Religion center offers students comfort

Tough situations will appear many times in a college student’s life.

Difficult decisions, stressors, overwhelming pressure and sheer exhaustion can make a person feel like they can’t handle all of the things thrown at them.

Fortunately, for us at UH we have an outlet – in fact, we have a couple of them.

The A.D. Bruce Religion Center is a place many students turn to when they are in need of guidance.

Various student religious organizations function through the Religion Center as well.

The Religion Center is a place for all religions, so of course everyone is welcome.

Whether you need to borrow someone’s ear for a while, or would like someone to hold your hand and point you in the right direction in your time of need, the Religion Center can do that for you as well.

Students sometimes forget that a friendly face, an unbiased opinion and open arms can go a long way after a really bad day.

‘So many of our students see the Religion Center as a place of refuge,’ said Diana Shanka, coordinator for the Religion Center. ‘People tend to lose sight of the fact that we are here for the students.’

The Religion Center helps students as much as they are able, but there are times when a student’s needs exceed the center’s ability.

They often refer the students to the Counseling and Psychological Services on campus. CAPS offers individual and group therapy, as well as referrals to other programs such as the Women’s Resource Center and Learning Support Services when appropriate.

CAPS provides quality mental health services to the UH campus community and helps clients develop the skills necessary for personal, academic and social success.

CAPS services include, but are not limited to, crisis intervention, individual, couples’ and group therapy, referrals, workshops and assessments for learning disabilities and ADHD.

‘ ‘CAPS works hard to offer intake appointments to gather the information necessary to determine the best next step in treatment,’ Brent Lane, clinical coordinator and psychologist at CAPS, said. ‘Groups (therapy) are an increasing popular treatment modality at CAPS, and they fill quickly, but with either approach, coping with academic and personal stressors, life transitions (such as graduation), relationship problems, or any other number of problems can be addressed quickly.’

With outlets all over campus for students to seek assistance, many may still choose not to for fear of lack of anonymity.

Rest assured Coogs, anonymity is of utmost importance if that is what you choose. Keep this in mind as well – if you receive services from CAPS that require the involvement and assistance from teachers, there are clinicians who can speak to them on your behalf.

CAPS is located in Room 226 of the Student Service Center, and the A.D. Bruce Religion Center is located directly behind the Roy G. Cullen Building, so feel free to stop by if you have any questions or concerns that you might need a little help with.

CAPS will be hosting National Anxiety Screening Day on May 6 to help students become more aware of the importance in recognizing anxiety and how it affects everyone.

By hosting these types of events, CAPS hopes students will become more aware of the psychological issues that can afflict students, and therefore open the door for them to seek help.

Some of these issues can be trauma, fear for personal safety and grief reactions: things students on our campus may have had to deal with because of criminal activity.

If you have questions about the exact services offered, and the hours of availability, stop by the CAPS center to gather the information needed.

‘It is important to remember that effective help is available if students utilize the resources at CAPS,’ Lane said.

Sometimes, a shoulder is all that may be needed, but when there is a greater need for outreach, our campus is well stocked in that department, too.

Shanka from the Religion Center wants every student to know that if ever the need arises, they can visit the center.

‘Come on over, I will always have a shoulder to lean on.’

‘ Alana MousaviDin is a communication senior and may be reached at [email protected].

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