For some students, the demands of college life can become overwhelming and unmanageable. In efforts to help all students who need professional support, Union’s Counseling Services have added four counselors to their staff.
The additional staff means more flexible hours, including evening hours that may be beneficial to graduate students and others who cannot make it during the day.
“We have a diversity of staff with a variety of experiences,” Tamarin Huelin, director of counseling services, said. “We have combined social work staff and counseling staff.”
Among the newest members of Counseling Services is Brandon Bailey. Bailey is a Licensed Master Social Worker with experience in child welfare and counseling. Bailey earned his Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work from Union and also serves in the School of Social Work as director of marketing and continuing education. Bailey will provide 10 hours per week of counseling services.
In addition to Bailey, Mary Lawson Day will be providing 10-15 hours per week of counseling services. Day graduated with a sociology degree from Salem College in North Carolina and received her Master of Social Work from the University of Tennessee. Day’s background includes 10 years of experience in mental health counseling.
Counseling Services also welcomes Jonathan Harris. Harris earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master of Ministry degree from Freed-Hardeman University. He is recognized as a licensed professional counselor with a Mental Health Service Provider designation by the state of Tennessee and as a nationally certified counselor by the National Board of Certified Counselors. Harris will be providing five hours of counseling per week.
Beginning Nov. 1, Melissa Davignon will join the staff, providing 10 hours per week of counseling services. Davignon has counseling experience with individuals, couples, families and groups. She grew up in Dallas, Texas and completed her undergraduate degree at Texas A&M University. Davignon earned a masters in counseling from the University of North Texas and integrates a Christian counseling approach.
Rounding out the group is Paul Deschenes, former director of Counseling Services. Deschenes served in this role for 15 years before retiring during the summer. Though now in part-time private practice, he will provide five hours per week of counseling services for students. Deschenes offers a wealth of experience in crisis and mental health counseling.
Counselors are available for confidential sessions to currently enrolled undergrad and graduate students for free.
Huelin said that unlike some counseling centers, Union’s Counseling Services sees God as a part of the process.
“All of our counselors have a strong commitment to Christ,” she said. “We can do so much more with the healing process as Christian counselors, because we see the glory that God has given us and we also see the depravity.”
Most college students encounter academic, personal and social stress at some point during their educational experience. Huelin hopes students who need support will seek out their services.
According to Huelin, if students are experiencing fatigue, a change in sleeping or eating habits, are unusually nervous or irritable, are struggling academically and overall are not feeling well in any particular area of their life, they should contact Counseling Services.
Although any one sign does not indicate serious concern, students are encouraged to schedule an appointment with staff to determine if counseling will be beneficial.
Huelin’s office is located in Safety & Security Suite in the Student Union Building in room SA65. All other counselors are located in Bowld 119.
A counselor is available during the hours of 8-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and on a limited basis in the evenings.
Students seeking counseling services should contact Sheryl Wren in the Health Clinic at 731-661-5284.