Therapy sessions seek to ease stress

Wellness program gives students place to vent, talk about problems


The Contra Costa Community College District and JFK University recently formed a partnership over the summer to provide mental health counseling for students on campus.

By Salvador Godoy, Advocate Staff

Last summer a new therapeutic service called the Student Wellness Program launched to help students, who are facing stress, family conflicts and emotional challenges, to perform academically.

Students can meet individually with a therapist, or choose to meet in a specialized group with other students to share feelings.

“I’m proud to see our district is finally supporting a new mental health program on campus to help those students in need for counseling,” Dean of Students Vikki Ferguson said. “Having a (therapeutic) program like this, especially in an urban environment, is necessary.”

The service consists of three therapists on campus, and is associated with the Contra Costa Community College District and JFK University’s Community Counseling Centers.

Therapists who are affiliated with the Student Wellness Program are graduate trainees from JFK University and are supervised by licensed clinicians.

“Students are sometimes in a crisis, and they need to be protected and supported. The wellness program will enhance their lives,” Counselor Dionne Perez said.

Today’s generation of college students can often encounter social and sentimental challenges that occur on, or off campus, and it is paramount they receive a consultation to better improve their way of life.

Humanities Professor Karina Gill said, “Often when we are most busy is when we most need to stop, and give ourselves time to reflect on what is happening for us.”

Gill said being a college student almost inevitably brings up real challenges socially, emotionally and academically.

“It is tempting to compartmentalize our experience, trying to put aside our feelings, for example, in order to meet a deadline,” Gill said. “I think we all discover along the way that we need to care for our whole selves in order to achieve our goals, and be happy with our results.”

Gill said challenges can also offer real personal insight and possibility for growth if we use them to get to know ourselves better.

Psychology Professor Michel Arnold said, “I find it beneficial to have an additional counseling program here at CCC, which will help boost student’s confidence.”

The service is not only about controlling stress and assisting  families with their issues, but the program is also here to assist students who intend to drop out of college.

“Our goal for this program is to also keep students in college and be active learners. We want students to have a successful semester while taking courses,” Ferguson said.

For more information about the visit the SA-219 (second floor) or call 510-215-3960.