Counseling Center encourages and supports students

Many local churches and organizations continue to provide flooded areas with canned food and hygienic products, however, the University Counseling Center is providing effected students with a different type of support needed, emotional support.

People respond to traumatic events differently, but no matter the emotions a student may be feeling, the UCC is here to help.

“Different people respond very differently to crisis because some may form anxiety while others become really withdrawn,” said UCC counselor Emily Moïse-Fontenot. “You will see such a wide range of emotions. Some may feel angry, anxious or irritable. Some may feel even numb. Some may say ‘I’m fine. I’m fine’ and feel out of touch of how they really feel. It has to do with the individual.”

Moïse-Fontenot encourages all students to take advantage of the free resources the center offers.

“We just want students to know that this is a place to come talk about what all has happened,” said Moïse-Fontenot. “With events like this, you’re grieving. You’re grieving your home, your family, your life as it was. Just to be able to come in to talk to someone and to share with someone those experiences is very therapeutic.”

It is common for affected individuals to have posttraumatic symptoms.

“Trauma is really a response to an event,” said Moïse-Fontenot. “So one person may go through an event and move right on while others will experience some of those feelings. PTSD by definition is reliving that event in your mind and in your body.”

Moïse-Fontenot explained that some may relive the event using their senses including touch, smell and imagery.

“Some are actually reliving that trauma through the feelings in their body,” said Moïse-Fontenot. “It’s their body reprocessing that event. It’s their mind reprocessing that event. And what happens in trauma is that you can’t process it at the time so you end up processing it later. It’s a really difficult experience.”

If one is experiencing these symptoms, Moïse-Fontenot highly encourages them to visit the trauma professionals at the counseling center.

The UCC is offering a Disaster Recovery Support Group for those students who have been affected physically and emotionally by the traumatic flood.

“Support groups are not therapy groups,” said Moïse-Fontenot. “This is an opportunity for us to identify the needs of the campus. The purpose is to provide support. It also gives an opportunity to process with your peers and to share some of those stories.”

Based on the response of these support groups, the UCC may provide further trauma psychotherapy groups. The UCC is also an outlet for everyday problems and crises.

“As of now, we provide one on one psychotherapy sessions so when you come to one of these, you will most likely see a counselor once a week,” said Moïse-Fontenot. “And depending on how it is going, it will determine length of treatment at that time. If there is a crisis, we try to fit you in as soon as possible.”

The purpose of the UCC is to be “a support for Southeastern students, faculty and their families.”

The upcoming dates for the Disaster Recovery Support Group is today from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Thursday, Sept. 1 from 1-2 p.m. All groups will be held in the Student Union Room 2202.