By Briyahna Rice
Now that it’s September and back to school season, returning and new college students are bound to have a laundry list of things to accomplish. From finding internships and jobs, to making sure that class schedules are set for the semester, students are busy and stressed. However, on that same laundry list are problems that many college students face. From financial instability, and the pressures of juggling classwork and life, all the way to potential mental health problems that may go unnoticed or untreated.
These challenges are why Five Towns College is offering focus groups in the faculty lounge every other Wednesday, with the first one held on September 18th. These focus groups cater to students who may be struggling with issues to let them know that they’re not alone in their struggles.
“This one is called, Real Talk, and what I’d like students to take away from this group is to feel that they’re not alone, and to discuss what kind of issues are going on and hope that they feel a sense of belonging,” says Randi Giebel, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor at FTC who helped make the group meeting possible and accessible.
While the turnout was small for the first meeting, word of mouth is spreading by students who did attend and felt comfortable speaking in an open environment surrounded by peers and free of judgment.
“I would like to accomplish ending the stigma of mental illness and for everyone to feel that it's okay to get the help that they need,” Giebel said.
The next focus group is being planned for October 2nd. Be on the lookout for more information posted on campus in the upcoming week.