Counseling Center, Public Safety aid students in crisis

Nov. 2, 2015

DeKeveion Glaspie
dglaspie@uccs.edu

On Oct. 16, an email was sent out on behalf of the chancellor regarding the sudden death of Sam Bracchi, a sophomore in the College of Business.

At the end of the letter, the family urged donations to Pikes Peak Suicide Prevention.

Resources exist on campus to help students deal with problems in their lives. The Counseling Center, located in Main Hall 324, has resources that are available to students and the public.

Benek Altayli, Counseling Center director, shared what actions they take for students.

“We have a pretty hands-on intensive crisis emergency prevention program and are available for calls for the dispatch in public safety,” she said.

Altayli added there are precautions they take for raising awareness and for students that may be going through a rough patch.

“We really work with them very closely, intensely for as long as the threat is continued.”

Students can use services offered at the Counseling Center for $15. If they have student health insurance, the sessions are free.

Those students who are enrolled in Clyde’s Care have six free sessions and will have to pay $15 from their seventh session on.

“If someone identifies a problem with the $15 we make time-limited case-by-case financial agreements so that you can continue to make use of our services even if there is a financial issue. It is not uncommon for me to see someone for 25 cents for a while until we straighten out their income level,” said Altayli.

The Counseling Center has events that are geared toward raising awareness, which are free and available to the community.

One of the services that the center offers for students who do not feel safe is the crisis specific program where they meet more than once a week. This could be checking in over the phone for two days and asking the student to come in on the third day.

This program will continue until they no longer report ideas of suicide.

“Sometimes we send them for medication evaluation, sometimes conditions that lead to suicidal thoughts need to be treated with medication. We have a psychiatric nurse practitioner that attends to those requests from us,” said Altayli.

“There is no reason why anybody should stay silent and suffer alone.”

Brian McPike, executive director of Public Safety, said there is a student response team that includes members of Public Safety, the office of the Dean of Students, the Counseling Center and the Health Center.

“Anytime a student is in crisis, and that could be anything from stress from a family related event or courses or something that is triggering their life, we meet as a team,” McPike said.

Students who are going through or know of someone who is going through a crisis can call Public Safety and request a welfare check.

These are checks that can be made by the student themselves, resident assistants, parents or even professors. Stress periods can be around midterms and finals or winter.

McPike said if you’re going through something then you should reach out to Public Safety, the Counseling Center, the Health Center or the Dean of Student’s office.

“We are all here to help and that is truly what we want is to make sure everybody that needs it or if you have a friend, if you have somebody that you’re associated with that you see is struggling, please contact us,” said McPike.

The Lowdown
Counseling Center
Main Hall 324
719-255-3265

*After Hours:
AspenPointe Mental
Health 24-7 Crisis Line
719-635-7000

Public Safety
Parking Garage First Floor
719-255-3111

Office of the Dean of Students
Main Hall 312
719-255-3091

Health Center
Parking Garage First Floor
719-255-4444

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