aren’t aware that TJC has counseling available.
“I had no idea we had one,” TJC student Dominick McLusky said.
For many students, knowing this information could be beneficial.
“I had a roommate last year that had depression problems,” said former TJC student Luis Florez. “He had to leave school because of it. I’m not sure if he knew about the school counseling or not, but it probably would have helped him.”
Although TJC’s support system does offer counseling, it doesn’t always handle everyone’s situation.
TJC also has a clinic on campus with a licensed physician to evaluate, and in some cases, can prescribe medication for students.
“You need to approach the issues with both a social and biochemical aspect, which consists of sometimes prescribing medication,” Eijsink said.
Dr. Eijsink see’s students facing depression every day.
“There’re two sides to the coin. Sometimes you’ll see the anxiety side and sometimes we’ll get the depressed side, however, we take care of both sides.”
Students can either come by the support services on the second floor of Rogers Students Center, next to the testing center, or make a phone call to set up an appointment.
Margaret Rapp can be reached at 903-510-2878, Tracey Williams at 903-510-2041, and Dr. Stephanie Eijsink at 903-510-3862.