Speaker: Dr. Rhonda Dalrymple
Hello and welcome everyone to our panel presentation on Dallas College Counseling Services. I'm Dr. Rhonda Dalrymple. I'm a professional counselor at Brookhaven campus and I'm joined by my wonderful colleagues from each of our seven campuses. We're excited to introduce or perhaps reintroduce ourselves and our teams, so you get to know us and become more acquainted with us. We are all so excited today just to share about projects and activities that we do, where the goal, of course, is to support our students. As you'll see, we each have unique aspects, but we collaborate with each other. We work in partnership and we'll continue to do so as you move forward as one college. It's also important, as part of this presentation, as you will see, that we talk about the impact of COVID-19 on college students and focus on the mental health effect this could have and has had on our students. We'll also share strategies to support our students and how to access and refer students to our counseling services, so we as counselors can continue to support our students the best that we can.
So, we're going to move through the presentation alphabetically by campus. So, again, to give you the opportunity to get to know who we are and what we do. Next slide. So, we'll start with Brookhaven campus, Brookhaven Team. That'll still be me. So, again, I'm Rhonda Dalrymple and I'm a licensed professional counselor with Brookhaven. I've been at the college for about seven years. I'm also a co-chair of our campus CARE Team and also myself and many of our colleagues were trained to be a part of the NOVA Crisis Response Team. So, we're able to respond to any crisis that may occur at any of our campuses, we were able to process with the groups or staff and employees, just to process what might have occurred. So, many of us are trained in that. Part of our Brookhaven team is also Kaitlin Short. She's also a licensed professional counselor. She's been with us since the beginning of March or right before all of our campuses went on lockdown. She came to us from Louisiana and she's been a rock star since then. She's also co-chair with me, as well, of our campus CARE Team. And then, we also have Martha Franek-Montanez, who's also a licensed professional counselor. She's a part-time counselor with us and so she --and she has experience in the district, as well, and she's been with the college for about four years [inaudible]. Alright. So, that's a little bit of our team and then [inaudible] overseas and provides oversight to our campus counseling services. So, these are just some of the activities and projects that we've worked on throughout the years and they continue to evolve, as we evolve, as our students' needs evolve, as well. So, just give you an insight as to what some of us have done. So, one of the programs that we're really, really passionate about and proud of is our Skills Shops program and this is a workshop series that we've had for many, many years and it's a lot of faculty support on the campus because many of the students, once they attend the workshops, they get extra credit.
So, that's, of course, a huge draw for the student's that come. So, what we try to do is teach them skills, skills that they can use while they are in college and beyond. So, hence the name Skills Shops. What we try to do is really have a holistic -- focus on holistic development of our students. So, we try to focus not only on academic development but also personal development, as well. So, I just listed some examples of some of the titles that we've had for some of our workshops. We try to be -- make the title as catchy as we can, so we can attract more students to come. So, for instance, don’t be the PRO in Procrastination. Of course, you want to focus on time management and procrastination. And then, we kind of honored Oprah with our other title with You get a Goal! And you get a goal! Everybody gets a goal! So, we're kind of talking about how to set goals, how to develop smart goals, as well. And in personal development, we talk about topics like resilience, mindfulness. We also, you know, talk about more difficult topics like sexual assault and stalking and how to protect one selves, is okay to stay like expressing emotions and managing anxiety. So, we really try to bring a variety of topics to our workshops. Another thing that we have done is Counselors' Corner. So, this is just for us to be visible in our campus. So, we would have tables set up once a week and have different topics, as well, and then kind of promote counseling services, so students know that we exist and kind of like put a face to a counselor, so they can feel more, hopefully comfortable to come and seek services with us.
We also try to focus on Annual Awareness Day Screening. So, depression awareness week, alcohol awareness week, eating disorder awareness week. So, we try to really, again, have screening activities for them where we have a screenings set up where students can come, and they can get screened. And again, we talk about symptoms of maybe depression or eating disorders. So, we open up awareness of these awareness days and also, again, at the same time, promoting counseling services. In the past, we've also partnered with some of community agencies. So, for instance, eating disorder awareness week, we partnered with Texas Eating Disorders Association, Metro care. So, they've come to our campus and have their tables set up as well so students can get to know the services are available in the community to them. Many of us have high school students at our campuses now. So, we try to partner with them, as well as every summer there is a summer bridge program. So, we meet with probably hundreds of high school students every summer and we talk to them, as they prepare to enter college. So, we again talk to them about topics like time management, awareness of their emotions. So, just topics and activities for them to get prepared for starting college and then also to take care of themselves along the way. As I mentioned, Kaitlin and I both co-chair our CARE Team. So, we're able to simply respond to reports and concerns that come in from faculty, from staff, even from other students and we can then determine, again, if they need counseling services, if they need to be connected with our Connections resources team. So, we cannot determine, based on the reports that we come in, how, again, try to support as fast as we can. Connections program, Connections and resources, many of our campuses have this. So, the Connections program, again, it's just a way to connect students to resources that they might need.
