WHAT IS CCS? WHY DOES IT EXIST?
I’m a firm believer that every college student can benefit from mental health resources. On top of everyday stress of being a college student, we all also deal with life stuff: relationships, losses, financial stress, depression, anxiety, break-ups, identity crises, eating disorders–the list goes on and on. Finding support that can help you navigate all of this is crucial. Counseling and Consultation Service (CCS) is an amazing campus resource that helps many Ohio State students navigate not only the stress and struggles of being a college student, but also of just being a person.
WHAT DOES COUNSELING ACTUALLY LOOK LIKE?
I want to talk to you a little about the process of connecting with CCS. I grew up with a stigma around mental health, and so the first thing I used to think of when someone brought up CCS was of a client laying on a couch talking and a therapist sitting close by, the therapist nodding their head and saying “Mm hmm” and occasionally scribbling notes on a notepad.
Some people do go to CCS for one-on-one sessions. These sessions last an hour and consist of you and your therapist having a discussion about what you are experiencing, validating how you’re feeling, and coming up with strategies and steps to help you get to a place where you can be successful at Ohio State. However, CCS offers way more than one-on-one sessions. They have numerous groups to choose from that focus on a shared identity, issue or experience, and others that focus on skill-building (though it’s important to note that an initial screening is required to determine eligibility to join a group). CCS also holds drop-in workshops (no screening required) that are more low-key and help students with quick strategies and wellness practices.
One thing that I didn’t know about until recently is that CCS has started an initiative to embed clinicians in colleges across campus. This means that some therapists are trained solely with specific majors and schools. Check online or talk to your academic advisor to see if your college offers this!
HOW CAN A STUDENT ACCESS CCS?
Getting started with CCS can be the most daunting part, especially if you are like me. That’s why I am going to walk you through the steps to take to get started:
- Go to the Counseling and Consultation Service webpage.
- On the left, select “Schedule a Phone Screening.”
- Select the link for online registration to schedule a phone screening time. This page also explains what to expect from the phone screening.
- Actually DO the phone screening. Be as honest and open as possible.
- Plan a follow-up with the person on the phone. Together you will discuss preferences in therapy style and next steps, which may include a referral to a community support network (that’s the “Consultation” part of CCS).
WHAT IS NOT UNDER THE SCOPE OF CCS?
The CCS homepage includes a link to mental health support options. This page discusses other campus resources, as well as what to do if you are in crisis or in need of immediate help. This page has the phone numbers for countless hotlines, text lines, and other resources.
WHAT SHOULD I TAKE AWAY FROM THIS?
If there is anything I want for you to know, it is that you are not alone. Countless other students–including me–utilize this resource. As a stubbornly independent person who grew up thinking only “crazy” people need therapy, learning to ask for help and coming to the realization that I couldn’t get better on my own was a journey. Needing help is NORMAL. Asking for help is OKAY. It’s what makes you an adult. People ask for help all the time when things happen like breaking an arm, or they are struggling to study for a test, or they can’t reach something off of a tall shelf on their own. Asking for help with mental health should be no different. Advocate for yourself, for your friends, and for your loved ones.