June 5, 2023

Counseling Service here to help

Ross Bandics, counselor at NCC
Ross Bandics, counselor at NCC

Reasons why students visit Counseling Services tend to run in trends and right now two big ones are students losing their health insurance or having to cope with stress.

Students face problems when they can no longer rely on unemployed parents to pay for medication for learning disabilities or mental health issues, says Ross Bandics, a counselor at NCC. Counseling Services will try to help these students tap community health services to assist them in getting their needed medications.

For many students, anxiety kicks in toward the end of the semester when finals are looming, but stress often strike earlier than that.

“A couple weeks into the semester when students realize things aren’t going right, they find us,” Bandics said.

Not everyone seeks the help they may need, Bandics said. “First-year students trying to cope with college who really need the help won’t admit to it and seek it out.”

If friends of a student notice that person is in distress, they can mention something to Counseling Services. However, Bandics said, his office cannot disrupt classes and excuse people, and some laws even restrict what it can say or do.

In such situations, Bandics said, Counseling Services takes things case by case.

In crisis situations, counselors are trained to stay calm and make sure the student will not be identified as the student who caused a scene and needed emergency services.

Citing the case of a “young student who was not dealing with reality and needed emergency help,” counselors handled the situation so that the student would not be ridiculed or embarrassed, Bandics explained.

The Counseling office offers a variety of services, including providing academic counseling, helping disadvantaged students prepare for college, and assisting in the college’s leadership program.

Students who need academic or personal counseling can find Counseling Services in College Center 250 on the Main campus. Students also can call the office at 610-861-5342 on the Main campus and 570-620-9221 at Monroe.

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