The counseling center offers a variety of free services for students and staff. It is located above the bookstore in the Student Affairs building, accessible to anyone that needs support. “Short-term confidential personal counseling,” according to the counseling department’s informational flyer.
Counselor Steven Martel said that “The four broad counselings that we do are personal counseling, career counseling, educational counseling, and crisis counseling.” According to a recent all BC FYI email, common personal issues discussed with the counselors “include anxiety, depression, relationship issues, social anxiety, trauma, cultural transitions, grief and loss.
Another counselor, Belle Nishioka explained: “A lot of people don’t know that we do different types of counseling, not just personal. We offer crisis counseling, career counseling so if they don’t know what they are majoring in, trying to figure out what their career is […] and educational counseling, which includes test anxiety, time management and study skills.”
The center provides complimentary services to students and staff. “It’s really nice because in other places counseling for just an hour is really expensive and we provide it for free.” Nishioka mentioned. Students are limited to six personal counseling sessions a year, but according to Martel: “Although some student’s need more than six sessions, then we can refer them to other places and resources.”
Generally, everything in the counseling center is kept confidential unless there is a major issue that makes the patron a danger to others or themselves. “So even if a high school student comes and says ‘I was wasted and did cocaine last night’ we can’t report that even if it is illegal […] but if it involves being a danger, then by law we have to report the issue […] by keeping things confidential, we want student’s to feel like it’s their safe space,” Martel commented.
An upcoming event called Talk, Text, Act is being co-sponsored by the counselors and Student Programs. This event is open to everyone starting on Monday, Oct. 6. Messages will be received by participants containing questions to spark conversation on difficult subjects. Nishioka explained: “TTA is an initiative to increase awareness around mental health issues, help students feel more comfortable talking about these issues, identify ways to help each other when someone is struggling and share resources both on and off campus so students know where they can get some help.”
The counseling department would like all students to be aware of the complimentary services they provide and “the reason why we are here to support students in all these different ways is to help ensure that students stay in school and are successful in school and to really link to BC’s mission.” The counseling department also stresses that if students need support then they should make an appointment with a counselor by calling the front desk at 425-564-2212 or visit the Advising/Counseling center on the second floor of the B Building.