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SAU offers mental health counseling

By submitted, 04/14/20 9:33 AM

MAGNOLIA –  The outbreak of COVID-19 may be stressful for many members of our campus community. If you are feeling fear or anxiety about the disease, you are not alone and are encouraged to reach out to the professional counselors that are available to you.

The Southern Arkansas University Counseling Center is committed to prioritizing the health and wellness of our students, faculty and staff. With social-distancing measures in place, the counselors have implemented counseling via technology-assisted means. Appointments can be scheduled by calling Rhonda Basinger at 870-235-4911 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. A therapist will contact the client at the scheduled time.

The Arkansas Department of Health and the Arkansas Board of Examiners in Counseling has recommended the voluntary suspension of all non-emergency or non-urgent in-person care or services. Gov. Asa Hutchinson has suspended the usual rules and regulations regarding the use of technology-assisted distance counseling.

For any emergencies after hours, students still need to contact the University Police Department at 870-235-4100.

The Counseling Center offers the following tips on being productive while studying or working remotely:

Make sure you have a dedicated workspace. Arrange the equipment and tools you need (laptop, chargers, phone, etc.)

Get up at your regular time in the morning and follow a routine – take a shower, get dressed, and have a breakfast. Though it may be tempting to work in your pajamas, you may find yourself feeling less motivated to work and more inclined to take a nap.

Take a walk around the neighborhood to get out of being-at-home mode and into work mode (while maintaining social distance).

Find a video platform that will enable to you maintain social interaction at home. Many are available, including Zoom, Skype, WebEx, and Slack. Use video or chat to ask your teammates for help when you need it. The ability to ask for help is crucial for your mental health as well as your ability to do your job.

In order to stay informed, schedule for yourself a 15-minute news check twice a day. This can allow you to keep up with the latest developments without reducing your productivity or increasing anxiety.

Schedule mental health breaks – time for lunch, and shorter breaks throughout the day to walk or meditate. This will provide greater energy and ability to focus.

Do not neglect your mental health during this difficult time. We encourage anyone experiencing distress or wanting the opportunity to process your thoughts, feelings and reactions to seek support from our university counselors. Remember, you are not alone.