San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Counseling services boost awareness with Tumblr

In an attempt to reach those who may never reach out to them, San Diego State Coun- seling & Psychological Ser- vices has developed a blog using the up-and-coming so- cial media site Tumblr as its platform.

“We decided we wanted to create a blog that identified a variety of issues that might be pertinent to students today,” SDSU C&P.S. counselor Jerry Kropp, who co-writes and ed- its the blog, said.

Among the topics discussed are ways to get better sleep during college, relationship advice, ways to exercise on campus and stress-reduction strategies. The blog posts are mostly structured as easy-to- read lists.

“Topics are based on con- versations we’ve had with peer educators and on trends we’ve noticed from interacting with students,” Kropp said.

Kropp said many students’ issues could be placed under the umbrella of stress: grades, family issues, social support and transition, whether it’s getting ready to start college or to graduate and enter the real world.

Kropp said another reason for creating a blog was to eliminate the social stigma surrounding clinical counseling.

“A lot of students are under the impression that you have to have some extreme situation to contact us whereas we deal with the whole spectrum,” Kropp said. “There is a significant number of college students stressed and overwhelmed.”

Another way C&PS attempted to battle the stigma was by creating a video last semester in which students asked actor Bradley Cooper, who uses his fame to encourage the use of counseling, to come to SDSU and speak of the issue.

Kropp said many people think reaching for clinical counseling means there is something wrong with them as a person.

“It’s something that’s been going on for years,” Kropp said. “People have that sense that if they’re feeling depressed or a certain degree of stress that something is wrong with them. There’s that worry and they think if they actually go and seek services that that might signify they’re flawed as a person.”

But, many of the issues people seek counseling and psychological services for are incredibly common, Kropp said.

“One of the purposes of using Tumblr is to reach people who will never contact us,” Kropp said. “Reading our articles will hopefully give them some sense of calm or comfort, and they’ll understand others are going through the same things.”

Kropp said the stigma has decreased in recent years because of increased awareness, but it still exists.

National and local campaigns, such as It’s Up to Us, which is designed to encourage San Diegans to talk openly about mental illness recognize symptoms and make use

of local resources to seek help, are aiding this visibility, Kropp said.

“I’ve seen their ads on buses focusing on people who are trying to get help,” Kropp said. “They’re starting a dialogue and having more communication.”

Also having different celebrities, such as Catherine Zeta-Jones opening up about living with bipolar disorder, discussing their own issues has brought light to these issues, Kropp said.

“We sometimes put these people on pedestals, so it humanizes it a little bit more,” Kropp said. “Some of these people we’ve idealized struggle like the rest of us and seeing that helps.”

In addition to its Tumblr blog, SDSU C&PS can also be found on Facebook and Twitter. According to a post on its Twitter account, students who require immediate psychological help can be seen on an emergency basis by calling 619-594-5220 during normal business hours. After hours, students can call the San Diego Access and Crisis Lines at 888-724-7240.

SDSU C&PS is completely free to students. Also, Kropp said it has established a center for well-being, equipped with a massage chair and an egg-shaped chair where students may watch videos that “produce a relaxed state.” SDSU C&PS amenities are located at the fourth floor of the Calpulli Center.

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San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
Counseling services boost awareness with Tumblr