The challenges encountered by college students are many.
“They worry about things like academics, decision making, how to be self disciplined, how to function autonomously, how to make decisions about dating, drug and alcohol use,” says Dr. Norma Ngo, director of the University of Houston Counseling and Psychological Services or CAPS. “They’re concerned about what to study and what they’ll pursue for a career, which is all really saying ‘who am I?'”
Students must navigate a web of stress, which can be debilitating unless they have support.
“That’s when it’s really good to know that there is another good resource,” she adds. “Someone who can be objective, not judge you, help you to figure out what’s going on and that’s where CAPS comes in.”
CAPS is Counseling and Psychological Services, and promotes the emotional and psychological health of the campus community with screenings, workshops and other outreach. Students are offered 10 free counseling sessions a year.
“We want to help them to gain an awareness of what’s going on in their life, so that they can in turn develop these skills and then transition them into their life,” Ngo says.
CAPS offers crisis intervention services and training on how to recognize and refer students in distress. The Conduct Awareness Response Team (CART) brings university police, administration, residential life and general counsel together to promote the safety and well-being of students.
“We want them to know that the university really does care, and we want to do whatever we can to help students succeed,” Ngo says.
Promoting good mental health is part of what’s happening at the University of Houston. I’m Marisa Ramirez.
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