RSU Counseling Center Expands Services to Meet Needs of Student Population

From left: Nikki Phillip, Counseling Services Coordinator; Jeremy Aragon, CREOKS Site Director; and Dr. Robert Goltra III, Vice President for Student Affairs

The Rogers State University Counseling Center is expanding services to meet the needs of its student population. These services include the addition of a graduate intern, online scheduling options and ecounseling, as well as partnering with CREOKS Health Services to provide mental health resources to serve the satellite campuses in Bartlesville and Pryor. 

CREOKS Behavioral Health Services is the largest non-profit mental health and substance abuse provider in Oklahoma. Our partnership with CREOKS will allow the RSU Counseling Office to provide support to a greater number of students and bring student services in alignment with an outstanding community partner,” Robert Goltra III, vice president for student affairs, said.

CREOKS, a behavioral health division offering 40 years of quality services and programs that benefit adults, adolescents and children in Oklahoma communities, is thankful to partner with RSU to assist students in times of need.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to partner on all RSU’s campuses, and we look forward to serving students to meet their health and wellness needs,” Jeremy Aragon, CREOKS site director, said. 

Many students experience anxiety or depression for the first time when they go to college. The Oklahoma State Regents have provided free suicide prevention training through Kognito to serve the well-being of students across the state.

Kognito’s At Risk for Faculty and Staff, an online conversation simulation, is a module that helps employees learn to discern signs of distress, use techniques to discuss concerns and if necessary, refer students to appropriate resources. 

“Suicide is the leading cause of death of people age 18-25 and more than 1,100 college students die by suicide each year,” Nikki Phillip, coordinator of counseling services, said. “When students are struggling, they often reach out to their friend, instructors, or other staff members for help. This training helps trainees be active listeners and get individuals to the help they need.”

At Risk for Faculty and Staff allows employees to practice these challenging conversations at you’re their pace through role play with virtual students. In a national study of effectiveness, the simulation has been shown to increase student referrals. It is also listed in the Suicide Prevention Resource Center’s Best Practice Registry and under review for inclusion the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices.

Jasmin Baker-Finch, an RSU alumna, joins Phillip as the graduate intern. She is currently in her final semester of the Master of Sciences in Counseling program at Northeastern State University.

“As our counselor in training, Jasmin will be scheduling appointments, conducting intake assessments and hosting group sessions. This is a great opportunity for her to put her skills into practice while preparing for a successful career as a counselor,” Phillip said.

The university’s addition of the online scheduling tool is a convenient way to book an appointment with the counselor and reduce traffic in the office while maximizing the number of students served. While the online scheduling tool is preferred, students can still call, email or walk in to make an appointment. Students can also choose ecounseling, a form of therapy offered through Zoom.

“Due to COVID-19, we have offered our counseling services both in person and through Zoom. This has been working well, and we hope to continue with this option moving forward,” Phillip said.

The Counseling Center has hosted several Cupcakes with the Counselor events to stop the stigma of mental health.

“These events have helped us connect with new students and let them know that short-term personal counseling is available to them while enrolled,” Phillip said. “We hand out cupcakes with a note that says ‘I saw the counselor’ as a small step to normalize seeking help for mental health. We want to ensure our students have a successful college career, and we are here to support them in times of need.”

The Counseling Center also offers ULifeline, an online health screening tool, information and resources about mental health issues. Students can also call the Grand Lake Mental Health Center Crisis Line at 800-722-3611, which is free and available after 5 p.m. weekdays and 24 hours on holidays and weekends, if they need immediate assistance.

RSU’s Counseling Center is now located on the first floor of the Dr. Carolyn Taylor Center room 103. To schedule an appointment, please visit www.rsu.edu/counseling.