Students have options for physical and mental health treatment.
The new nurse, Cheryl Nichols, and various on-site counselors are part of the physical and mental health services provided to students. Dale Scully, Vice President of Student Life, emphasized the availability of these services and stressed that students who want or need to see these staff members should feel free to do so.
“We want all of our students to feel comfortable when they’re feeling sick or have any issues, mentally or physically. We want them to feel like [Nichols] is their first stop, rather then going to the doctors so students don’t have to miss any class.”
Scully also pointed out the negative stigma of that addressing mental health comes with, and hopes that the counseling services provided can be a part of normalizing the seeking of help. “If you are feeling depressed, or struggling with stress or anxiety, you should not feel ashamed or embarrassed to go see a counselor, because they are more than happy to help. It is completely normal for students to feel this kind of pressure.”
We want all of our students to feel comfortable when they’re feeling sick or have any issues, mentally or physically.
Nichols is excited to help students in any way she can. “I want everyone to feel comfortable being able to come to me if you feel sick, need help or just want someone to talk to. I will do my best to help you,” she said. She is also very grateful for the welcoming and friendly nature of the FPU community.
Nichols brings a lot of experience with her, and has a background of working with people. According to Lynn Reinhold, Director of Student Programs, “Nurse Cheryl Nichols provides years of medical experience to Fresno Pacific. She has a background of working in public schools and has seen a wide variety of illnesses. She has a passion to help students.”
According to Student Service’s On-Site Counseling Program website, counseling is confidential and meant for students who need help with “relationship problems, adjustment issues, grief and sadness, worry and anxiety, and unhealthy coping patterns”. Counseling is available to traditional undergraduate, degree completion and graduate students. Angela Turner, Director of On-Site Counseling, was unavailable for comment.
Fresno Pacific has had 3 nurses in the past 5 years due to the competitive nature of the field. “There hasn’t been a full-time nurse in this position for a while, so we’re trying to refocus this office to better suit the students’ needs,” said Nichols.
Nichols is in her office, located by The Forest near the entrance to the Strasbourg quad, from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM Monday through Friday, and on-site counselors are located in the Seminary Hall and are available by appointments. Sessions cost $5 co-pay per counseling session for traditional undergraduate, and $10 co-pay per session for degree completion, graduate and seminary students.