We have a really solid connection with Metro crest Services, which is probably a few minutes from the campus. So, again, we're able to refer students back and forth whether or not, based on the needs that they identify. So, we really saw a connection with Metro crest. The same for the Connections resources. This is also available on the college website so students can go there and access and identify what needs that they might have. One of the really effective programs, and Kaitlin is really involved in this, is the Grocery Card Program. So, again, if students identify as having a need for food or need assistance for grocery costs, they're able to apply and get help with the cost of groceries. So, she's really, really been effective. A lot of students have applied and, you know, we've really been, you know, really helpful that we can -- are proud that we are able to help students because that's really a high need right now. And again, we just try to be visible, stay connected when partnered with campus departments, community agencies, again, to be visible, to promote services that we have, stay engaged, as well, and again support our students which is the goal for all of us together. That's just a little bit about Brookhaven and so next will be Cedar Valley. [Inaudible] Quinessa.
Speaker: Dr. Quinessa Johnson
Good morning, everyone. My name is Dr. Quinessa Johnson. I am a faculty counselor with Cedar Valley College. And so, we're a little unique from some of our other colleagues across Dallas College. In fact, because we're faculty counselors. We actually teach and also provide counseling services. So, we're responsible for the EDUC 1300 courses, as well as providing the counseling services. It's a unique opportunity because it gives us a chance to -- we -- or the students that take the EDUC 1300, it gives us the chance to kind of assess mental health needs and also provide that referral for counseling services, if needed. So, we kind of get that face-to-face contact, initially when they come into college because specifically the first -- one of the first courses that they'll take during their journey with Dallas College. So, I am a case manager with the CARE Team. So, I work closely and collaborate with the CARE Team in providing services and also, I'm a part of the Crisis Response Team, as well. I've been with Dallas College full-time for a little over two years, but I've worked for several years on and off as an adjunct faculty.
My colleague, Dr. Adlai Charles, he's been with the college for over five years. He's a certified school counselor. He holds many other certifications in primary and secondary education. He's also part of the Crisis Response Team. He's certified in campus threat management and he also is our Title IX coordinator, as well. Next slide, please. And so, kind of what Cedar Valley has been up to, Dr. Charles has been working since this pandemic started with this Cultural Understanding Workshop Series. So, he's been providing workshops throughout this Fall semester to our students, as well as the faculty and staff. You know, just kind of exploring some of the differences, the ethnic differences and also helping students to kind of deal with everything that's been going on with the world, taking it from a cultural standpoint. We also collaborate with Health Services each year. We normally do this in the spring, and we provide a Health Fair and Wellness Symposium. And so, we have several community partners that will come out from Health Services, as well as from mental health services and just provide a number of different resources for faculty and staff and also workshops, as well. We work very closely with our First Year Experience Program. Again, you know, I really appreciate that opportunity and hope that that's something that we can continue because these are our students that are coming right into college, you know? And just kind of assessing and identifying what's going to help them to be able to be successful throughout their college journey.
And so, we provided a number of different programming series, workshops such as stress management. You know, how to successfully maneuver through final exams. We also, you know, just have kind of fun things. We collaborate and host fun activities before this pandemic started on campus, as well. You know, just helping those students to kind of acclimate to college at Dallas College, but then also helping them to identify with all of the different programs that are available on campus. We also work closely with new student orientation in a similar fashion that we do with the First Year Experience. And, of course, a lot of those students overlap. Again, like I mentioned, we both are case managers with CARE Team, and we work closely with connections and resource program, as well. Right. So, even before this time of uncertainty, mental health has been a growing concern on most college campuses and then here comes COVID. So, of course, you know, it's created a lot of unpleasant feelings, anxiety, stress and just uncertainty all together. So, the Healthy Minds Network, in collaboration with the American Health Council, conducted a study that focused on students' attitudes and their concerns, as it relates to COVID.
So, I'm just going to talk about, you know, a little bit about the statistics that they found with their study. Eighty percent reported a negative impact or difficulty to focus, I would say hard to focus. I know from a lot of my students, not only in my class, but also for the students that I provide counseling for, you know, they talk about -- and, you know, this is one of the biggest struggles is, you know, focusing at home or focusing, you know, through this virtual environment. Most students really rely on being able to utilize the campus and have that particular place to be able to go and study. And so, now that they no longer have a place available, I mean, it's difficult for them to be able to focus. Sixty percent have reported that it's more difficult for them to access mental health services. Sixty-five percent are very or extremely concerned about how long this pandemic will last. Like, is this ever going to be over with? You know, how long are we going to be living like this?
