Counseling is the psychological equivalent of visiting one’s family doctor for medical illnesses. The counseling department treats illnesses and disorders of the psyche, including depression and anxiety. The counselor also helps students with adjustment disorders related to change and stress. These may include being a first-time college student; juggling school, work, and parenting; peer conflict; poor academic performance; or a life change such as a relationship ending. Other reasons to see the counselor may include low self-esteem, poor communication skills, or learning effective problem-solving. For those who need specialized or long-term treatment, referrals will be made, with student permission, to a local provider in El Dorado.
Students may be referred to the counselor through the Behavioral Incident Report process following a complaint or concern for a student’s wellbeing. Faculty or staff can also refer students non-formally for issues that do not pose a serious threat to the student or others. The counselor will then contact the student and set up an appointment.
The principal goal of SouthArk’s counseling program is to empower students to have successful and fulfilling careers in a field appropriate to their individual strengths and interests. The counselor helps students set reasonable and appropriate goals and present themselves in a manner that will maximize their strengths. SouthArk’s counseling department promotes an environment that values diversity both in a college setting and the community at large. The counseling program strives to help students maximize their full potential while taking proactive steps to live healthy emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
Arkansas law protects confidentiality for those in a counseling relationship, age 18 and older. It also requires or permits some exceptions, including the following:
• If the counselor has cause to believe there is a probability of imminent physical injury to the student or another person
• If the counselor has cause to believe that a child, elderly person, or disabled person is being abused, neglected, or exploited
• In response to certain court orders
These exceptions do not occur often. SouthArk is not legally obligated to discuss releasing a student’s confidential information with that student before doing so if doing so would prevent SouthArk from securing the student’s safety or the safety of others.
A student’s interactions with Counseling Services can be disclosed to others only with their written permission, except under the circumstances described above. A student’s confidential counseling file is not part of their academic record.
All students receiving counseling services have certain rights. These include the right to participate actively in developing alternatives for addressing concerns. A student may terminate counseling at any time for any reason, preferably only after discussing such termination with the counselor. The student is encouraged to ask questions about anything they do not understand.
The counseling program utilizes a brief counseling model that is solution-focused. A counseling session can last up to 60 minutes. Generally, a student may receive up to 3 sessions per semester.
Because email is never fully confidential, SouthArk asks students not to use email to communicate with the counselor about personal matters. If a student contacts the counselor by email, they implicitly give permission to the counselor to reply by email if the counselor chooses to do so. The counselor will not provide counseling via email under any circumstances. Email should never be used to communicate an urgent or critical message. Please remember that emails sent to or received from the College are subject to the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act, Ark. Code Ann. Sec. § §25-19-101 et. Seq.
Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention
SAMHSA’s National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.
It is important that students look out for one another. Please read this article from Campus Drug Prevention on ways to start the conversation regarding alcohol and drug abuse: How to Help a Friend.
Students seeking alcohol or drug abuse treatment can inquire in the counselor's office about local treatment options. Educational programs for SouthArk groups such as campus student organizations are available upon request. You can also visit Start Your Recovery, a resource for young adults who may be struggling with substance misuse.
SouthArk strives to ensure a safe environment for its students and employees. If you notice a concerning or potentially dangerous behavior, or you are a student who needs assistance please click the button and send a Cares Report. A member of the team will reach out to the student and offer assistance.
If Concerned About a Student
If it is believed that a student is at risk of becoming suicidal or violent, immediately call SouthArk Public Safety for assistance at 870-864-7125.
If a student becomes suicidal and is on campus, the student should contact Public Safety at 870-864-7125 for immediate assistance. If the student is off-campus, they should call 911 immediately or report to the nearest emergency room.
5 Action Steps from #BeThe1
Here are 5 steps you can take to help someone in emotional pain:
- ASK: “Are you thinking about killing yourself?” It’s not an easy question, but studies show that asking at-risk individuals if they are suicidal does not increase suicides or suicidal thoughts.
- KEEP THEM SAFE: Reducing a suicidal person’s access to highly lethal items or places is important to suicide prevention. While this is not always easy, asking if the at-risk person has a plan and removing or disabling the lethal means can make a difference.
- BE THERE: Listen carefully and learn what the individual is thinking and feeling. Research suggests acknowledging and talking about suicide may, in fact, reduce rather than increase suicidal thoughts.
- HELP THEM CONNECT: Save the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number (call or text 988) and the Crisis Text Line number (741741) in your phone so they’re there if you need them. You can also help make a connection with a trusted individual like a family member, friend, spiritual advisor, or mental health professional.
