GRCC Counseling and Career Development team available remotely to help during stressful times

APRIL 10, 2020 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- The coronavirus crisis has brought many changes to students’ lives. Grand Rapids Community College's Counseling and Career Development Office is available remotely to help students work through the stress.

Counselors Andre Fields, Emily Nisley, and Stacey Heisler are offering 30-minute weekly or bi-weekly phone check-ins by appointment for GRCC students.

“We talk about coping skills and healthy strategies for living in social isolation, and just provide a listening space to talk about all the change and uncertainty they face due to COVID-19 other concerns they might have,” Heisler said. “We can also talk about concerns regarding career decision making.”

Students can visit the office’s website at grcc.edu/counseling or call (616) 234-4130 to set up a time to connect.

Counselors are taking an online Telementalhealth certification course so they can resume one-hour therapeutic counseling sessions by video in the coming weeks. They also are available to GRCC faculty and staff to provide support and consultation for students of concern.  

 “My advice to students is to recognize it is normal for them to feel stress and worry when there has been so much change, and so many ‘unknowns’ to deal with,” Heisler said.

“It's normal to feel sad at times for missing former routines and face-to-face connections with faculty, classmates, friends or family. But it's about maintaining an emotional balance: seek help if they experience significant and prolonged changes in their mood states, like persistent sadness, total loss of motivation, or aggressive feelings toward self or others.”

Students can seek help if there are changes in behaviors such as sleeping excessively or not sleeping at all. 

If students need to talk to someone immediately or if it's after our business hours, they can call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which is available 24 hours per day, seven days per week at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). But if they are experiencing a mental health emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Grand Rapids Community College offers learners of all ages opportunities to gain credits for degrees or transfer and in-demand career skills leading to rewarding careers. GRCC was established in 1914 – Michigan’s first community college -- and offers affordable classes on weekdays, evenings, Saturdays and online at locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.

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