Speaker: Dr. Rhonda Dalrymple
I think we lost Quinessa there for a minute. Looks like her internet signal is down. I'm going to summarize pretty much the survey that over 80% of students, 60 to 80% of students are really challenged with COVID-19 and not being able to be on campus doing in-person classes that the remote online classes, although it's convenient for some students, is really challenging for students who live in situations where they don't have the technology to do this or where there's some financial stress going on. They've reached out to campus administrators and found them to be very supportive during the pandemic and they perceive their professors as supportive, as well. However, we know that students who already are in conditions where their basic needs are not being met and there's financial stress, that they're less likely to be able to focus on academics and be successful. Next slide. So, this is some information from the American Council on Education. It came out in April, right after we went into lockdown, and they created some strategies for leaders on campus to support campus wellbeing.
Their message pretty much was to be consistent, show caring and clear communication to your students, not just to your students, but also to your faculty and staff. Support their mental health and well-being because students depend on us to be well in order for us to do our job, so that they can get educated. So, self-care, self-care. self-care. We can't -- we can't stress that enough. They also recommended that colleges and universities continue to update their strategic plan on how they're going to assess students' about health, how they're going to understand their needs and changes over time because this crisis keeps changing and, of course, to keep equity at the forefront. And I'm going to hand this over now to the Eastfield team.
Speaker: Jaime Torres
Hello and thank you. My name is Jaime Torres, and I am one of two Mental Health Counselors at Eastfield campus. There's my coworker, Katie Neff and she and I are both LPC-Ss, licensed professional counselor supervisors. We both serve on the Crisis Response Team and we also serve on the CARE Team at our campus with Katie being a co-chair for the CARE Team and one of the things that I do, in addition, is I serve as a project director for a campus grant that was awarded to us by the office on Violence Against Women. And I'll be giving you more information on that in just a second. We also have two interns right now. There's Elza Eapen. She's from A&M, Texas A&M Commerce and then there's also Emely Zuniga, she's from UNT Dallas and so we are very happy to have them on board. They are working with us helping to meet with students, provide counseling services, and then, of course, is also Jasmine Garcia, our department assistant and of course she helps us keep everything running smoothly. So, we're very happy to have her as well. If we could go to the next slide, please. So, some of the things we do at Eastfield is, of course, we participate in, what we do is our Healthy Living Fair, that's one of the things we do. We teach students about resources in the community, as well as healthy living habits, healthy eating, and exercise habits.
We also participate in the Grocery Card Program through the Connections Team. We also promote that program, makes students help students get aware of that, the help that they have available. We also participate in the Student Involvement Fair that allows students to learn more about things like campus services, as well activities, groups, things that they can participate in. Clubs, there's also -- but we also do a lot of virtual and classroom visits. We love going to the classrooms to meet with students to let them know about the services that are available, everything from counseling to student health, disability services office, and everything in our division. We enjoy that and, of course, with COVID, we had and how to modify that a bit but we always enjoy meeting with faculty and their students and let them know about the services available to them and that we are still available -- we are available virtually and on-campus. We also participate with New Student Orientation. Again, you know, students learn more about all of the many services available to them. And, as I said, we participate in the CARE Team. We help with -- we address any kind of concerns or threats made -- concerns that maybe faculty or students bring to us and we refer them to the appropriate resources and maybe a student in need of counseling or maybe has a conduct violation or it could be that they need resources to the Connections Team. So, we participate with the CARE Team.
We also like to promote and establish partnerships with agencies in the surrounding community. You know, things like the North Texas Food Bank, the -- we would like to promote activities going on in our campus like the COVID-19 testing and the flu vaccinations available. I participate with the Dallas Latino Resource Coalition where we help get the word out of things that are going on at Eastfield, in the community and also learn of other resources available for students and share them through the coalition.
And, as I mentioned earlier, we were awarded a grant for the Office on Violence Against Women and through that grant, we formed what's called the Bee Aware Team. B-e-e, Bee Aware Team, and the Bee Aware Team works to educate student, faculty, and staff on sexual violence prevention. We do a lot of programming on prevention of things like dating and domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking. We teach students about healthy relationships. Maybe -- we also talk about things like warning signs of unhealthy relationships, what it is, what it means to grant consent.
We also educate students on how they can help a survivor of sexual assault or intimate partner violence. And, of course, resources in the community and some of those resources we formed some wonderful partnerships with, for example, we work very closely with the Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center, DARCC, and other agencies, not just in Dallas but also through agencies like in Austin. For example, the Texas Council on Family Violence, the Texas Advocacy Project. They do wonderful work. They educate our students on the laws pertaining to dating and domestic violence, and so on. And we also collaborate very closely with other agencies like Brighter Tomorrows that provides services for victims. So, again that's some of what we do at Eastfield. We're very proud of the work that we do, and I think I'm going to turn it over to our next presenter.
