Why you should consider going to RU’s counseling center

Did you know that Radford University offers free counseling to students?

I didn’t know that until last year when I was directed there by a friendly doctor at the health clinic who was convinced that the stomach pain I was experiencing was related to anxiety.

Photo by Matt Cashore/University of Notre Dame
Everyone needs some type of counseling even if it’s just venting to a peer. Photo from Creative Commons.

A lot of people may feel a kind of stigma attached to asking for therapy, like it means you’re certifiable or something. Trust me, it doesn’t. College is stressful, and sometimes the mind needs a little room to breathe. Sometimes things snap out of place. You don’t need to be ashamed of asking for help when you need it.

Don’t worry about the price.

The RU counseling center offers free services, even if you don’t have insurance. They’re dedicated to making sure the student body is at least marginally healthy (though to be fair they could go further with that goal by improving the food in the Dalton cafeteria). The cost of therapy can be prohibitive if you’re a college student, so it’s comforting to know that you aren’t going to have to sell your firstborn child to get a therapist to talk to you.

(Just as a comparison, getting a therapist outside the school’s counseling center can cost between $80- $90 a session without insurance. You’re saving a bundle of cash by going to the counseling center.)

Medical confidentiality is a beautiful thing.

Some people (in my experience) choose not to go to therapy because they don’t like the idea of telling a stranger about all their foibles and faults, but here’s something you should remember: They’re not allowed to tell anyone anything you tell them unless they think you’re a danger to yourself or other people. (The definition of “danger” can be a bit subjective but that’s a post for a different day.)

Most psychiatrists, especially counselors on a college campus, have heard things that are much, much worse than anything you have to tell them. They are trained to not react and won’t judge you.

Some things you should probably know:

If you have a chronic psychiatric condition, the counseling center may decide to refer you to an outside source. (For instance, I was referred to New River Valley Community Services by my counselor.) The counseling center will be able to direct you to different places depending on your income and your budget, so don’t let anything like that stop you from getting help.