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Counseling and Psychological Services help students adjust to university life

By Sean McLachlan
Arizona Summer Wildcat
July 28, 1999
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Arizona Summer Wildcat

Freshman year can be a bit overwhelming.

Living away from home for the first time, making a new group of friends and forging new relationships can give anyone the blues.

Adding a pile of homework to the mess doesn't help either.

For the average stressed-out student who is new to town, a huge university can feel pretty impersonal. Being surrounded by 35,000 strangers can be downright lonely.

But for troubled students, there's a place on campus to work out their problems.

The Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) office, on the second floor of the Campus Health Services building, offers confidential, low-cost counseling for all University of Arizona students. Students do not need to have university health insurance to use the center.

Campus Health is located across from the UA Main Library at the corner of North Cherry Avenue and the UA Mall.

Students wanting to talk about problems ranging from depression to substance abuse can make an appointment with one of many trained psychologists. The first session is free and later sessions are only $5-10 each. The psychologists are available every weekday.

"We ordinarily can see somebody the same day," said CAPS Director Kenneth Marsh. "The sooner we start dealing with whatever the issue is, the sooner it can get resolved."

Marsh estimates that over 1,500 students a year use the center. Most of them come in to deal with depression, stress, eating disorders, drug and alcohol abuse, family and relationship problems.

All visits are strictly confidential, parents and teachers are not informed, and no records can be released without the written consent of the student.

CAPS also offers support groups for a variety of issues, free of charge. Stress-relieving classes such as yoga, meditation, Tai Chi are offered for about $40 for the whole semester.

Campus resources are available to women who have suffered a sexual assault

The Federal Bureau of Investigation estimates that one in four women will be the victim of sexual assault in their lifetime.

"The first few weeks of freshman year is when they are most vulnerable," said Matt Sanders, assistant director of the OASIS Center for Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence.

The center is located in Old Main room 234 and offers confidential counseling and referrals. Counseling is available in person or over the telephone.

In addition to emotional support, the center offers information about legal and medical options as well as connections to campus and community support groups and crisis centers.