Support Groups Offered at St. Scholastica

Katelyn Gehling

A variety of counseling services are offered at St. Scholastica to benefit all students. Services offered by counselors include personal counseling, academic counseling, and crisis intervention. Over the past few years at St. Scholastica the counseling services has seen an increase in students seeking counseling for a variety of reasons.

Teresa Aldach, Coordinator of Counseling Services and a counselor, believes the reason for the increase in demand for counseling by students is due to the stigma around mental illness being diminished and more students realizing it is okay to ask for help. To support the counselors with the rising numbers of students seeking help, Aldach and her colleagues developed the idea of offering different types of group therapy at St. Scholastica.

A variety of group therapy sessions are offered each year at St. Scholastica. These sessions include the Anxiety support group, Mindfulness support group, and the Surviving Winter Blues support group. Surviving Winter Blues support group is the newest addition and will be held on Tuesdays, Nov. 7 – Dec. 5 at 3:00-4:30 p.m. This support group is for students suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder, which begins affecting students in October and can last through April. Seasonal Affective Disorder is very common at Duluth’s latitude and is characterized by students always feeling tired, having low energy, losing interest in things, and having irritability and moodiness. Along with the support groups, Scholastica offers other ways to help students suffering from mental illness. These services include the SunSpot bus, Student Health Services nurses offering supplement information, and counseling’s ability to prescribe mental health medication if needed.

According to Aldach, the top concerns students go to counseling services for are anxiety and depression. The support groups offered at St. Scholastica are to specifically help students who are affected with these mental illnesses. Students are given a safe space to support each other and give each other coping skills.

The reason Aldach believes these support groups to be so beneficial to students is because, “St. Scholastica students show so much caring and support to one another.”

If students are interested in learning more information or want to sign up for a support group, contact Teresa Aldach or visit counseling services in T2150.