by Laura Nelson
When the pandemic started, the Sul Ross State Univ. Rio Grande College Counseling Clinic shifted their client services to a virtual format and experienced unexpected benefits.
Before, all clients lived in the RGC service area within driving distance to campuses in Del Rio, Eagle Pass, and Uvalde in order to meet in person. Now, with all counseling taking place virtually, their client base has expanded beyond those borders to include the Rio Grande Valley and urban areas in Texas, and even overseas. The counselors serve military members stationed abroad and more veterans are being served as their colleagues spread the word.
The Clinic counselors are flexible, providing services outside the standard University work schedule. They meet clients on weekends, in the evening or during the day, depending on need. In-person counseling will resume when it is safe to do so, but the telecounseling platform will continue as it has proven to be effective and convenient.
In the past year, the Clinic has served 163 clients, with 46 of those college students and 117 adult and youth community clients. Currently, they have 72 clients with the capacity to serve many more. Services will continue through the upcoming holiday season.
“The worldwide crisis of COVID-19 is taking a toll on the emotional wellbeing of each and every one of us,” according to Dr. Todd Russell, clinic director. “I’m pleased that our counselors can provide this invaluable service using online telecounseling platforms for delivering competent, comprehensive and compassionate counseling during these precarious and unpredictable times,” adds Russell.
All services are confidential and offered at no cost to clients. During this difficult time, counselors are eager to offer support that may be accessed in the privacy of your home or anywhere else you choose. To learn more or to register for services, please visit www.srsu-mrg-ccc.org. Currently, all clients are seen by a counselor within three days of requesting services. If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, please call 911.