Counseling center advocates student psychological health

The struggles of life and college may be overwhelming.

Nevertheless, some students at Florida A&M University have no clue that a counseling center for mental health exists on campus.

“I don’t think as many students really know about the center and I don’t think it’s well-publicized,” said Brittni Jones, 26, a molecular biology graduate student from Bridgewater, NJ.

“I know the counseling center exists and I have a few friends that have utilized the center for short-term counseling.”

Some students seem to be fairly structured and maintained in college life.

They may not need to be counseled. One student says she didn’t know the center existed but had heard about it.

“I never knew about this center,” said Miranda Edwards, 22, senior business student from St. Petersburg. “I had no idea but I’ve never been in a position where I needed it.”

Some students really try to seek out these kinds of places when they the need help.

If and when the services of the center become prominent around campus, students may take advantage of it.

Now that Edwards is aware of the center she may utilize its services if “honestly” needed.

“I think it’s good to know about the center because if I honestly needed help, it would definitely be an option,” Edwards said.

The center’s existence may be merely a student’s thought that typically dissipates.

There may be an option of outside help for students because some may not want to utilize the campus’ counselors.

“It’s free and available therefore I know that the counseling center is a first choice for many students here at FAMU,” said Jones.

“I have friends that could probably use more professional counseling,” Edwards said.

However, she doubts that those friends would utilize “a school counselor.”

The Counseling Services Center is nestled in the Sunshine Manor building across from Tucker Hall.

The center methodically offers different types of counseling services and help.

“We offer individual counseling and some group counseling,” said Harold Ford, social worker and counselor at the Counseling Services Center.

Ford says the center is composed of a psychiatrist, a psychologist, two counselors and a social worker.

Ford says the center is not just for people with a serious mental health issue, but those who just may need to talk to someone.

“We don’t have a whole lot of people who are psychotic,” Ford said.

“Most of the students don’t need to be here as long, you know, a lot of times students just need to comb some things out.”

There’s a plethora of cases for depression, stress, and the “typical girlfriend- boyfriend cases that are most common. Contrary, the cases of ‘crazy kids’ are least common. “We don’t have a lot of crazy kids running around,” Ford said.

“If it was something that was dire, really important and wasn’t just something a regular, average, everyday friend could help out with then I would go to the center,” said Jones.

Regarding the publicizing of the center, Ford says they are always advertising the services of the center.

“We’re always doing something,” Ford said. “We publicize every semester and every year. The representatives for center are sometimes advocating on the Set,” Ford explained.

Ford explained that counseling sessions last for 55 minutes and at least once a week. He says services may take as long as 12 sessions a year, but are likely to exceed.

After sessions of counseling, a person should feel better and be well equipped to handle their concerns a little easier.

Everyone is welcomed to retrieve services from the counseling center.

If you need help don’t hesitate to pay a visit to the counseling center.

Counselors are waiting to render services to those in need.

The Counseling Services Center operates Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information contact Dr. Yolanda Bogan at (850) 599-3145.

Contact Cutina Francis at