Oasis staff ready to help college students, employees

Promoting health and wellness for the whole person, that’s the goal of the new Oasis Center at Jackson College.

The Oasis Center will provide mental health support to students and employees. Services are offered in partnership with Family Services and Children’s Aid (FSCA) of Jackson. Plans for the clinic began about a year ago, in response to increasing needs for mental health support.

“Mental health issues have been stigmatized for a long time. Today, at Jackson College, we will no longer stigmatize mental health. We are saying with a loud voice that our faculty, staff and our students have a place to come for refuge, for support, for nurturing and assistance,” said President Daniel J. Phelan.

Jackson College becomes one of only about 13 percent of community colleges nationwide that offers a campus center for in-depth mental health services. The Oasis Center will provide support for depression, anxiety, alcohol and substance abuse, suicidal thoughts, anger, relationship issues, eating disorders, personal or social problems and much more. Employees may benefit from professional development opportunities.

Easy Access

Located in Justin Whiting Hall near the Health Clinic and Dental Clinic, the Oasis contains a lobby area designed to be a place where anyone can come and take a short break and relax, as well as two discussion rooms. Clinicians include Lindsey Arthur, counselor with three years outpatient substance abuse experience, and Nichole Dunlap, clinical social worker with experience with survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Mental health issues can impact a person at any age. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, about one in five adults in the U.S., 43.8 million people, experience a mental illness in a given year.

Mental health issues may interfere with a student’s performance and affect grades and persistence to completing college goals. Unfortunately, mental health disorders often carry a stigma, attitudes that view symptoms as scary, uncomfortable and threatening. The new Oasis Center is offered to help, again, focusing on success for all students.