Speaker: David Thompson
Thanks, Jaime. My name is David Thompson. I'm a licensed professional counselor supervisor at El Centro campus, our campus downtown. I am the sole professional counselor there on campus. In the past I've had counseling interns and part time counselors but currently, I'm the professional counselor on Campus. I also work as case manager for our CARE Team. I'm also NOVA Crisis trained and I'm also one of the district's Mental Health First Aid Trainers and I'll talk a little bit more about that program in my next slide. All right. Well, much like many of my colleagues at other campuses, our counseling services have been engaged in multiple areas, but I wanted to highlight a few collaborative partnerships with some of our departments on campus. So, working with our multi-cultural Center, we've been able to support our DACA students through our Dreamers Support Group and also outreach to a specific scholarship cohort that are DACA student specific. And then, also being able to work with our international students in recognizing the specific additional stressors that moving to a new country and having a cross-cultural experience there adds to the already, you know, stressful life of a college student and I'm very happy to be able to partner with our multicultural international students.
We've also worked in the past with our Disability Support Services Office providing social skills groups, our Office of Student Life promoting our #Wellness Wednesdays presentations and workshops on a variety of mental health and wellness topics on a regular basis with the fun atmosphere of an office of an Office of Student Life event. We've also worked with our Health Services on drug and alcohol misuse prevention, activities and awareness activities. And then, we've also been able to partner with some outside groups. Our campus is privileged to have the Year Up Program, which focuses on specific intensive training certificate programs for students that places them in corporate environments through internships and then job placement afterwards. And so, I hope we identified with them. I need to come along side some of their single parent students and provide a place for them to gather in a therapeutic and supportive atmosphere. I've also been involved in efforts to develop or at least just introduce the concept of trauma-informed care on campus. And so, specifically, this is for non-mental health professionals training that allows non-mental health professionals to identify some of the signs of someone who's in distress due to past trauma and this is a widespread need, just because of the prevalence of adverse childhood experiences and trauma that our students and just the general population experience.
And so, going about, you know, a check in process in a trauma-informed way at registration just benefits our entire campus community is a key way that we can partner with all the areas of campus to bring mental health to the forefront. Additionally, doing trainings like how to help a student of concern. And again, aim towards non-mental health professionals or just our general campus community on how to recognize students in distress. Students who might be destructive to the learning environment or who might be a danger to themselves or others is a key part of that CARE Team process and to speak more about, yeah, the CARE Team, you know, just it's a very unique and team of multidisciplinary professionals from all aspects of the campus. It includes faculty members, staff members, and administrators and typically a CARE Team meets weekly to, yeah, process -- I think, as my colleagues discussed, process referrals that come into them.
Again, referrals for a student who might be in distress, who might be disrupting something. And then, somebody who might have expressed some dangerous ideation towards themselves or others. And another aspect of, again, training everyone to be able to recognize mental health needs in the community is through Mental Health First Aid Training and that is a really exciting program that is an international training movement that is really aimed at destigmatizing mental illness and also equipping everyone to feel comfortable to approach somebody who may be having a mental health crisis in an easy-to-follow way. It's an intensive training. It usually takes about a day but those who have gone through it, are equipped with the ability to intervene during a mental health crisis and help someone get professional help. Much like a first aid training, allows us to intervene with some triage and some basic support. Mental health first aid does the same thing with mental health crises. That's a little bit about what's going on at El Centro and I'll pass it on to Mountainview.
Speaker: Dr. Jesse Gonzalez
Ok. Buenos Dias. My name is Dr. Jesse Gonzalez. I want to make clear that the PhD is in public administration not counseling. A master's in counseling, PhD. in public administration. I've been at Mountainview for 10 years. Like David, I'm the sole counselor here. I have had interns. I hope to in the future. I love what I do. I worked for 10, 12 years prior to this in the community in a variety of settings. Like many others, I do a variety of things on campus. Mainly, we work through the other programs, integrate counseling services into those other programs so that it feels like a very natural part of what those programs do to the students. It's kind of a seamless hand-off for them. I do presentations, workshops, can do support groups for programs like TRIO, Student Life, Student Ambassadors, Brother to Brother, our international students, our dual credit students, our athletes, and our nurses for each orientation that the group of nurses have. I work closely with the CARE and Connections Program, career disabilities, veterans, Title IX, and Code of Conduct. Regularly do training for staff and faculty during return weeks. Two particular areas that I had to focus on because they're a little bit different in terms of training and experience. For six years, I've worked as a Hospice counselor.
