Shawnee State offers help to students with their academics through the Writing Center and the Math Lab, however, Shawnee also offers aid with student wellness. According to shawnee.edu, the campus counseling services are located at 1001 4th Street, in Hatcher Hall. There is an immense support system to use and talk to about any issues students may have. The director of counseling services, Dr. Linda Koenig, agreed to answer a few questions about the services on campus.
Koenig gave information into her background of why she began counseling services by saying, “I was a summer counselor when I was 15 and one of the young ladies who was a camper in my cabin disclosed to me that she was being sexually abused by her stepfather. At that time, there was no mandated reporting laws for folks in that position and I was very troubled by that. I went to school with this young lady’s brother and it really got me interested in trying to be helpful to people who had been victimized in some way or had been taken advantage of or was having a difficult emotional time. I probably had the bend towards counseling just because of my personality, and that event really got me thinking that I would like to be helpful to people in those kinds of situations.”
Koenig also made it clear that counseling can be beneficial to everyone, even those believing they do not need the services by stating, “I think the peer education services are probably the best thing we have for that. Peers seem to be more effective with college students and helping college students understand that if you are stressed out or you’re having relationship issues, or you have some type of chronic issue that affects your mental health; whether it’s a mental health diagnosis or whether it is a medical issue, there is help on campus for those things and there is a lot of support. It is okay to reach out and ask for help, that actually is a sign of maturity in adulthood; knowing when we need help and being able to go and seek it out.”
As any other student aid on campus, the counseling service has goals they set out to reach. Koenig gives more insight on this, “One of my goals is to have zero suicides among Shawnee State students. After that, I want to try to have the emotionally healthiest student body with the least [negative] mental health stigma that is possible. I would love to see students become healthier and healthier emotionally, and I would also love to see [the] stigma go completely away around mental health issues.” Koenig truly cares about the students who attend Shawnee State and wants them to grow and become healthier in all aspects of their life, especially in regard to their mental health.
According to shawnee.edu, there are also two phone numbers open for Shawnee State students to contact at any time, listed below.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Crisis Text Line: Text “shawnee” at 741-741 to receive support from counselors
According to Dr. Koenig, counseling services are available at Campus Counseling Services Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, or evenings by appointment. Their office can be reached by telephone at (740) 351-3608.