PC&TC starts initiative to support campus wide mental illness

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FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Pierpont Community and Technology College started back in December a campus-wide initiative to help break the stigma on mental health, and provide assistance to all their students across all 13 counties where they are located.

Suzan Clemens is the Director of Student Services at PC&TC, and she started this initiative to address the constantly growing mental illness issue in the state of West Virginia. The college offers services for a variety of mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, homelessness, food insecurity and child care, among others.

This service can provide students with anything from counseling, to resources and other programs that could help with whatever they may be going through. Clemens said the most important thing people must understand is that they are not alone.

“One out of four people across the nation has a diagnosable mental illness,” said Clemens. “Again, people don’t want people to know this about them because they are, looked down on. We work hand in hand with staff and faculty to make sure we are taking care of our student population, because they have to know that everyone is undergoing some sort of stress. We are very participatory, and everyone seems to be really excited about helping the students in this way.”

PC&TC received grant funding to help get their word out there about the program. As a result from COVID-19 and the growth of Telehealth, the college also provides this option, which can make a student feel more confident in reaching out for help.

“It’s physically walking into the building sometimes where people can feel embarrassed, and as a result not get the support they may need,” Clemens said. “Our goal is to get the word out there that we are here to help in whatever it may be, and there is no shame in having someone to talk to.”

For more information on the support services at Pierpont Community and Technical College, email access@pierpont.edu or call (304)-534-7878.

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