UCM offers LGBTQ group counseling

Written by Muleskinner Staff

By KAITLIN BROTHERS
Reporter
(WARRENSBURG, Mo., digitalBURG) — Counseling sessions for groups identifying with LGBTQ are currently underway on campus.
The UCM Counseling Center offers services for students facing issues such as coming out, spirituality, family relationships, self-esteem, depression and identity development. Students can gain support from peers, understand issues, make friends and be in a healthy environment, according to a university news release.
“The students who might be interested in the group might be at various stages of coming out,” said Adrianne Fuller, a counselor at the center. “They can try to practice coming out to other individuals who are understanding, and in a safe environment – it can be really helpful.”
The sessions are designed to help LGBTQ students with depression, anxiety and other mental health issues they may have. The counseling center works with Partners In Prevention, a statewide coalition for creating safe campuses in Missouri.
LGBTQ students have reported 61 percent rates of anxiety and 38 percent rates of depression, according to the 2014 results from the Missouri College Health Behavior survey implemented by PIP every year. These students are at higher risk for mental health issues, often due to lack of support, discrimination and lack of safety.
The group screening will start at the beginning of the semester. The screening ends when the group is full, or at the latest, six weeks into the semester.
“Reducing isolation is a huge goal for the group,” said Candice Moran, a counselor at the center.
The group counseling is open to students with a variety of self-defined identities. The goals of the group are to reduce isolation, find support and make changes.
Moran said it’s helpful to talk to people who can understand a piece of someone’s self-identity or have similar experiences.
“You can get feedback from other people, get support and really kind of connect and get a sense of community,” Moran said. “I really enjoy doing group…it’s been really valuable I think, for the participants as well as for me.”
For more information on LGBTQ counseling services, call 660-543-4060 or visit Humphreys 131.
Kaitlin Brothers can be reached at or [email protected] or 573-298-1236.