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Free mental health services support student success

Aug 25, 2023
Image that says its ok not to be OK
Image that says its ok not to be OK

KOKOMO, Ind. —College is a critical transition point in life.

Young adults are learning to navigate adulthood and the increased independence that comes with it. They’re potentially moving away from home and learning to build relationships with roommates, new friends, and faculty members.

Non-traditional students also face challenges, potentially trying to manage family, a career, and classes at the same time.

Indiana University Kokomo supports all students – and all their challenges – with free services to support their mental health.

“It’s important to meet the needs of all students in this transitional period of their lives,” said Joseph Waters, clinical associate professor of psychology, who serves as interim director of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). He said the goal is to help students overcome mental health challenges that might lead them to disrupt their education.

“An investment in mental health keeps students here to help them reach their goals, reach graduation, and move on into the rest of their lives,” he said. “I enjoy making sure students have services that can help them work through a lot of things that have happened in their lives.”

Services available include in-person individual and group counseling in the CAPS office, online counseling, outreach programming, and soon, a community clinic staffed by students in the Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling program.

CAPS, staffed by five counselors and three interns, focuses on in-person services, including individual counseling, couples counseling, and family counseling. It also offers stress management and healthy relationship groups focused not just on partners, but family, friends, roommates, or any other relationship.

The office also offers in-class presentations about stress management, coping with loss, and other topics.

For those who prefer virtual services, IU offers TimelyCare, which provides free health and well-being services 24-hours a day. Student can access services including on-demand emotional support, scheduled counseling, referrals for psychiatry services, health coaching, access to a library of self-care content, and a peer community to discuss common challenges.

A student-led group, U Bring Change 2 Mind (UBC2M), works to provide mental health education and events for the campus community. Erinn Adam, a student in the Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling program, leads the group.

“We want to change the fear and stigma toward mental health, and create a connected campus for all,” she said. “It’s really focused on students working with students, being able to make an impact on the community.”

During the spring semester, UBC2M offered destress stations with stress balls, anxiety strips, and healthy snacks before midterm exams, and participated in sustainability week by providing bamboo back scratchers and popsicles.

This year, it will also offer educational programming.

Adam said any student may participate in the student organization.

“Anyone can fit into this group,” she said, adding that being part of a student organization gives a feeling of belonging and community. “Everyone in this group cares about people. This gives an outlet to help in a constructive way.”

The main CAPS office is in the Student Activities suite, Kelley Student Center 210D. There is a second CAPS office in the East Building, Room 120. To make an appointment, call (765) 455-9203 or (765) 455-9553 or email IUKCAPS@iuk.edu. Students may access TimelyCare here

Education is KEY at Indiana University Kokomo.

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