Hampton University Students Act as Counselors to Help Fellow Students Facing Mental Health Issues

Student facing mental health issues

Considering the need for more mental health services, Hampton University students are acting as counselors to help their peers facing mental health issues as well as to fill the gap between mental health professionals and students.

Director of Counseling at Hampton University, Kristie Norwood, told WTKR that increased anxiety and depression among students, as well as challenges with adjustment, have been noticed at the university.

As per students selected to work as counselors, Norwood stressed that they understand the culture of the university’s student population and know what is happening with Hampton’s students.

“They, in a lot of ways, can be kind of the first line to pick up on some of these challenges,” Norwood told WTKR.

So far, several peer counselors who receive training on how to intervene during crises and prevention of suicides, have expressed willingness to assist fellow students in their challenges.

According to report, requests for appointments at Hampton’s Student Counseling Center have increased by nine percent since the fall of 2019. The number of students who attended counseling appointments has also increased by seven percent since then.

Hampton University has its Student Counseling Center attached, where students can receive individual counseling for different issues, including personal concerns, emotional distress, psychological disorders, interpersonal issues, and critical crisis situations.

Services are provided free of charge to enrolled students; however, the university points out that self-pay or private health insurance may be necessary for emergency hospitalization and/or off-campus specialists.

The center collaborates with student groups and organizations such as the Peer Counselor Organization, which is an official university organization working during the academic year.

According to figures published on Hampton University’s website, there were 2,863 undergraduate students at Hampton in fall 2021, 615 freshmen, as well as 450 graduate and professionals.

The private, historically Black university has recently offered support to Ukrainian students and staff whose studies were disrupted due to the conflict happening in Ukraine, inviting the latter to continue studies at Hampton.

“I think this partnership is something that can be beneficial to a great number of students and families. My entire career has been focused on helping people to achieve and meet their goals,” President of Hampton University William Harvey said.

Throughout the past two years, many students worldwide have experienced mental health challenges due to the COVID-19 disease and the shutdown.

A survey conducted last year by Chegg, an American education technology company, revealed that 56 undergraduate students reported mental health issues due to the pandemic.

Of 16,839 undergraduate students from 21 countries around the world, 81 percent reported increased stress and anxiety whereas 17 percent of students mentioned that they had sought support for their mental health problems.

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