Peer counseling is now available for Southern Utah State College students.
The counseling is done by members of Psi Chi, the national honor society in psychology.Gary Dunford, director of clinical counseling at SUSC, said students had asked if a peer counseling program could be set up, but in the past the space was not available. This fall, Dunford moved his Counseling Center adjacent to the Health Center in Manzanita Court, where more space was available.
"An apartment was made available for my office and another space became available for the kind of work that students have been asking to do," Dunford said. "These students are some of the most successful in the (psychology) department and in the last years of their college work. They are dedicated and capable students."
Although the student counselors receive training from Mark Winter of the psychology department and are supervised by Dunford, their range of services is limited and they will make referrals to trained professionals when appropriate.
"It has been shown that peer counselors can work effectively," Dunford said. "Many students who would not seek help from a professional will do so with a person more their own age. I feel they can also be an important liaison between students and the counselors in helping us be aware of the needs of the students."
The peer counseling center is in the lower level of Manzanita "C." For more information, call 586-7718.