University Counseling Services are free help for students

A common misconception among CSUN students is how much counseling will cost them. Located in Bayramian Hall Room 520, the CSUN University Counseling Services (UCS), run by Director Dr. Mark Stevens, is a place for students to receive personal counseling, group counseling, outreach and consultation and training.
“We have a variety of services and they’re all free,” says Director Dr. Mark Stevens.

Students are encouraged to visit the UCS if they feel like talking about stress issues, problems dealing with relationships and family, to learn how to deal with anxiety, to cope with crisis events, or just to “Feel Better!” The team working at the UCS consists of over 20 members comprised of psychologists, marriage and family therapists, social workers, psychiatrists, pre-doctoral interns, graduate assistants, psychiatric residents and administrative staff.

“Students can go there looking for help. It’s free and very good. They have group sessions, which I’ve never been to, but they also have 1 on 1. It’s pretty cool to have one on campus,” says CSUN student Eric Oh. “They aren’t that packed, but I don’t think it’s cause people don’t know about it. I think it’s cause people are scared to go. I heard about it from my advisor and at first I was [embarrassed] but then after I went, I wasn’t anymore. It’s just somewhere you can go to talk to people when you can’t talk about it to anyone else.”

“More and more people are coming to counseling. The stigma has been reduced significantly,” says Stevens.

On their Web Site (www.csun.edu/counseling/), the UCS provides information for students to use without having to go to their office. You can find information on saving money, managing time, and maintaining a balance for emotional well-being.

“You don’t need to be sick to come to counseling, you just need to feel stuck,” says Stevens.

Aside from receiving counseling, a student can visit the UCS to become a peer educator to help other students. Becoming a peer educator is an opportunity for students to become better connected to the CSUN community. As a peer educator, students will be able to provide accurate information by gaining in-depth knowledge on a particular issue. Peer educators have the opportunity to deliver presentations to classes, clubs and organizations and raise awareness on vital societal issues.

Some of the practical advantages for students to become a peer educator include receiving priority registration, earning additional academic credits, and enhancing your resume and/or graduate school application.

“Had I known there was free counseling services for students on campus, I wouldn’t have been paying to go to therapy out of my own pocket. And as a starving college student, it would have helped me,” says former student Brad Sessler.

“No, it doesn’t go on their academic. Whatever is said in here, stays in here,” says Stevens.  All counseling sessions are strictly confidential. Counselor records are entirely separate from academic files, and are unavailable.

If you would like to make an appointment with the UCS, you can reach them at (818) 677-2366