Fresno City College’s Emphasis on Mental Health

Due to the pandemic, Fresno City College announced it is putting an emphasis on mental health and is encouraging students to take advantage of services provided by FCC’s Psychological Services office. 

FCC’s psychological services provide a variety of mental health and wellness services to assist students in successfully reaching personal, academic and career goals, according to Natalia Velasquez, a psychology intern at FCC.

Currently, the clinic offers in-person services Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and telehealth services via Zoom, Tuesdays and Fridays.

Services include free individual or group services, outreach events and crisis services to students enrolled in at least one class. 

Group sessions and talking Circles, such as Art therapy, Anxiety Tool Box Group and Coping in the Chaos, are facilitated by clinicians at FCC’s psychological services beginning in September. 

These gatherings have provided a safe place for students to explore mental health, learn coping skills, and provide a support system for one another. 

According to FCC’s Aug. 19 open forum, 48 talking and healing circles were completed between June 2020 and July 2021.

Some group sessions will be scheduled in-person, via telehealth which is a remote health care service, and/or using a hybrid model.

The clinic is following FCC’s COVID-19 guidelines by limiting capacity in their rooms and during in-person gatherings with social distancing and sanitizing their office between each session.

In addition, clinicians and students are required to wear masks during the sessions.

According to Velasquez, Active Minds, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising mental health awareness among college students, conducted a survey of approximately 2,000 university students regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The survey reported that 80% of college students reported that the COVID-19 pandemic has

negatively impacted their mental health, with 20% of students indicating that their mental health has significantly worsened because of COVID-19. 

Specifically, the majority of students indicated that greater stress, anxiety, disappointment,  sadness, loneliness, financial setback, and relocation have been the most common ways that COVID-19 have impacted their lives. 

In addition, self-care, such as engaging in physical activity, connecting with others, and maintaining routines, especially in completing academic work from the home environment, has been challenging for many students. 

Like many other colleges, students at FCC appear to be experiencing similar concerns, with many seeking support from their campus counseling centers like FCC Psychological Services, according to Velasquez. 

FCC’s psychological services highly encourages students to use their main website to request services, find information on upcoming group events and explore self-help resources.

Psychological services advertises their services to students through their website here, social media, bulletin boards throughout campus, emails to faculty and student body, and during outreach events like Ram Ready.

Although the psychological services only offer treatments for students, FCC faculty and staff have an opportunity to receive psychological help via FCC’s Employee Assistance Program that contains six free sessions with a licensed clinician. 

“If you find yourself in need of guidance, please reach out for help! FCC Psychological 

Services is your student counseling center and we are here for you!” Velasquez said.