- Email: Kristi.Irving@gotoltc.edu
Counseling services are available on campus to assist students in dealing with issues that can impact their overall well-being. Your counselor understands that there are pressures and challenges to be faced throughout a student’s academic career and that these can contribute to heavy amounts of stress, and sometimes even crisis. Working with a counselor during these times can be beneficial in the following ways:
- Linking students to school and community resources
- Helping students identify strengths and sources of support
- Offering a different perspective
- Assisting students in improving problem solving and coping skills
- Providing a safe place to talk and have someone who will listen
If it is in the best interest of the student, the counselor may refer students to community mental health professionals and outside resources.
If you are looking for information and resource referral for yourself or a friend, check out this web site: www.ulifeline.org
For after hours emergencies, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK to speak with a trained professional and get connected to a mental health provider in your area. It’s available 24 hours a day nationwide.
You can also dial 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.
Please call 920.693.1109, or stop by the Student Services Registration Desk located in the Lakeshore Building.
Lakeshore Technical College Statement of Confidentiality
Personal information that you share with a counselor is confidential unless you give permission to share it with others. The only exceptions to this policy are when it involves potential harm to self or others, when the safety of a child is at risk, or when it is requested by a court order.
Are you grieving? With COVID-19 and the amount of racial injustices occurring finally being brought to light, many of us are experiencing intense emotions.
Whether we feel sad anxious, angry, on edge, or fearful …
Whether we feel a loss of our sense of normalcy, or of our comfort in the world …
It’s important to acknowledge that this could be grief. Grief can take many forms and is likely to feel outside of our control. Once we acknowledge it, we are in a better position to manage the emotions it can trigger.
Self-care is NOT selfish, it’s SMART.
Imagine being dehydrated and giving someone the last bottle of water you have. This might be kind, but now puts you at risk.
Why not drink the water, rehydrate, then use that energy to find more water. This way you stay okay and are now in a better position to help not just one person, but several.
Are your kids struggling with all the time at home?
Experts recommend planning their day, even if on break. Getting a whiteboard, or a family schedule where everyone can see what is going on for the day can be helpful.
Also, kids do better with choices, so give them some solid ideas to select their activity for the day. If you have more than one child, let them take turns selecting activities, or allow each their own. This can help cut down on arguments and complaining!
Resiliency means having the tools and ability to cope when things get tough and still be able to see what’s good.
If you are overall physically healthy, your body has enough immunity to fight off germs, so you are more likely to bounce back from the flu or a cold, meaning you might not get as sick or stay sick for as long. If you have overall good mental health, you are more likely to bounce back when facing stress, trauma or adversity.
Since resiliency is a skill, even if you don’t think you have it, you can develop it!
Relationship tip: If you are in a disagreement with your partner and find that intense emotions have been triggered, causing you to want to blow up at them, melt it!
Grab a piece of ice and hold it in your hand until it melts.
The cold sensation will keep you grounded in the here and now, and allowing the ice to melt gives you time for those emotions to calm so you are in a better position to resume a productive disagreement instead of it escalating.
Mental fitness is as important as physical fitness.
Just like you can’t bench press 300 pounds without starting lighter and consistently building your muscles, the same goes with mental fitness. Building emotional “muscles” by making small, positive changes, repeated and practiced, will yield big results.
Take the journaling challenge! Do you journal? Journaling can be a great way to track our thoughts and moods, look for patterns, work out negative emotions and focus on positive thoughts. For many, journaling is a necessity, for others a chore. If you’ve always wanted to journal but are concerned you won’t make the time to do it, set a timer. Get yourself a fun, personalized (whatever this means to you) notebook or journal and set a timer each morning or evening for five minutes. Most of us have five minutes we can spare. This allows you to get started, but without the feeling that you need to spend hours on it. If you still want to write after the timer goes off, great. If you don’t, that works too!
If you read the journaling tip last week and took the challenge, or want to do some self reflection through writing, here’s your first thought challenge/journaling prompt:
If you could change one thing about your life that you feel would have the greatest impact on all other facets of your life, what would it be? How difficult would it be to make this change? How would your life look different if you did?
September is National suicide prevention month and September 6-12 is Suicide prevention week. What can YOU do to help prevent suicide?
- Know the signs and symptoms of suicide, which can be found here: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/how-we-can-all-prevent-suicide/
- If you see someone struggling, talk to them. Try to support them in seeking and obtaining help.
- Know your resources! National crisis text line is 741-741. National suicide hotline is 1.800.273.8255
- If *you* are struggling with suicidal thoughts, you may feel like you are alone. You are NOT alone, and there IS help! Over 275 of LTC’s staff and faculty are trained in suicide prevention, you do NOT have to struggle through this on your own. Reach out!
- Recognize that struggle does not equal weakness. Most people struggle at some point and it doesn’t have to be permanent. There IS help.
Pay attention to how often you tell yourself you “should” do something, or that you “shouldn’t” have engaged in a particular behavior. All words like “should”, “shouldn’t”, or “need to”, or “must” come with judgment. Sure, there’s a place for that, but how we speak to ourselves has power and long lasting impact. Instead of using these judgment words, try telling yourself “it might help me more if…” instead of “I should”, or “it might not help me if…” instead of “I shouldn’t”. Changing how we speak to ourselves allows us to be more mindful of what we choose to do instead of simply entering judgment about our actions. This creates space for choice and acceptance/tolerance of mistakes and leads to greater self-compassion. Pay attention to how you talk to yourself!
Thought challenge/journaling prompt: Make a list of at least ten things in life that make you smile. This list is yours and you don’t need to share it with anyone, so no judgement. Take your time with this and think about the items you are writing down. Spend about 30 seconds or so with each item. Close your eyes and tune into what happens in your body and in your brain as you consider each item. Stay with those feelings/thoughts as long as you can before moving onto the next item. Hang onto this list and revisit it often, especially when you might be having a tougher time. The more time we spend reflecting on positive, we start to change how our brain functions in a positive way.
Do you find that you are struggling to not stew on something negative? Most of us feel some anxiety about feeling negative emotions. We may get scared that if we allow those feelings in we will not be able to bring ourselves out. Many of us avoid, distract ourselves from or fight having those feelings. Unfortunately, this doesn’t usually help them go away, it just compounds the issue and often delays the inevitable.
What if you gave yourself permission to feel however it is you feel? If you are concerned about it ruining your day or stopping you from functioning, put a timer on it. Literally. Set your phone timer or a kitchen timer to whatever amount of time you feel you need. This could be 10 minutes or 2 hours. Take that time to feel all the negativity that’s been festering. Cry, scream, write, lay in bed, whatever is it that allows you to get out the emotion in a non-harmful way. When the timer goes off, you go back to your regular day.
This serves two purposes. You are giving yourself permission to feel what you feel, which often can de-intensify the feeling by itself. It also allows you to create space for scary emotions without the fear of not being able to come back from it.
Thought challenge/journaling prompt: What are the words you need to hear right now? Is there someone in particular you would want to hear these words from? What would it do for you to hear the words? Are these words something you can offer to yourself? Tune into your body. What do you feel as you think about the words you need to hear? Where do you feel it? What other thoughts does it bring up?