In the wake of last week’s shooting at Vivacqua Hall, Temple University is anxious to get the word out about the variety of counseling services that are available to students.
Shawn Walker, a former Temple student who shot ex-girlfriend Cori Miller in Vivacqua Hall last week, suffered from manic depression, according to a former teammate on Temple’s football team.
A Kansas State University study shows the number of college students seeking psychological help has increased over the past 10 years, according to a recent New York Times article.
The study also found that there has been an increase of mental illness among students.
“It seems to be a trend both [at Temple] and nationally,” said a senior psychologist with the University’s Tuttleman Counseling Services, Michael Silverstein.
“We have had a steady increase of numbers of people using our service and more people are coming to college …with mental health needs,” said the counseling program’s director, John DiMino.
DiMino said that part of the increase can be attributed to “the advent of newer medications that allow people to function better and allow people to come to college that [normally] wouldn’t be able to.”
DiMino, who has worked at the program since 1996, said he has seen more students each year needing hospitalization for psychiatric reasons.
In the past seven years, the program greatly increased the hours of counseling service available to University students.
About 1200 students utilized the program last year, said DiMino.
The program offers short-term psychological counseling to students as well as counseling for substance abuse and sexual assault trauma recovery, according to Silverstein.
The program also employs a full-time psychiatrist for medication evaluation and prescriptions.
The psychological counseling services offered within the program most often are used by students dealing with issues including relationship problems, anxiety and stress from both academic and social demands.
“While 80 percent of students we see are coping with normal developmental problems, there are students with more serious problems and we help them to find resources,” said Silverstein.
The Campus Alcohol and Substance Awareness program is also run by the counseling program.
CASA offers drug and alcohol related counseling, addiction counseling and several support groups.
CASA also runs the Adopt-a-Block program, which is a program funded by the liquor control board to promote positive community relations between students and long term residents.
The Sexual Assault Counseling and Education program offers therapy to individuals and groups who have experienced some sort of sexual trauma, such as rape, sexual abuse or stalking, according to program coordinator Pamela Feeedman.
“We [also] have an advocacy program,” said Freedman.
“If a student is raped on campus, we can go to the hospital or court to provide support.”
The SACE program also offers education and outreach to the community about rape and sexual assault.
Tuttleman Counseling Services also has offices on the University’s Ambler and Tyler campuses.
The Ambler office’s phone number is 215-283-1430 and the Tyler office can be reached at 215-782-2825.
The Main Campus office, located on the lower floor of Sullivan Hall, is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be reached at 215-204-7276.
You can find out more about their services on the web at www.temple.edu/counseling.
All services are free and confidential.
Sarah Watson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.