Counseling a dial away

Do you feel pressured as if walls are closing in on you? Are you experiencing worry or stress over your classes, personal issues, or both? If your answer is yes, then you should be aware that each semester Valencia College students are eligible to get free help through three counseling sessions through BayCare Behavioral Service.By calling BayCare at 1-800-878-5470 students may meet free of charge with a professional psychologist or mental health counselor. Students may also come to Valencia Student Services office and request free sessions with campus professional counselors.

Valencia College Counselor, Jocelyn Morales, presented a workshop last Tuesday entitled “Learning To Maintain Personal Balance In Today’s Economy.”  She is one of the four counselors in Building 5-210 at the east campus who see students for advising and career counseling, but they also assist students who are distressed, depressed, troubled, confused or have anxiety.

“In the past few years there has been a link to the troubles in the economy to the higher incidence of students having problems with college. More students have been having issues of not passing classes. Their issues have been due to not having personal balance,” said Morales.

Since 2006 Morales has been seeing more students affected by the economy. Parents are losing jobs, homes and cars. Many people are distressed and suicide rates have increased.   She emphasized that through all the distressing circumstances it is vital to have “balance” in life. “Mental and emotional steadiness equal balance,” said Morales.

An effort to smile and feel happiness is important in times of pressure.  Morales also talked about how physical exercise is also important.
The following are the tips she offered to help students gain better balance in their lives:

1.     Take care of and nurture yourself.
2.     Know what your priorities are.
3.     Re-evaluate yourself emotionally, mentally and physically at least every six months.  Start from the inside out.
4.     Find what kinds of things you can to make yourself feel better.  Can walking or writing relieve stress or set you on a more positive outlook?
5.     Create an efficient mindset. Be positive. Positive self-talk is very helpful.
6.     Expect the unexpected. You need to be aware of your surroundings, so when there is a bump coming toward you can be better prepared.
7.     Reduce your time with negative people and be a part of some type of positive support group.
8.     Look for solutions in spite of everything going bad around you.
9.     Understand personal challenges by being honest with yourself; avoid denial of facts.
10.   Listen to meditation music.
11.   Seek appropriate resources.

Other Resources & Services Offered:

1.     Essential Life Skills- http://www.essentiallifeskills.net/wellbalancedlife.html
2.     Striking a Balance-http://www.apa.org/gradpsych/2005/03cover-balance.aspx
3.     Bay Care, Behavioral Service -800-878-5470
4.     Life Skills Class – SLS 1122 Student Success
5.     Florida 2-1-1 Network- 3-digit telephone number 2-1-1 for easy access to community human service information. This is a United Way service; they will give you information on events and resources. People in need may be eligible for funding for heat and other household necessities. The money comes from donations and government funding. More information can be found at their website.