Leanne Tan
Student Writer

Counseling services offered by the Engle Center were previously free for Messiah students. However, the extreme popularity of the program has recently caused the college to begin charging students for individual counseling services after the fifth session.

According to Director of Counseling and Health Services Eleanor Muir, the decision resulted from difficulty in maintaining on-campus services. The decision was not an easy one, but, it seemed the best among all available options, some of which included cutting services and placing an additional fee on all students.

“This new approach makes sure that any student who wants to talk with a counselor has an opportunity to do that and doesn’t have to go on a waiting list,” Muir said. “Also, there’s a lot of alternatives to individual one-on-one counseling on campus and we’re trying to help plug students into any of those interventions that may help and support them.”

In light of the change, Minds Matter and the Engle Center are collaborating with various groups to provide students with alternatives to one-on-one counseling. However, these alternatives are not meant to be substitutes for professional help. The Engle Center recognizes this and will help students who are not financially capable to pay for counseling services.

“We will never let inability to pay for services stop students from receiving proper treatment at the Engle Center,” Muir said.

One of the groups Minds Matter and the Engle Center are working with is SAGE. Two of the many programs offered by SAGE are RISE and MAP. RISE (Realigning Intimacy and Sexual Expression) is a group that seeks to support female students hoping to better understand their own sexual influences and experiences. MAP (Men Achieving Purity) is a group for men on campus aimed at working through challenges involving pornography and sexual addiction.

In an effort to reach out to underrepresented students, the Engle Center has also partnered with the Multicultural Council to start a support group for women of color.

“The main purpose of the group is to provide women of color with a safe space to talk about their experience on campus and to support and love each other,” said Candace Johnson, a counselor at the Engle Center.

The group meets every other Wednesday and is open to all identifying female students of color.

Minds Matter and the Engle Center are also working with the Unity House (also known as the Men’s Ministry House) to provide men on campus with a safe space to share, be vulnerable and receive support from other men. The Unity House aims to break the stigma of masculinity and pursue what it truly means to be men of God.

Minds Matter holds club meetings that are open to anyone who wants to take part in discussion and awareness around mental health challenges.

“Minds Matter is working to create an open space where people can support and listen to each other’s stories,” said Ashlynn Young, president of Minds Matter.

Meetings run every Wednesday evening, 7 to 8 p.m., in Hoffman basement.

Minds Matter is also working to put together a peer support group to get students involved with peer counseling. The group is scheduled to be up and running either in the spring or next fall.

For further information on any of the groups mentioned above, students can contact the Engle Center at (717)-691-6035 or visit englecenter@messiah.edu. Students in need of the Engle Center’s counseling services, do not need to fill out any paperwork prior to making an appointment. They can schedule a session by simply by calling or dropping by the Engle Center.

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