- STAY CONNECTED: Staying in touch after a crisis or discharge from care can make a difference. Studies have shown the number of suicide deaths goes down when someone follows up with the at-risk person.
For more information on suicide prevention: www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/suicide-prevention.
Recommendations for use
Online self-help resources can be valuable. While we have reviewed the following sites and found them useful, we cannot affirm the validity and accuracy of all the material on each of these sites. As you evaluate the usefulness and accuracy of mental health information on the Internet, be sure to check the following:
- When was the information posted? Is it the kind of information that should be regularly updated or revised?
- How credible is the source of the information? Credible sources include professional journals or associations, universities, government mental health organizations, or health care institutions.
We do not recommend online resources as the only source of help for significant mental health concerns. Online resources are not meant to and cannot replace the specialized training and professional judgment of a trained mental health or health care professional. You should always consult a trained professional before making any decision regarding treatment choices or changes.
Mental Health Apps
Below is a list of applications that address a variety of concerns and can be used to support the work you do in therapy or assist with self-improvement. The applications are sorted by topic and include links to Google Play and iTunes.
Breathe2Relax is a portable stress management tool for iPhone and Android devices. It's a hands-on diaphragmatic breathing exercise. Breathing exercises have been documented to decrease the body's "fight-or-flight" response and help with mood stabilization, anger control, and anxiety management.
The Tactical Breather app for iPhone and Android devices can be used to gain control over physiological and psychological responses to stress.
Mindshift, for iPhone and Android devices, is designed to provide you with tools for managing various types of anxiety, including test anxiety, perfectionism, social anxiety, performance anxiety, worry, panic, and conflict.
Stop Panic and Anxiety
Stop Panic and Anxiety is a free Android app that offers self-help methods to control panic and anxiety.
Depression CBT Self-Help Guide
This Android app contains a depression severity test, audio, articles, a cognitive diary, and a motivational points system.
Cognitive Diary CBT
The self-help methods used in this Android app are based on cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) tools and challenge irrational thinking.
MoodTools is a free, convenient, and easy-to-use smartphone app that provides six evidence-based tools to aid against clinical depression and negative moods on a large scale.
Mental Health Tools
This iPhone and Android app is designed to help you cope with overwhelming emotions and impulsive behaviors.
Headspace, for iPhone and Android devices, is meditation made relevant to modern life. Get unique daily guided meditations, science facts and figures, and progress reports, all designed to make it as easy as possible for you to get some calm and clarity.
Relax Melodies: Sleep and Yoga
Select sounds and melodies that you like and combine them to create a mix with this iPhone and Android app.
PTSD Coach was developed by the Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD. This iPhone and Android app is intended to be used as an adjunct to psychological treatment but can also serve as a stand-alone education tool.
This Android app was developed by a clinical psychologist using the methods of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to help improve self-esteem.
This iPhone app is designed specifically to assist suicide survivors after a recent attempt. It offers a daily mood diary, suggestions for decreasing social isolation, and other ways to monitor increased warning signs of suicidality.
This award-winning suicide prevention iPhone app assists users with tracking daily mood/thoughts, creating a safety plan, locating the nearest hospitals, and obtaining quick access to coping methods.
This iPhone app is designed to support those dealing with suicidal thoughts and help prevent suicide. You can customize your own warning signs that a crisis may be developing, coping strategies for dealing with suicidal urges, places for distraction, friends and family members you can reach out to, professionals you can call, methods of making your environment safe, and your own important reasons for living.
Virtual Hope Box
This iPhone and Android app helps with coping, relaxation, distraction from overwhelming emotions, and positive thinking.
Sexual Assault Resources
Circle of 6
This iPhone app allows you a way to connect with your most trusted friends to stay close and attempt to prevent violence before it happens. It lets you choose six trusted friends to add to your circle. If you get into an uncomfortable situation, use Circle of 6 to automatically send your circle a pre-programmed SMS alert message with your exact location.
This Android app is designed to help people cope with the emotional and physical cravings for alcohol.
This iPhone app makes a smoker who wants to quit wait longer between each smoke until they are gradually able to quit. Charts and gives results of time between each smoke.
SouthArk strives to ensure a safe environment for its students and employees. If you notice a concerning or potentially dangerous behavior, or you are a student who needs assistance, please click the button and send a Cares Report. A member of the team will reach out to the student and offer assistance.