Building Your Mental Health Toolkit: Q&A With MaryAnn Silvestri, M.Ed., LMHC, Director of Counseling Services
Your mental health matters, all year long. We spoke with MaryAnn Silvestri, M.Ed., LMHC, Director of Counseling Services at Dean College, to learn more about what resources are available on campus to help support your mental health.
Q: What are your day-to-day responsibilities?
A: My responsibilities each day are ever changing, depending on the emotional wellbeing of students. Typically, I will meet with students individually or sometimes in small groups, consult with faculty and staff about students of concern and speak with families who may be worried about their students, as well as assessment for students who may be experiencing a mental health crisis.
Q: Why is mental health important for college students?
A: The college years are such a critical time in a young adult’s life! Students are figuring out who they are and what direction they want their life to go in. It can be a stressful and overwhelming time for many students. It is no secret that mental health concerns are on the rise. The national statistic is 1 in 4 students come to college with a mental health condition. It is not uncommon for mental health diagnosis to emerge between the ages of 18-24. It is important for students to stay in tune with their mental health and know where they can reach out for support. Asking for help is a sign of strength, not a weakness!
Q: What resources are on campus for students who are struggling with mental health?
A: Dean Counseling Services provides mental health support for students. The office provides short term/problem-focused counseling model. We offer individual and small group meetings as well as social/emotional programs and workshops. Our goal is to support students’ emotional wellness and assist them with problem solving and learning coping strategies they can utilize in their everyday life. If a student has more severe or long-term mental health concerns, we will work with them to find referrals and resources to get the support they need.
Q: What is the first step you would tell a student who was looking for mental health resources?
A: In the campus news section of Today@Dean, there is a link for a counseling appointment request form. Students can simply fill out this form and a Dean clinician will reach out to them within a few days to set an appointment: Dean College Counseling Appointment Request Form (maxient.com). In that same section on Today@Dean, there is a link to access a resources sheet with variety of local and national mental health resources. If you live on campus, look in your residence hall bathrooms for a QR code which also provides campus information and resources. Be sure to scan it and keep the resource on your phone for easy access!
Q: What advice do you have for students struggling with mental health?
A: Reach out for support! If at any point your mental health is negatively impacting academics, daily responsibilities or personal safety, please talk to someone! Whether it’s a family member, academic advisor, professor or a counselor, we will help you figure out the best next steps to get the support you need.
Q: Are there any programs, events or initiatives that students can participate in throughout the semester?
A: We are currently providing a series called “Wednesday Worries.” If students attend these workshops, they will learn practical skills and strategies they can utilize to better manage stress and worry. If students have ideas about a counseling program or topic they would like to learn more about, please reach out to email@example.com to share your idea!
Project Green is our student mental health group on campus! We are always looking for new members and ideas to advocate for positive mental health on campus. Any student interested in joining can contact student activities to learn more.
Take care of yourselves, Bulldogs. Learn more about Dean College’s Health & Counseling Services or contact the Counseling Services Office at 508-541-1838.
This blog is meant for educational purposes only and not intended for emergencies. If you are experiencing a mental health emergency or in need of immediate assistance, please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.
24/7 resources are available:
Suicide Prevention Hotline -1-800-273-TALK (8255) suicidepreventionlifeline.org
Crisis Text Line text HOME to 74174 crisistextline.org