Counseling and Advising Center offers resources for anxiety

Photo by Kelsey Williams | Director John Sheahan stands in the doorway of Parkland’s Counseling and Advising Center.

Photo by Kelsey Williams | Director John Sheahan stands in the doorway of Parkland’s Counseling and Advising Center.

EvyJo Compton

Staff Writer


Anxiety is a part of the majority of people’s lives on a day-to-day basis and it can be tolerable, but if it starts to interfere with one’s everyday activities it becomes an issue.

On March 15, the Counseling and Advising center wil be holding a discussion session and screening for those who think they might be affected by anxiety.

“There is going to be a video,” Sheahan says, “which will be followed up by a discussion on anxiety. This will be a good time for people to bring up things that they think about anxiety, and get answers.”

Along with the video and the discussion, there will be a screening for anxiety.

“Students will come to the Counseling and Advising Center to be screened confidentially,” Sheahan says. “We hope to get a lot of students. This is a test of sorts where students will answer questions, and we will see how they range on the scale.”

Once students are screened, they will be told if they will need a follow-up or not.

“Students will either fall in between the manageable bounds or outside of it,” Sheahan states. “If they fall in the manageable bounds, we tell them, and they continue on as normal. If we see that they fall outside of those bounds, they will be notified of a follow-up.”

These follow-ups can come in different forms.

“We can work with them in here,” Sheahan states. “We have been working on getting relaxation workshops together. Otherwise, we can get them in touch with outside agencies. We will be able to get them to places that can help.”

For those who cannot make it to the anxiety day screening, they can go into the Counseling and Advising Center to get screened at another time.

“Students may not be able to make it to the screening which is okay,” Sheahan states. “If someone can’t make it, they can go to the advising center to ask for an appointment. The idea will still be the same; students will still be screened the same way, but just in the appointment itself. This is good for students who can’t make it because of work schedules, class schedules, or just life in general.”

The reason it is so important to get screened for anxiety is because of how obstructive to one’s life it can be. “Anxiety can be an overwhelming feeling,” says John Sheahan, director of the Counseling and Advising Center, states. “In moderation it is okay. Feeling anxious before a test can be good; it can help you study and focus more, but if you’re starting to puke or become upset while studying, that’s when the anxiety becomes an issue.”

Anxiety comes in many levels, but roughly two-thirds of people have anxiety levels that are within manageable bounds.

“There is a reasonable level of anxiety,” Sheahan states. “About one third of the population of the United States is above that level. This above- manageable level of anxiety is when people need to reach out for help.”

Unlike depression or any of the other mental illnesses, anxiety has become more socially acceptable.

“Someone is more likely to say that they have anxiety than anything else,” Sheahan states. “Almost everyone has some type of anxiety. It is easier for people to come out and actually talk about what is going on.”

Anxiety is very prevalent in college students. This is the time young adults step into the world, and start making decisions for themselves.

“It really is more prevalent in college students,” Sheahan states. “The pressure to succeed, economic status, and a whole lot of other things are directly placed on college students’ shoulders. In high school, students are protected in a way. When students reach college, they have to make the majority of the decisions themselves. A lot of these decisions aren’t just right and wrong, and that puts a lot of extra stress on college students.”

Anxiety screening day is on March 15 from noon–1 p.m. in U140. If you suspect you may have anxiety or have questions about anxiety, contact the Counseling and Advising Center at 217-351-2219.