NIU counseling center provides support for students

By MaryJo Kratochvil

For students who are feeling stressed, depressed or anywhere in between, the answer may be closer than you think.

The Counseling and Student Development Center, located in the Campus Life Building Room 200, has been helping NIU students solve their issues and guide them to get the right help they need.

“Students can walk in necessarily, not knowing what they need or want, just needing to talk it through with someone,” said Kimberly Cecil, a licensed clinical social worker at the center.

Cecil added that 2,272 people attended the center last year.

The services found at the center can be quite helpful for NIU students, said Morgan Clott, senior communicative disorders major.

“It is a good idea to have services like this, especially on a college campus,” Clott said.

The center helps students with their problems through various types of counseling and therapy.

“It is all mental health counseling and therapy,” Cecil said. “We provide, depending on the situation, individual therapy, group therapy, case management and help getting linked with a different provider.”

Sophomore nursing major Vanessa Vasquez said the center is a positive outlet for the students on campus.

“It is something important to have on campus,” Vasquez said. “I think it is a good option for students to go there and get the help they need.”

A student choosing to utilize a service can be guaranteed to be seen at least once, Cecil said.

“Depending on what the person needs and if we think we are the best service for that particular concern or issue, then we will see students here,” she said. “Or we will link them to another service in the community, either to another service on campus or another community provider who can help that student get what they need.”

Students that are enrolled or at least one course at NIU, can get help through appointments or walk-ins, Cecil said. As long as a student is currently enrolled at NIU, there is no fee to visit the center, but if an appointment is missed, a fee will be assessed.