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Hawkreach offers free counseling to students

Published 1/24/17

Madeline Jurus

TNE Writer            

As college semesters progress students can begin to feel the stress of staying on top of their classwork and jobs, maintaining personal relationships and adapting to college life as incoming freshmen. Constant stress can add up and manifest in the form of anxiety or depression, two of the leading mental health problems in college students. On most college campuses there is a counseling service offered to students dealing with these struggles. For NSU, that is Hawkreach.

“We take walk-ins at any time if there is a counselor available,” said Robin Mackey, director of student counseling services. “Sometimes a student may decide to wait for an available counselor if one is not immediately available.”

According to the American College Health Association, in the fall of 2006, 66 percent of female college students and 52 percent of male students felt helpless at least once in the last year. Forty-five percent of females and 36 percent of males felt so depressed it was difficult to function at least once.

“I began going to Hawkreach the middle of the fall 2016 semester,” said Maddox Cott, Tahlequah freshman. “A friend recommended I go speak to someone there after noticing me struggling.”

Due to the stigma surrounding depression and other mental health issues, many people feel they cannot reach out for help in fear of not being taken seriously. If they go without help for so long, their conditions may worsen, leading to attempts of suicide.

“When I arrived, the receptionist was very kind and helped me with any questions I had on my paperwork,” said Cott. “Following that, the counselor I was assigned to made time in her schedule to see me right then. She was very understanding and accepting and genuinely cared.”

Hawkreach is a free program for NSU students, with counselors available to help students directly through 12 week sessions or through connections with campus and community resources.

“Hawkreach is open to any students at any time and offer a wide variety of counseling services from basic counseling to violence prevention,” said Kyle Kidd, former student worker for violence prevention.

Some services Hawkreach offers consist of student counseling, disability services and violence prevention. Violence prevention ranges from domestic violence victims to stalking and sexual assault victims, as well.

 “It helped me a lot with my anxiety,” said Cott. “Thanks to Hawkreach, I can now identify triggers and think through them. I still have some of my old problems, but I've become significantly better at handling stress and working through situations.”

Hawkreach is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. It is located in Leoser 99 north of the Housing Office.

For more information, call Mackey at 918-444-2042.


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