Counseling and Consultation Services is located in the HRC. Collegian file photo.
CALVIN PRENKERT| NEWS REPORTER | firstname.lastname@example.org
No matter what problems you may be dealing with, big or small, the Counseling and Consultation Services team wants Butler University students to feel comfortable asking for help.
That’s why Shana Markle, associate director of CCS, and Iris Mosah, a staff therapist within the CCS department, are adopting a new initiative at Butler called Let’s Talk: a drop-in consultation service offered four different times during the week at both the HRC and the Diversity Center.
Although new to Butler’s campus, the Let’s Talk program model has been used at many other colleges campuses across the country. Over the summer, Markle and the CCS team were looking for ways to try and invite students to destigmatize asking for help.
For Markle and the CCS staff, the goals of Let’s Talk are simple.
“We want to decrease any barriers to services so that students have as much accessibility to the help that they can get,” Markle said. “Our counseling is free, it is confidential and people don’t have to commit to being in therapy for their tenure at the university.”
Accompanying Markle on Mondays from 1 to 2 p.m. and Wednesdays from 10 to 11 a.m. will be Scooter, the new therapy dog employed by the counseling services team.
Markle hopes that this addition will accomplish two things at once: allow students to seek help from a professional and to interact with Scooter.
“[Students] can come in and have access to a counselor, or Scooter can be available at that same time if they simply just want to come and be comforted by him,” Markle said.
Markle also noted that while the service is a great place to start if you’re dealing with something and are in search of help, it should not serve as a replacement for therapy.
“It’s usually something that is short term,” Markle said. “You may come in for 10 or 15 minutes once in a while, but if you’re looking for something that is regular, therapy would still be your best bet.”
Lauren Lintner, a first-year international business major, is appreciative of the university’s recognition of different types of student needs.
“I think offering those services that make it a little easier to ask for help is really helpful,” Lintner said. “They’re not throwing you into the pool and telling you to sink or swim, they’re giving you a little life jacket to help you float.”
Likewise, sophomore pre-pharmacy major Elizabeth Jira thinks highly of the program’s potential benefits for Butler students.
“I think that the Let’s Talk program will be an extremely beneficial source for students,” Jira said. “Since it is informal, I think many students will find it less intimidating and will hopefully use it if needed.”
Markle and the CCS team hope that the program will be well received by the students, and that those who need help will feel comfortable enough to attend a Let’s Talk session.
However, if the program doesn’t seem to serve the needs of the students most effectively, Markle said that the CCS department will head back to the drawing board, committed to making sure they provide the best care possible for Butler students.
“We’re hoping this is something that students will appreciate, but if not, we can just edit and adjust it as we go,” Markle said.