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Spartans Get Anxious, Too

Written By: Lauren Benn

Anxiety is the number one reason across the U.S. that students seek counseling, according to Cathi Hendricks, a counselor in her sixth year at Aurora University.

In recent years, universities have gotten more involved and vocal when it comes to mental health, providing more resources than ever for students to get the help they need. There is a campus organization at AU called, Students for Students that create public awareness pertaining to issues regarding mental health. The counseling center offers individual, group, and interpersonal counseling, which includes conflicts with a significant other, a friend, or even a roommate. Hendricks is proud of the counseling center’s services and says, “It may be difficult to admit that you’re struggling, but counseling can be a very eye-opening experience. You’re setting the stage for adulthood, let’s build a good foundation for that.”

According to AU’s counseling web page, Hendricks received a Master's in social work from Aurora University. She provides direct clinical service to students with a variety of concerns, some of which include stress, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, school issues, family and relationships issues, grief and loss, domestic violence, sexuality, personal growth and adjustment issues, as well as current and past trauma. Hendricks also provides tailored services to meet the needs of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (Aspergers Syndrome), including support groups, case management, and collaboration with other university offices to ensure student success. Hendricks has helped a number of students get diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and helps them cope with the challenges that come with the diagnosis. There is no fee and no session limits for counseling services, which is rare for most counseling centers, says 2 Hendricks. Sessions for counseling are considered short term, but counselors can refer students to a therapist outside of the university, and do so when it better suits the student’s needs.

Junior at AU, Alyssa Gibbas says that she has never been to the center for stress related purposes, but thinks it’s an important facility to have at the university. “Not everyone needs counseling, but it should always be available to the people who really benefit from it”, said Gibbas. Another Junior at AU, who requested not be named, had nothing but great things to say when asked about her experience with counseling at the university. “There’s something about going to counseling at school that makes the whole atmosphere of the university feel safe, and less stressful.”

Anxiety can feel consuming and overwhelming for many, but there are numerous resources at AU that can help students through those stressful times. Whether that stress comes from school, work, a relationship, or past traumas that students have not yet dealt with, there is a safe space at the counseling center to work through those struggles. The free and confidential service could be the outlet a student needs to get through finals week or a break up. Counseling could be the first step in building that foundation for adulthood.

If you feel you are in need of supportive services, please visit the AU counseling Center, or you
can make an appointment by reaching out to any of the counselors directly via the AU Website .