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Mental Health at AACC: Meeting Students Where They Are

Graphics for mental health article.

Wingspan, Fall 2020

Despite the impact of coronavirus on in-person student services, AACC counseling didn’t skip a beat. They made a quick transition to provide online support.

“Remote counseling was in our future vision, but it was on the back burner,” said Diane Hallila, coordinator in Personal and Career Counseling. “That changed quickly.”

Hallila is one of three counselors with the college providing free, personal counseling to registered students. Today, their services are offered in a remote setting using HIPAA-compliant video conferencing platforms. The office also provides workshops to classes as well as faculty and staff meetings, with coping, stress and self-care all recent hot topics.

Though Hallila said appointments did not spike with the start of the pandemic, an end-of-term slow down also didn’t occur. “We’re at the end of the semester and still having requests for new appointments,” she said in late May. “This is a stressful and challenging time. ... They’re feeling overwhelmed with the new normal.”


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