Massachusetts Daily Collegian

CCPH celebrates its new facility with an open house

The CCPH renews its commitment to the UMass community

%28courtesy+of+CCPH%29+
(courtesy of CCPH)

(courtesy of CCPH)

(courtesy of CCPH)

By Rithka Senthilkumar and Barkha Bhandari, Contributing Writers

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The Center for Counseling and Psychological Health held an open house on Wednesday Sept. 12, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at their new location in the Middlesex House. The CCPH has expanded over the years, both in its agenda and staff. The organization is made up of over 35 trained staff members who manage areas ranging from clinical psychology to social media outreach.

The open house was an opportunity for students, faculty and other members of the University of Massachusetts community to tour the new facilities and meet the staff. There were also pamphlets and brochures present for attendees of the event. Activities were organized for the visitors, one of the more popular of which was “Kindness Rocks,” where participants were allowed to decorate rocks with words of strength and kindness and share them with the rest of campus. The participants were also offered stress balls and wristbands to express their support for the CCPH.

The Middlesex House is an improvement from CCPH’s previous location, as all their services are now concentrated in one area that is centrally located within the campus. Interim Director Melissa Rotkiewicz gushed about how they had the freedom to create their own space: “Rather than making our needs fit the building, we were able to have some say in the design.” A detailed tour of the new building included vibrant group rooms, staff conference rooms, offices and a bustling reception area. One of the special features of the new building is its entrance, which is located at the side so that the privacy of all those who wish to enter is protected.

The organization has been working throughout the summer to facilitate this big move, and their open house was as much a celebration as it was a tool to project the presence of their services. Rotkiewicz said “helping students have awareness of where we are” was one of their goals for the upcoming year.

Assistant Director SuEllen Hamkins expressed the CCPH’s main focus, saying, Our goal is to help students get over any bumps in the road and keep their dreams going.

The CCPH offers several on-campus services for students. One of the new and upcoming services includes Therapist-Assisted Online Treatment, which is a web-based self-help program that allows users to learn to manage stress, practice mindfulness and solve problems. Clinical Social Worker Lydia Rackenberg explained the success of the TAO Treatment: “It’s been getting off the ground over the last couple of years and for some students, it’s really working, and I think it will take off more.”

The CCPH also offers workshops for students throughout the year. One of those workshops is called Stress GPS – Gaining Practical Skills – which helps students by teaching them the skills to cope with college stress and anxiety. The Stress GPS workshop is run every weekday from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. and does not require any registration or appointment. Hamkins clarified the goal of Stress GPS and said, “If someone is feeling stressed out, they can stop by and get the support that they might need.”

The organization hopes to expand and develop their resources and services to better serve the students at UMass.

Rithika Senthilkumar and Barkha Bhandari can be reached at [email protected] and [email protected]

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