In an effort to meet the increasing demand for counseling on campus, Southern Adventist University’s Counseling Services will soon launch in-dorm counseling Mondays through Thursdays from 6 to 9 p.m. According to Counseling Services Coordinator Tiffany Bartell, the program is being funded through COVID-19 relief funding.
The new counseling services will be provided in Talge Hall on Mondays and Wednesdays and in Thatcher Hall on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Though the location alternates between men’s and women’s dorms, students can schedule an appointment at either location.
According to Bartell, a campus-wide email will be sent to all students once the dorm counseling services have launched, and an announcement will be posted on Southern’s Counseling and Testing Services’ Instagram page. The upcoming announcement will include final details regarding specific locations within the dorms. Students will then be able to call Counseling and Testing Services at 423-236-2782 to schedule a 45-minute appointment. Walk-ins are not accepted.
The idea of in-dorm counseling was sparked by Director of Student Support Services Jim Wampler, Bartell said. After reading about several large universities that embedded counselors into their various departments, Wampler wondered if Southern should try something similar. So, he suggested planting counselors within the dorms.
“We’ve been trying to find creative ways to help students have the services they need,” Bartell said.
She said demand for counseling on Southern’s campus has been increasing for several years now. But students’ schedules don’t always line up with available counseling appointments. Often, studies and work during business hours make it difficult to fit in counseling as well.
“So that’s kind of what this [initiative] was born out of, was the desire to provide students with a little more flexibility in scheduling counseling… and then also just providing more appointments, because we know that’s always a need,” Bartell said.
According to Bartell, Counseling Services hopes that this new initiative will provide continued support for students as they navigate the difficulties of college life.
“I know many students really work hard to help put themselves through Southern, and they need just as much support, if not more, than everybody else,” Bartell said. “We want there to be a chance for everyone to participate.”
Looking towards the future, Bartell is optimistic about the program.
“We are excited to try it out and see how students like it this semester,” Bartell said. “… We’re hoping that some kind of funding can continue for it in the future.”