By Bailey Young/Online Editor
According to nami.org half of all mental illness starts in a person’s teens. Young adults at Hutchinson Community College are no exception, especially Evelyn Porras.
A freshman from Salina South with a son, a commute and a little bit of social anxiety. For students across campus, the stresses of a new year are unavoidable. Porras in particular said she feels that a little heavier than most because of her limited support system.
When asked about available resources at HutchCC she said that, “I guess my advisor is pretty cool, but I mean I don’t have many friends yet. Just like the people I talk to in class, and I mean it’s still pretty early into the semester”.
Having someone such as an advisor or instructor that you feel comfortable talking to is exactly what Christopher Lau, HutchCC’s Coordinator of Advising, Career Development and Counseling, wants to hear. When asked about the steps his office was taking to make students aware of the resources available to them, Lau said that he was aware of both big and small ways the school is making helping more students possible. For example, all of the instructors, advisors, and RA’s on campus are trained to watch for and report problems students may be having.
“Students these days have a lot different stresses than students who came to college 20-50 years ago,” Lau said. “Until we can address some of the stress students are feeling before they even step foot on our campus then, to an extent, it feels like we’re playing catch-up.”
The student success center also provides counseling in areas such as students who are having financial issues, need help finding a job or just merely need to have a conversation. HutchCC’s goal is to make students feel welcome and have resources readily available to them at all times. Porras was one student who noticed that her enrollment experience provided some good information on the availability of support at HutchCC.
HutchCC has a grasp of what students are feeling, expecting and needing out of their college experience. With that said, there is always room for improvement. One student suggested having more posters around campus reminding students what is available to them , while Porras had the idea of more organized events for those students not living on campus as a way to get involved, meet new people and feel a sense of community.
Lau said that although HutchCC strives to do the most for their students, the resource center, located inside Parker Student Union, would like to remind everyone that they are not a 24-hour service. Up to three licensed counselors are available to meet with any student seeking help Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. If a student is having an emergency after hours HutchCC encourages them to seek help in any way possible such as a hotline. Hutchinson’s local hotline phone numbers are 1-800-794-0163 or 620-665-2299. Other options include talking to a family member or trusted friend.