Counselors offer crisis help

Kaitlyn Lange, Lamp staff

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SPRINGFIELD — As the Fall semester begins to wind down, students are preparing to call the Advising, Counseling and Career Services office to enroll in upcoming classes, but what many students don’t realize is that these are all different services.  The differences between the advising/career services and counselor services are often overlooked since they’re grouped together.

“I’ve used the counseling services minimally, just for registration, and they were super helpful, or maybe that was the advising services? Whoever I went to was helpful either way,” said Darcie McLean, a nursing student at Lincoln Land Community College.  

For students like McLean and others looking to register for classes, they’re going to head over to the advising office.  The advising office works to ensure that students are taking the best possible classes for them. They predict what students will need in their future careers and advise them in which classes to take.    

The counselor’s office offers more personal services to help students through difficult times. Every counselor’s goal is to help students work through any obstacles in their life that might be affecting their success at Lincoln Land.

Made up of Claire Heffron-McKinney, Melissa Franzen, Ryan Howland, Anne Armbruster and director Scott Queener, each counselor has had a minimum of seven years of schooling, and are ready to listen to students.  

“Our main premise is to offer a safe space for a student to talk about anything that is impacting them personally, that would also impact them academically,” said Claire Heffron-McKinney, a counselor at LLCC.

Students typically attend four to six appointments with a counselor in which they talk to their counselor about how to resolve any issues affecting them. They’re given an Informed Consent Form and are made aware of the counselor’s duties following the Code of Ethics that counselors follow, including specific issues, like whether or not the student is a minor.  

Counselors are trained to handle things like drug-related issues, trauma, mental health, domestic violence and other problems. The school is equipped with two crisis counselors who have gone through additional training to handle certain situations and also have crisis trained officers available whenever needed.  

“As scary as it can be to get help we truly are a safe place for anyone.  No matter what they think is going on, if they feel like they need something it’s better to come in and let us help them find out.”, said counselor Melissa Franzen.

Lincoln Land counselors are available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Thursday and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays.  Both male and female counselors are available for students. Counselors encourage anyone going through a rough time to stop by their offices located on the first floor of Menard Hall. To see a counselor on a walk-in basis, come to the Advising, Counseling, and Career Services Office and ask to see a counselor at the front desk, or call 786-2591 to schedule an appointment.

Kaitlyn Lange can be reached at [email protected]