University Counseling is committed to providing therapy from a Christian perspective for any OBU student, faculty or staff member with respect for individual differences based on race, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, spirituality, and sexual orientation. We strive to provide an atmosphere in which members of the OBU community can feel secure and comfortable to explore their personal, academic, or other concerns.
The many transitions encountered by students during their college years involve significant change, increased responsibility, and important decision making. Social and emotional concerns can also generate conflict or dissonance, which make it difficult for people to function at their best. Our role is to assist clients with personal difficulties in an unbiased, objective way and expand their ability to cope with personal development and environmental demands through their own resources. Typical issues and concerns which bring students and others to therapy may include:
- Adjusting to college life
- Family problems
- Motivation and goal setting
- Roommate conflicts
- Lack of self-confidence
- Decision making
- Stress management, relaxation
- Feeling blue, lonely
- Death of a loved one
- Test anxiety, study skills
- Time management
- Eating problems
- Substance abuse
- Physical or sexual abuse
- Sleep problems
- Marital or premarital concerns
We respect your privacy and will provide you with information about our confidentiality policy. Counseling records are private and not a part of any other university records. Appointments of 45-50 minutes in length are typically scheduled once weekly. Because we are sensitive to the demands on your time, we use a short-term therapy format, which is effective for the majority of counselees. Clients whose needs are beyond the scope of University Counseling will be provided with referral and consultation services.
What is the purpose of the Student Support Network?
The Student Support Network is a component of the OBU University Counseling Center. SSN members are selected and trained to enhance student awareness of mental health and wellness throughout the OBU community. SSN members will be central within a supportive network of students trained and committed to improving the quality of life for all members of the OBU community. SSN members will also be given the opportunity to offer active and passive programming that will enhance the education, skill building, and personal growth to further fellow students’ well-being, coping, and resilience. SSN members will disseminate information about the services provided by the University Counseling Center and decrease the stigma associated with seeking counseling. As student leaders reaching out to other students, SSN members serve as positive role models for the campus community.
What do SSN members do?
The role of an SSN member at OBU provides a wide variety of opportunities for both personal and professional growth. SSN members will be extensively and thoroughly trained in recognizing and describing mental health concerns and will assist their peers in locating appropriate resources either on campus or in the community. SSN members will create a network that will raise awareness of mental health concerns among their fellow students. SSN members will be given the opportunity to provide programming on a variety of topics including but not limited to: recognizing and coping with depression and anxiety, developing healthy relationships, and stress management. Although they will not provide counseling, SSN members will enhance interpersonal and support skills which will help prepare them to function in leadership roles where they live, learn and work.
What are the expectations and responsibilities of an SSN member at OBU?
- SSN members will become knowledgeable about common mental health concerns of college students and be able to make effective referrals and increase help seeking behavior on campus
- SSN members are approachable, good listeners, good leaders, respected by their peers, and possess good communication skills
- SSN members are creative and are willing to look at problems from different perspectives
- SSN members will strive to be positive role models within the OBU community
- SSN members will maintain confidentiality of fellow SSN members, and other members of the community
What are the benefits of becoming an SSN member?
- Learn valuable skills that will help in furthering your professional career
- Help students in need by raising awareness of mental health concerns
- Become part of a community service group on campus
- Opportunity to meet new people within the OBU community
What happens and what are the requirements for SSN training?
Peers are selected and supervised by the director of the University Counseling office and must attend an initial orientation meeting, along with six scheduled trainings throughout the semester. Training sessions will occur weekly and last up to an hour and a half and will cover topics including the nature of crisis and struggle, core support skills, recognizing and responding to others in distress, common student mental health concerns and awareness of key supportive resources on campus. The training sessions are highly interactive and focused on real issues and concerns. SSN members are also encouraged to support other initiatives and activities organized by SSN including special interest sessions, peer education efforts and general advocacy to promote mental health on campus.
How do I become an SSN member?
SSN members are OBU students who promote healthy lifestyles and supportive resources on campus. We seek energetic, compassionate, and creative students with good social skills and good judgment who are committed to educating others about mental health issues and resources.
You may pick up an application packet in the Student Services office (GC 101). Applications are reviewed for appropriateness for the program and all applicants will be contacted to be notified of their status with the program.
University Counseling personnel are available to student organizations, residence complexes, classes, and other groups upon request to provide programs on such topics as dating violence, stress and anger management, assertiveness and communication training, burnout, healthy life styles, and others. Arrangements can by made by calling 405.585.5260