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Mental health is an important topic that has come up time and time again, especially among college students. This is due to lots of factors; the environment, social relationships, copious amounts of classwork, exams, the list could go on.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 30% of college students reported having trouble completing school assignments due to their mental health, and 50% reported that their mental health was below average. Of the students surveyed, 50% reported they have struggled with anxiety at some point, 80% said they felt overwhelmed with their responsibilities, and 40% of students have failed to seek and retrieve help (2012).

While those statistics are older, they still seem to be very accurate today, and mental health issues are relevant for many East Carolina students. Typically, students and faculty members who are struggling could make an appointment at the university’s counseling center, the Center for Counseling and Student Development (CCSD).

However, in the past couple months, students and faculty have had difficulties getting an appointment. According to Virginia Hardy, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, the CCSD appointments were filled up for a good portion of the fall semester.

This is due to many students taking advantage of the counseling center’s appointments, leaving few available appointments left. Another reason is that the CCSD is understaffed, as it lost some of its employees last semester, who got offered positions elsewhere, Hardy said. As of January, the counselor to student ratio was one counselor per 1,507 students.

So, getting help has been harder than ever for students who are in need, which can in turn discourage them from seeking help. While it would be beneficial for students and faculty members to get help right on campus, that option may require those who need help to wait weeks or even months to be seen. However, there are additional options that are close to campus and around the Greenville area.

The CCSD does have a few additional clinics besides the main one. The Family Therapy Clinic, located at 612 East Tenth St., offers individual counseling, couples counseling, and counseling sessions for families. They can be contacted at 252-737-1415.

A few other ECU counseling centers located on campus include the McClammy Lab (252-737-4803), the Navigate Counseling Clinic (252-744-0328), and the PASS Clinic (252-737-4180). All these clinics offer individual, family and group counseling sessions.

In times of need, there is also the Crisis Center, which offers immediate services to students who are in serious need of assistance. They can be reached at 252-328-6661 on weekdays between 11 am to 4 pm. However, if you are in need after hours, press “2” at the end of the call to access 24-hour assistance.

Although it may benefit students to stay close to and on campus for counseling, whether it be due to their limited transportation or time constraints, there are numerous counseling clinics located around Greenville, many that the CCSD has already been referring students too.

One service students and faculty can try includes Side By Side Counseling, located at 2045 Eastgate Dr. It offers counseling for individuals and groups for a variety of issues, such as PTSD, alcohol and drug abuse, Depression and Anxiety, anger management, etc. It can be reached at 252-752-1333.

Another service in the Greenville area is Aspire Counseling, located at 223-D Commerce St., which offers services for, but not limited to, depression, anxiety, substance abuse and family counseling who can be reached to schedule an appointment at 252-375-8658.

Everyone experiences problems at some point or another in their life, and many experience these problems during their college years. While resources may seem limited at times, it is always important to reach out for help.

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