The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

SBCC offers students free counseling and support groups

To help deal with the anxiety and stress that comes with being a college student, City College offers six free personal counseling sessions, an anxiety support group and a general support group this semester.

“Life is hard,” said Lacey Peters, personal counselor and facilitator of the group sessions. “If you take the steps it can make an impact on your life.”

According to Peters, the anxiety group is designed to help combat anxiety with traditional methods such as meditation as well as newly learnt skills. The goals of the group sessions are to decrease anxiety, decrease depression, increase support and a sense of community.

All forms of counseling are confidential and non-judgemental.

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“It’s nice having someone from the outside that won’t judge you,” said City College student Sebastian Wignall.

Peters has noticed that group therapy sessions is a trend among college campuses and that the first six weeks at any college campus is a “vulnerable” time for students.

“I feel like having that peer-to-peer support is important,” Peters said.

The stress and anxiety among students also peak during midterms and finals.

“I’ve noticed an increase in anxiety in human beings,” Peters said. “People are anxious in general. This is a very hard time in America, and people are overwhelmed by it all.”

Every week the group will focus on a new skill, talk about what students are anxious about and offer suggestions with how to cope when struggling.

The focus of the general support group called UNPLUG is offering support for people who need to just talk or want a safe space.

“It is a time for self-reflection, a time to support other people and a time to support each other,” said Peters. “Connection is the foundation to how we heal.”

Both of the group sessions are every week and open to drop-ins. Students can come to talk or they can come to listen. Peters pointed out that students don’t have to talk because everything is confidential and every student should honor what feels right for themselves.

Students can schedule their free personal appointments based on their availability, and if someone doesn’t like their counselor they can always request someone new.

“Everyone can benefit from seeing somebody,” said Peters.

If a student have used up their six free sessions and have low income issues, wants to seek specific help or aren’t familiar with the community the Counseling Center can help refer you to resources.

Peters said that she has had students who come into her office feeling depressed and with her support helping them through school she has watched them walk at graduation. She has seen students who come in overwhelmed that are now student leaders.

These programs allow students to create a support system of their choosing, and allows them to take the necessary steps to improve their mental health.

“Your mental health is one of the most easily looked over conditions,” said student Alec Flores Pina. “I think it’s great that our school provides these mental health services.”

UNPLUG meets 3:00 p.m. Tuesdays and the anxiety group meets Wednesdays 1:00 p.m. in the Campus Center Room 216.

Students can find out more information about the group sessions and make a personal counseling appointment by calling the health office or visit the student health services located in the Student Services Building Room 170.

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