Six years of working with grief and loss. Hospice is a program that works with those who are terminally ill. My job was to help folks prepare for their own death, work with the family and prepare them to say goodbye to a loved one, stay with the family for about a year afterwards because it takes a while to work with grief and walk them through that [inaudible] of grief. Because of that, I've had a lot of other referrals and other experience with loss such as relationships, divorce, separation, loss of home or a car, loss of a job, loss of a dream. And so, any area of loss, I've worked with a great deal. The other is that [inaudible] house the only full-time male counselor who was straight that worked at the Oaklawn Community Services Counseling Center here in Dallas. It's the old gay, lesbian counseling center which is now closed. But while it was open, it was a counseling center by the community, for the community and I was fortunate to be allowed to be a part of that. Helped student come out -- excuse me, but clients, helped them come out, helped them deal with family, friends and relationships, partner counseling and then just the whole realm of regular counseling issues that come up for anybody, except working within that community that I still feel very much a part of and a member of the family.
I run -- most of the time I've been here, we've had a support group on campus toward LGBT and it's been a very friendly atmosphere. Next. There are two ways to access counseling services at Dallas College, right now. Online and on-campus. Most of the services, right now, for the next month, will be online. Hopefully in the spring, we'll have both but certainly at least online. These counseling services want to provide you as complete a counseling experience as possible while safeguarding your privacy and your health records. So, that there is a software that we would use called WebEx that has end to end encryption. What that means is that it's not hackable. It'll safeguard your confidentiality, your privacy. It means it's HIPAA and FERPA compliant, which are federal regulations, and it will safeguard your electronic health record. There will be informed consent where we explain counseling that are your rights and responsibilities in counseling, kind of explain what counseling is like and the limits of confidentiality. Those will be on a website that you'll go to. You'll read those forms, you'll sign them electronically, do a little survey for us and then you can begin counseling with us. The online counseling can be either face-to-face, through video chat, or can be just online. Your choice.
That would be your choice. And so that's counseling services online. Next slide. These are counseling services on campus. Again, when possible, a lot of people prefer face-to-face, others prefer online for the convenience and the time, the availability of certain times. When you come on campus, again, the concern will be to safeguard your safety and health, as well as your privacy. And so, for those in-person sessions on campus, you'll go to which you've gotten information about. It's the same process you use to make appointments for academic advising, for your tutoring, or for your library. It will be that same software. You will make an appointment with us, you got to make it ahead of time. They'll send you information about the protocols, the safeguards you need to follow on campus. You will come on campus only for that appointment or another appointment. As soon as your appointments are over, you'll be asked to leave the campus. We can't, during COVID, stay on campus and hang out like we normally would. You'll wear a face mask, there will be social distancing. We are working really hard to safeguard your safety typically just like we always safeguard your safety emotionally and your privacy. Thank you. I'll turn it over to our next counselor.
Speaker: Dalia Blell
Hi. I'm Dalia Blell and I'm the assistant director and professional counselor at North Lake and I've been at North Lake for 14 years. I am a licensed clinical social worker and I'm also a bilingual therapist. Hola. I'm also a certified EMDR therapist and what that means is I'm a trauma therapist. My team consists of Grenalda Spears. She's a licensed professional counselor, has a lot of experience with recovery and treatment. Our newest member is Tashia Moore. She's a licensed master counselor and she is our Connections case manager. Our team has been trained, all of us, in NOVA crisis response, as well as Mental Health First Aid. We have other certifications, for example, I'm an AS+K Suicide Gatekeeper trainer. I'm also QPR trained and I just recently got appointed to be the higher education representative for the Texas Suicide Prevention Collaborate. We've taken on a number of interns this year to support our team. We have a full-time administrative assistant, her name is Alejandra Paredes and we have three UTA School Social Work Master Level interns that are helping support the Dallas College Connections Program and we have a bachelor level intern who is going to be supporting the North Lake food pantry and we're really excited that our interns are now able to provide services for all of Dallas College, not just North Lake. Next slide, please.
So, at North Lake, we've always had this motto of "Let's Celebrate life" and so one of the things that we believe very strongly and is transforming lives through education, we support our college's mission of student success, employee success and community success. So, our model has always been to have counseling be part of the campus life world. So, we're very -- our programs, our psycho-educational programs are embedded with our Student Success teams and academic teams. So, really what that means is we just integrated into all of these teams on campus. So, we celebrate life by having awareness activities. For example, we do a world suicide prevention walk on World Suicide Prevention Day. We do this walk with the whole campus. We involve student life, we involve even marketing, even the president's team and we also do that for domestic violence awareness, sexual assault awareness month. We simply decide, oh, we're going to put a positive note to an issue that's impacting so many of our community by providing education on the issues, as well as, hey, let's do a lot of self-care while we're talking about something that's pretty intense. Since we've gone into this remote work and remote classes, we've become even more collaborative. We've always been very collaborative within the campus but now we are collaborative college wide.
