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Mental Health and The College Journey - A Commentary

Updated: May 17, 2022

Written By Eric Haabestad

Pictured Mt Antero Welcome Center Image Courtesy of FRCC

I was failing my humanities course. The straw that caused me to snap was an email from my professor that said I was unable to pass with just the assignments remaining in the course.

The finality of that statement made the world come crashing down around me. In a frenzy I scheduled appointments with anyone I could think of on campus.

Luckily I had heard about the mental health office on campus, so I scheduled an appointment there as well and was able to in that same day.

While waiting for the appointment, my anxiety continued to spiral. I couldn’t keep my hands still having a restless leg, digging through anything I could think on my computer to be able to stabilize my grades and be able to pass my courses.

Talking to a therapist wasn’t a magical cure all, but she listened to my worries over the course of an hour. She helped me calm down and figure out a plan of where to go from here to sort things out.

As a naturally more shy person, I had somehow not thought of just asking my professor if there is a way to pass. Thankfully my professor let me do some extra assignments to improve my grade, and I was able to pass with a B. Even though that class panic situation had been resolved, I still continue to go to weekly therapy at the mental health office.

Pictured Councilor Assisting Student Image Courtesy of FRCC Blog

FRCC has a mental health office available for its students to use free of charge. In the past students were limited to six hour-long visits with a therapist per semester, but that has increased to unlimited visits to encourage students to use the resource available to them.

Kathleen Strong, one of the full time therapists on campus, said, “I think one great benefit is access. Providing mental health counseling on campus at no cost makes it easier for students to afford counseling and to fit appointments into their schedules. We are the same as licensed counselors in the community. We also understand the college environment and issues specific to students.”

My talks with a therapist on campus have evolved past just school-related issues, though I do bring them up when I need more guidance. As someone who has a lot of experience going in and out of therapy, I have found the therapists on campus to be better suited to helping me as a student than the more general therapists I have talked to in the past. For the level of care a campus mental health office is able to provide, FRCC is top-notch.

To any student who would benefit from talking to a therapist for any reason: I would recommend utilizing the excellent resource on campus. Even if you are student who is likely to transfer to a four-year university or graduating soon, the cost of potential therapy visits is included in tuition so there is no cost.

I have nothing but praise for the FRCC Mental Health Office, and would recommend it to anyone who even remotely thinks they might benefit from it.

For an appointment, give a call to 970-204-8210.

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