What exactly is counseling, anyways?

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), one out of five adults will experience a mental illness.  Seventy-five percent of individuals struggling with a mental illness begin before the age of 24.  A recent survey conducted indicated that just over half of individuals (55%) struggling with a mental illness accessed mental health services.  In 2015-16, Counseling and Psychological Services was accessed by 2529 students.  More students could benefit from counseling.  But, what is counseling?  The primary reason why individuals don't seek counseling is the stigma associated with it.  "I have to be crazy in order to go to counseling," is one of the common myths heard relating to mental health services.  Additionally, individuals often observe the most dramatic and severe cases of mental health shown in movies and television - supporting such myths.  

Counseling happens daily.  It is the telephone conversation you have with family members, the discussion on a particular topic with classmates, and that casual meeting with friends over coffee.  Meeting with a counselor provides you the opportunity to have a friendly ear to put your feelings and thoughts into words.  It can help you to gain a better understanding and a different perspective on life events.  You don't have to be crazy to utilize Counseling Services. The top five reasons students use Counseling and Psychological Services are: anxiety, depression, stress, academic concerns, and difficulty concentrating.  Additionally, many more students access the numerous workshops we provide on various academic and personal topics.  Workshops can be a great way to learn more about yourself and the services available to you.  

For more information on mental illness in adults, feel free to visit the website for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (www.nami.org).  You can also learn more about Counseling Services at (www.sjsu.edu/counseling) and the numerous workshops being offered (www.sjsu.edu/counseling/students/Workshops/index.html).