So, we've done a number of presentations for all of Dallas College on taking care of the mental health well-being of students, faculty, and staff. We did this for conference day. We also supported a Veteran's Mental Health Summit at the Sustainability Summit and next month will be doing this for the Dallas Promise Project. And we, early on, we took on the mission of promoting the Okay to Say Campaign for Dallas College. So, what everything that we do, we simply say it's okay. It's okay to say that you're struggling, that you're having some kind of situation, right now, and then you need some support and it's okay to say -- it's okay to have a conversation with a clinician. So, early on in the pandemic, we put a survey out that students asked us to put out, Let's Talk survey, and asked students what do you want to talk about and when do you want to talk about it and how do you want to talk about it? So, we were pretty much told by students, hey, we want to talk about anxiety. We want to talk about depression, stress management, parenting during COVID-19 and how, you know, how do you date during COVID-19, as well.
So, we did virtual workshops on all of those topics and we had really great attendance from students. We also worked with Dallas College to acquire an application called TAO which is therapy assistance online and it has self-help modules on there because we understood from students that they don't all have the technology to do telehealth, the privacy to do telehealth, or they're in unsafe situations where they're not able to meet with a clinician. So, we said, hey, we have to have an application for these students to be able to access self-help as though they were just learning something. So, we've created some self-help groups that you can access through our counseling services' web page. There's one on anxiety 101, mindfulness and relaxation techniques, healthy relationships, and stress management. Another thing that this team did is actually work with health services to create an online learning community on eCampus. So, we have a lot of modules on there. A lot of information, even information on how to access counseling services on the health and wellness learning community on eCampus. We're also really big on our campus on the connections and resource program and we are now part of a Dallas College team that's working on connections and resources. So, we're very, very involved in figuring out how to get student services, not just within the campus, but out in the community regarding childcare, food, and housing.
We are also members of the CARE Team. We serve as mental health consultants, though that when a referral comes in, we're able to assess with the team. If this is something that's more conduct related or if this is something that's more mental health-related and how we're going to connect that student to our services. And we're members of the NOVA Crisis Response Team and this is a team that gets activated if there's an incident on campus whether it's small or large scale and the clinicians and the NOVA trained employees respond by providing psychological first aid to students, faculty, and staff. We'll be part of the Wellness Checks Team that is going to be launching fairly soon and so what that involves is, you know, is calling students to see how they're doing during this time of uncertainty and especially during this transition that Dallas College is moving with in regards to telehealth and in-person and now again back to telehealth. And we're, like I said, we're all mental health first aid trained. So, we are able to really help our employees be comfortable with asking, you know, how are you doing? Are you ok? And not to accept I'm fine, to go a little bit further like, well, tell me how you're fine because we know that most of us are not fine, right now. We may say we're okay and that we're doing okay, and we are. However, we're not fine. We're not feeling as we were before the pandemic.
One of our biggest projects for Dallas College has been our AS+K Suicide Gatekeeper Training. So, I'm an AS+K Suicide Gatekeeper instructor and I conduct these trainings in-person, and I've been able to conduct virtually, as well. So, AS+K stands for ask about suicide, seek more information, stay safe and know how to refer. So, and the training people are able to say the word suicide and learn how to ask directly, are you thinking about taking your life? Are you thinking about killing yourself? And if they get that information, they are then trained to know what to do with that information, if they need to refer somebody mediately to 911 because they're in acute distress or if they need to, or if this person is -- got some resources, internal and external resources and they simply need to be connected maybe to mental health. So, and as I mentioned, I'm now the higher education representative on the Texas Suicide Prevention Collaborative. So, what that involves is really speaking up for what colleges and universities need in regard to suicide prevention. So, I really want to also say that when we first went into this remote and online classes, I reframed what we were going through to a chance of a lifetime and I really want to thank this team, Richland is coming up next, but I want to thank this team because this is the first time we've had an opportunity to feature what we do and I am amazed at how much our teams are doing in all the different campuses. So, I'm not going to hand it over to Karen Cuttill from Richland.
Speaker: Karen Cuttill
Hi. I am Karen Cuttill and I work on the Richland campus. Richland has one of the oldest, most established counseling centers or teams in the district. Not that we're better than anyone else, we're just been around. So, we have one of the larger teams that are available to support students and our faculty and staff, not only on our campus but across the other campuses. So, one of the things that we have been known for is not only our interventions with our students, but also training for staff and faculty across campuses at conferences and one-on-one trainings and group trainings. All sorts of, you know, faculty and staff trainings as well as helping train our community. So, we've had multiple different types of outreaches that go into the community to try and other licensed professional counselors, as well as those across the district whether they're working solely in a counseling center or whether they're supporting our students in other ways like advising or being faculty. So, we have many, many counselors but a lot of them don't work in one of our centers. Here at Richland, I'll tell you a little bit about myself. I've been with the district since 2005.
