Mental Health and Counseling in College

Sierra Benson, Guest reporter

Normally when you think of college you don’t think about your mental health but you probably should. Here at East Central College there are counseling services available for students but many are unaware of this and are missing out on this important opportunity to get help or just have someone to talk to.

After talking to some students at East Central that had no idea that there was counseling available on campus, it was time to go talk to the two counselors Jenny Kuchem, LPC and Lesley Peters, PLPC here at ECC. Jenny Kuchem has been a counselor at ECC for 12 years and has many other roles at ECC. Lesley Peters is new to being a counselor and is also an advisor.

The counseling services at ECC are completely free and the counselors are always considerate of your times and schedules. There’s also no commitment, if you decide counseling isn’t for you or you have any other problems you don’t have to go just let them know and they are very understanding, they are simply here just to help you. No matter if you’re a male or female student or even a nontraditional aged student you are welcome and can get help at ECC.

In college, you may think mental health isn’t important and think you should just ignore any problems that you may be having but you shouldn’t. Counselor Jenny Kuchem asked, “If you had a heart condition would you go to the cardiologist?”   Well it’s the same with mental health, whether you’re having a crisis or just need someone to talk to that isn’t biased, keeping up on your mental health is key to being healthy.


Kuchem also went on to say how that ECC’s counseling services is a good place to come for students without insurance and sometimes is their only option to get help. Although that the counseling at ECC is more of a bandage/brief solution counseling, they have counseled students up to a year at a time but it’s not permeant. Lesley Peters said, “Jenny knows what’s out there in the community and can recommended students to more permeant counseling services.”

So if you’re considering on giving counseling a try you can go to Buescher Hall to the Student Services desk and ask to talk to either Jenny Kuchem or Lesley Peters or you can even look out for the tables that the Psychology club host. Lesley Peters will be with the Psychology club at one of their tables on April 26th. They will have mental health information and you’ll be able to make a stress ball while you’re there. Remember mental health is not something you should brush off and at ECC they have the counseling services here to help you so take advantage of it.

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