When Schreyer Honors College Dean Christian Brady felt stressed during college, he always had at least one person he could talk to.
That same person — who has known Brady since around the age of four or five — will talk with Schreyer students tonight.
Dr. Arnold Andersen, retired professor of psychiatry from the University of Iowa, will host a fireside talk from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Atherton Hall Grandfather Clock Lounge, with a focus on coping mechanisms and dealing with stress.
Andersen specializes in eating disorders and stress, Brady said. Andersen could not be reached for comment as of press time Monday. Along with providing basic skills that students and faculty can use to cope with stress, Brady said he wants students and faculty to also become aware of the resources Penn State offers to help students and faculty.
“There are times in our lives where we allow ourselves to become overwhelmed,” Brady said. “But it doesn’t have to be that way.”
Brady said talking with Andersen will make students and faculty aware of what to do in stressful situations, as well as what they are offered at Penn State with Counseling and Psychological Services.
CAPS provides triage, initial assessments, crisis intervention and short-term individual and couples counseling, said Mary Anne Knapp, clinical social worker and senior staff therapist. CAPS also provides consultation and outreach programs, she said.
The groups used in CAPS for counseling are interpersonal, recovery and support-focused or skill-building clinics, she said.
Knapp said that psychiatric evaluation and follow-up services are provided, which is used for students in therapy who could also benefit from medication.
“College is a stressful time of life with academic pressures, social and identity concerns, and the emergence of some mental health conditions,” Knapp said. “It’s important to take care of your mental and emotional health just as you would your physical health.”
Knapp said even one or two sessions with a counselor can be helpful in understanding and alleviating stress. For some conditions, assessment can identify and point to needs for ongoing treatment, she said.
Knapp also said that Penn State is fortunate to have Andersen visit and talk with students and staff members, as Healthy Living and Eating Support will also meet with him during his visit. HEALS consists of medical doctors, nutritionists, counselors and case mangers working within CAPS and University Health Services.
“It’s important to take care of yourself,” Knapp said. “Part of that can involve reaching out for psychological help when self help and natural supports aren’t enough.”