I was previously a student. So, I'm an alumni and I'm very active on the Alumni [inaudible] Committee and, very important, not only to get our students in and get them educated but also to help them come back so they can mentor and help promote what our college does really well to future students and current students. I'm a first-generation college student and I'm also a member of the sustainability team for Dallas College because we really do need to be sustainable and part of what mental health and wellbeing is, is about the sustainability of self, of being able to cope with whatever is going on in your lives and then do it well enough to be successful in the future. I am a licensed professional counselor. I'm a supervisor. I'm also a nationally certified counselor and I'm NOVA trained. I'm NOVA Advanced trained which means I'm right under the ability to begin to train other trainers and I hope to do that soon, so I can become one of the trainers of NOVA in our college. I am also the other Mental Health First Aid Trainer. I work with David Thompson and we do a lot of staff training and faculty training to help people learn how to identify and have that conversation with their students or with their colleagues because it's not only students that are having to adjust to COVID and through different types of life situations, it's also our faculty and staff. We have, on our campus, we have three certified clinical trauma professionals, and I am also a certified clinical -- a compassion fatigue professional and a cognitive behavioral therapist. We work strongly on -- on our campus we are known very well for working with the other -- the other groups and like our advisers, our veteran services, our disability services, our health center, our international student group, we have one of the larger groups of international students in the college. And so, we have done, for years, we have done a lot of support services for them because just as other people have said earlier, they come with the unique -- many of these students come with unique issues into our colleges and they need some unique places of support.
We -- we're just really known for that. And as we moved from being individual colleges to one college, we have extended our service and support to other campuses and to other groups across the district. So, we're really about this being one college and one team and I wanted to make a note that although we are presenting everything kind of as our own campuses, we are really one team and students can go to any campus they want and that is wonderful because they can get more services available to them for the needs that they have and we can help them be more successful in reaching their educational and their personal goals. A little bit about our team is, you've met me a little bit, but another member is Ellicia Money and she has been here quite a long time too, and she is also a licensed professional counselor supervisor and she's a nationally certified counselor and she is one of the certified clinical trauma professionals. She works with our CARE Team and she does a tremendous amount of campus outreach. She -- if you find her, involved all over the place and I think, in the future, you'll find her popping up all over the college because she's that engaging and students really feel comfortable being around her and she can motivate that type of energy that we're looking for, and that our students are looking for.
We do have four full-time counselors. So, there's myself and Ellicia Money, Louis Whatley. Now Louis comes to us, he's also a licensed professional counselor supervisor and he came kind of from the legal field. So, he brings a little bit of different lens to some of the things that our students go through, but he is our dedicated Richland Collegiate High School counselor. Now everybody, almost every campus has the early to college or they have dual credit students, but our campus is the only campus that actually has a charter school. So, we have a charter high school and it's just like any charter school out in the community, except its part of our campus and Louis Whatley is our designated Collegiate High School counselor. And I'll give you a secret. He used to be cheerleader in his college, and I think also maybe in his high school. And he brings that kind of energy in that much fun to our high school students and he's just well-loved and he also sees other students too, on occasion. The newest full-time member of our team is Joane Davis and she is also a licensed professional counselor supervisor and nationally certified. She has some other certificates, as well as being a trauma professional but she has a trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapist certification, which just gives that CBT a little bit of more emphasis in the trauma and helping people because so many of our students come with trauma and she's just really good at that. She does something that's really unique and I think that's something that Richland would like to showcase about our counselors, is that we have a highly diverse team, and we have a very broad range of certifications.
Joane brings to us, as she is a certified Sandtray therapist. So, if you've ever seen on people with this kind of, you know, they have like a sand tray and they have little things that you can rake or you can feel the sand or you can use little figurines in the sand, she's certified in that and she's even getting more advanced certifications in the future and she's just amazing and it's just a different way because we all do talk therapy but when it comes to Joane, she has the ability to help people in a non-verbal way which does communicate something very important to our students because we all don't have a good -- we're all just not really good at verbalizing everything and she has that way of getting into a non-verbal level which can be very important when you're reaching people with early trauma. And so, we're really happy that Joane is part of our team and we -- if you can change slides for me, I'll introduce you to the rest of the team. So, we have some part-time counselors also. We are, again, very highly diverse and so we have Pin and Pin is an LPC. She's not a supervisor, we hope someday she will, but she is experienced with anxiety and depression coping skills. That's what she really likes to work with and helping people adjust to new environments and to new situations. Now, Pin is unique because Pin was born and raised in Taiwan. She actually has a college degree and a master's degree from Taiwan but she's over here and had to repeat a lot of that because of education but here I want to let everyone know that she not only speaks fluent English, she also speaks Mandarin. And so, this is something that we can offer.
