TSTC counselor not letting pandemic keep her from helping students

(HARLINGEN, Texas) – The current global pandemic has brought frustration for many, including Texas State Technical College students. TSTC is currently utilizing advancements in technology to continue its mission to help students through their time in college, even if things look a little different.

“Counseling services continue to be offered remotely,” said licensed professional counselor Angela Dunn, who works at both the Harlingen and Fort Bend County TSTC campuses. “Counseling services are available to any student who is currently enrolled and are free of charge. The services are provided via video, chat, or phone.”

Social distancing has brought many changes, and feelings of exhaustion and isolation can come into factor because of it. However, Dunn assured that students who feel this way are not alone, she even offered some advice on how to combat it.

“Many people are feeling very similar feelings right now,” she said. “One way to manage and cope with those feelings is to create a go-to distraction list. Individuals can create a list of enjoyable activities they normally do in their spare time. The more distracted we are, the less likely our minds will have time to think negatively.”

Dunn reiterated that we must also be kind to ourselves when we begin to feel anxious.

“Engage in positive self-talk. We tend to be very critical of ourselves and it’s important to remember that you are human and trying to do your best,” she said. “Create a list of realistic self-affirmations or positive characteristics about yourself. Reading this list every day to yourself, you can increase your self-esteem and mood.”

Individual care is vital through this time, as is asking for help when you need it.

“If you find that you are struggling most days with anxiety, depression or feeling overwhelmed then you should definitely reach out to the counseling center,” she said. “We as humans have an innate need for connection. Without connection many people feel lonely and lost. Going to counseling will give you that opportunity to connect with another human being that can provide an outside perspective. Sometimes it makes all the difference to be able to talk to someone.”

Student Counseling at TSTC is hosting a mental health awareness art contest, which will run through the end of June. The theme for the contest is Mental Health Awareness and Self-Care During COVID-19 and is open to all currently enrolled TSTC students. Submissions include short stories, photography, digital art and essays. Gift cards will be awarded to selected winners. TSTC students are encouraged to visit TSTC Harlingen’s Facebook page for information to enter.

For more information about Student Counseling at TSTC, visit tstc.edu/student_life/counseling2.