Winthrop University: Counselors Support Students' Mental Health via Virtual Sessions
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Counselors Support Students' Mental Health via Virtual Sessions

April 13, 2020

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Counselors have talked virtually to an average of more than 80 clients weekly.
  • Counseling Services offers group and individual counseling, promotes wellness and continues to offer medication management for existing clients.

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – Winthrop University has closed its campus due to COVID-19 and moved to remote learning for the spring semester, but it has kept many vital services, such as mental health counseling, in place.

The university’s telemental health coordinator said she and other counselors have talked virtually to an average of more than 80 clients weekly.

“We see a lot of students reporting concerns regarding the adjustment to remote instruction and the social isolation, but also continue to see the usual concerns that we tend to see with students including anxiety, depression, relational concerns and academics,” said Elizabeth Tate, staff counselor and telemental health coordinator with Counseling Services. “We are holding steady with our caseloads and saw 86 clients last week for individual counseling, group counseling and medication management sessions.”

The office promotes wellness and continues to offer medication management for existing clients through telemental health as well.

Counseling Services and the Office of Victim’s Assistance are taking new clients, so any interested students can go to https://patient-winthrop.medicatconnect.com/ and schedule a same-day appointment by visiting its website.

Additionally, any Winthrop student, faculty or staff member who needs a little help in developing self-care skills, coping techniques and mindfulness can access TAO self-help, which is free with a Winthrop email address.

Another Counseling Services staff member reflected on what the campus closing means to her. She came up with a top 10 list and realized that she did it as much for others as for herself.

Some of those thoughts included:

“I am reminded how grateful I am to have the job I have. I love the work I do. I love those students and they are the best reason I can think of to get up and come to work every day,” wrote Beverly Holbrook, clinical supervisor. “I am grateful because I work with a group of people who are willing to help me with technology and I’m learning how to do things I never thought I could,” she said of working remotely. 

She also is grateful for those five-minute conversations here and there. “You know, those seemingly meaningless moments when we connect with people we work with every day. Those snippets of conversations aren’t ‘meaningless’ at all. They fill a need for socialization and connection,” she said.

Holbrook also appreciates her family and friends, the time to admire nature and that she is “grateful that I can take time to be grateful.”

Most people are dealing with social distancing and isolation during this unprecedented time. The Winthrop counselors suggested that people may want to check in on the mental well being of family members, friends and neighbors. For tips and resources on physical and mental health safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit here.

For more information, contact Judy Longshaw, news and media services manager, at longshawj@winthrop.edu.

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Last Updated: 10/4/21