A lot of our students, especially over in the Richland area, we have a lot of Asian students and she can relate to them and speak their -- if they speak Chinese Mandarin, then she can do that very well with them and they can just like Spanish-speaking, she can talk to them in their first language which can really, really help them. And speaking about languages, we have worked strong with our ESOL and our GED programs, as well as the other ones that I had spoken earlier. Michael Hyder is another licensed counselor, professional counselor supervisor and he is also a certified EMDR therapist and something unique about Michael is he worked two years, he worked with the Squamish Reservation Wellness Center and this is an Indian reservation, or I should say Native American reservation, and I don't like the word reservation but I guess that's what we call them and I wish we could find a new word, but he worked there. So, he has really a lot of experience and understanding in working with Native Americans, as well as some other immigration people that who have emigrated and we are really proud that we have someone with that kind of experience and that kind of -- he's really kind of laid back and really easy going and students really like that and so we really welcome him to our team. The last person I want to talk about -- well, is not really the last person but the last counseling person I want to talk about is Shannon Mosely and she is an LPC. She's EMDR certified.
She's also a certified mindfulness trainer which kind of goes along with this whole idea that if we could be in the moment and teach students and faculty, and staff to be in the moment, then we're not so anxious about the future, we're not so guilty or anxious or angry about the past but if we stay in the moment, which is really where we can impact life, we have to do it in the moment and she is really good about helping people learn to be that grounded and that mindful of being in the moment. She's got lots of certifications, they were too many to put here, so she's just really diversified and she will be finishing her doctoral degree in the spring and so they'll be another person with a PhD to work closely with our students and faculty and staff. Both Michael and Shannon work in our Thrive Workshop as presenters. They created this workshop, and it is like much of the other wellness or personal types of successful workshops that other counseling centers are doing. This one is just called Thrive Workshop and we've done it virtually and it's still going on. So, students anywhere in the college can sign up and come to one of our Thrive workshops. She also does something I think is very timely, right now. She does a navigating political differences drop-in group which really helps people talk about the elections, talk about the social injustice, just talk about all those other -- those other situations and topics that are so important to our students into our society at the moment.
A lot of times we think, oh, I didn't kind of want to steer clear of those, but it is important that we help students manage this and cope with this and help them find their place in helping change our culture and our society for the better. And so, this is a little bit of what we do. Again, I want to emphasize that I think we do almost everything that everybody else does and so some of our collaborative projects are the international student support groups, the political event. We had a virtual drop-in Ask the Counselor, and it's been virtual and it's -- it's been relatively successful. So, these are where our students can just stop in and talk about a topic very similar to the Counseling Corner that many of our campuses promoted when we were all on campus but this one went virtual. And so, it's been -- it's been exciting to watch this develop, also. Again, I want to emphasize that we do extensive wellness programming for student, staff, and faculty, not only on our campus but across all of our colleges' campuses, as well as extending into community training, classroom presentations we are doing virtual now.
We will do them again on campus, in person, when we're back on campus. And, again, I just want to emphasize that we do almost everything, you know, that all the other campuses do but we are really strong in supporting a collaboration and we have historically been that way across our college. Next slide, please. And just to kind of wrap up what Richland does, is I wanted to give kind of a shout out to Stephanie Harris and Stephanie is a full-time social worker. She's not the first social worker in our district. I think maybe Dalia Dwell [assumed spelling] might be the most famous or, I don't want to say infamous, that would be bad. But most famous social workers. She's done so much work for our college, but Stephanie is solely just social work and she is heading up our Connections Program on our campus and she's really likable and every time I refer a student to her, they have always come back and said she's amazing. So, I want to give a shoutout to her and she also works on our CARE Team, as well as the Connections. And then, Carol Castillo has been -- I believe in Dallas College for about 20 years plus. I think on our campus we do trees and I think she just got a tree this past year for her 20 years of service to Dallas College and she is a Program Services Coordinator.
She used to do something called the -- boy, I'm losing it here. She headed up one of our clothing closets and used to be our returning adult student support and she now helps Stephanie with, as one of the Program Service Coordinators for the Connections and she is also our foster care representative and she helped students on our campus and other campuses and that are have -- I'm sorry, aged out of the foster care system and they're now receiving foster care benefits or, hopefully, if they're not receiving them, she's getting them connected to receive those benefits across our college campus because they come from a unique background and sometimes, often, they need a little bit of extra help. And we are overseen by J.J. Larson who is also, it doesn't say here but she's also NOVA certified and an LPC and a national certified counselor and she has other certifications, as well. And she's our Dean, student of support services and we appreciate her leadership and helping us coordinate, not only what we were just on our Richland campus, but now helping to -- helping us to maneuver this collaboration across Dallas College. So, I just want to say thank you to everyone for coming today and being a part of this. If you have any questions, please reach out to any of us and we don't have to be on your campus but please if your student, reach out and talk to someone if you're feeling a little uneasy or maybe very uneasy, if your staff and faculty and want more information, please reach out to one of us or one of the other counselors on our campus. We would love to support you and to help you help our students or help you help yourself or your friends. So, thank you very much for coming today and I just want to say thank you and have a wonderful Thanksgiving -- this will be after Thanksgiving. So, I have a wonderful holiday season.