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The herald. (Geneva, N.Y.) 1942-current, December 02, 2011, Image 6

Image and text provided by Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Persistent link: http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/np00050001/2011-12-02/ed-1/seq-6/

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--~~--~~-----------~--~----------------------~~--------~--- 6 FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2011 ·Campus Happenings The HWS Gatekeepers Program Returns to Campus According to a survey on www.suicide.org, one in five college students feel that their depression level is higher than it should be. This statistic is not surprising considering the many changes that college life brings - increased academic rigor, an entirely new environment and a more independent lifestyle. Perhaps more worrisome is that of the 20 percent of students in marked distress, only 6 percent say that they would seek help for their depression. This low ratio proves dangerous, as depression is the primary cause of college suicide and suicide is the second leading cause of death in college students. For the past four years, Meghann Wraight- Steinmetz and Michael Siembor, psychologists at Hobart and William Smith's Counseling Center, have held a series of suicide prevention training sessions to help teach students and faculty ways to more effectively reach out to students who appear to be in distress. Created at Syracuse University, the program has received high levels of recognition for its benefits on college campuses, with the Suicide Prevention Resource Center labeling it one of the Best Practices for Suicide Prevention nationwide. In the fall of 2008, Steinmetz and Siembor received a grant from Syracuse University to bring the training sessions to the HWS campus. The co- coordinators adapted the program name from \Campus Connect\ to the \HWS Gatekeepers Program,\ a title Steinmetz believes to better embody HWS with its \many student leaders on campus who are around people a lot who serve as gatekeepers and bring people in.\ The a'nxiety that one may feel about approaching a peer who appears distressed can be overwhelming, and often leads one to shy away from reaching out at all. Siembor acknowledges this emotion, and he says that the Gatekeepers training sessions \teach people to honor and face the anxiety By Kat Frabotta '15 Herald Contributor that they may feel, and learn ways to use it.\ The tactics taught in each session revolve around the three main goals of the program: \For students interactive learning,\ are worried about the Siembor states. \It does potentially dangerous not merely give people distress of a student. 'The information on how to sessions could help one help.\ build skills to help others Steinmetz adds that · in a variety of crises. Lots of the program students benefit ev:en more has also more (from help) at the beginning greatly opened stages of depression, as this communication helps to reduce distress b e t . w e e n more quickly,\ Steinmetz students and says. Siembor adds that members of attending the training the Colleges' sessions \reduces stigma C o u n s e 1 i n g of an issue that is greatly Center. \(The oversensitized and helps to sessions) have normalize the issue.\ greatlyimpacted The substantial consultations benefits of the Gatekeepers with faculty Program are clear through and students, the extensive list of HWS and have made community members who the counseling are required to undergo center more the training - campus accessible, even safety officers, deans, for students to housekeeping and grounds just come to ask staff, student RAs, all questions.\ student affairs members Steinmetz and all members of the is quick to clarify Center for Teaching and that students Learning. Those who who serve as experience the program are g ate k e e p e r s \highly supportive of it,\ \do not need to says Steinmetz. Photo Courtesy of Mentalhelp.net be counselors,\ Training for students to · develop empathetic listening skills, develop communication skills and to help give people the opportunity to talk to others about their distressed thoughts,\ Steinmetz says. During the two-hour long seminar, attendees acq~ire these skills through \highly experiential . and but peers who will be held at 1:30pm today. can reach out to distressed To sign up or to receive students and refer them more information about to additional help when the Gatekeepers Program necessary. Steinmetz and training, e-mail Sandy maintains learning ·wlien Gerlach, receptionist at the to make these referrals HWS Counseling Center, helps reduce anxiety for the call the centers' office at concerned peer. (315)· 781-3388, or stay The Gatekeepers tuned to your HWS e-mail. Program is not only beneficial to those who Considering an MBA? Ithaca College School of Business Graduate Programs in Business-Information Session MBA MBA in Professional Accountancy . Open to any undergraduate majors Thursday, December 1st. 7 PM Dorothy D. and Roy H. Park Center for Business and Sustainable Enterprise, Room 204 Ithaca College 953 Danby Road Ithaca, NY 14850 y

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