Counselors at SU offering virtual sessions to identify stress, depression, anxiety triggers

Southern Offering free virtual counseling sessions to its students

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The University Counseling Center at Southern University Baton Rouge wants to reassure students they are just a phone call away.

Prior to the outbreak, the Counseling Center offered in-person weekly therapy sessions. Valaray Irvin, Director of the University Counseling Center says the pandemic has forced the center to adapt. They don't want students to fall through the cracks so virtual sessions are now an option.

Irvin says the counselors teach students how to identify triggers, and find the root of uneasy feelings.

For anyone that has never dealt with stress, depression or anxiety before, this pandemic or widespread national unrest could be a trigger.

Irvin says for some, anxiety or depression can show up physically. She says students might present with a nagging stomach ache, headache, or maybe insomnia. Cognitively, stress can make it difficult for students to concentrate. The challenge comes when students try to maintain good grades while dealing with these newfound symptoms.

If you are managing depression and anxiety, the past several months could reignite unwanted feelings.

Irvin says whether you want the weekly sessions or you just want to schedule a quick session to get your feelings out, the main point is to get the conversation started. She also says students should consider removing the root of the sadness, " For example, social media. I recommend to students often withdraw from social media sometimes. Just don't check in because there's too much that can cause your blood pressure to go up. Too much to make you angry. Step away from it," Irvin says.

Irvin says most importantly, students must remember to talk, otherwise, those feelings could become overwhelming, " When you shake that bottle up, as long as your thumb is over the bottle, you see the fizz, but nothing is coming out. If you release the thumb, then everything comes out. Our emotions are the same. We can hold them in, and some people do well bottling them up. But eventually, you will shake and shake until the fizz has to come out. You don't know where and when it may come out."

Email counselingcenter@subr.edu to schedule a session or call 225-771-2480.

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