Arts & Culture / Mosaic / May 22, 2019

Counseling services respond to addiction resources

Assistant Dean for Student Wellness/Director of Counseling Janell McGruder poses in her office. (Rafael Cho/TKS)

For Assistant Dean for Student Wellness/Director of Counseling Janell McGruder addiction and rehabilitation are not “cut and dry.” McGruder pointed to multiple resources and complications in addressing addiction and rehabilitation at Knox.

“When it comes to drug usage, I think that people think that students come here and are like, ‘hey this is what’s happening to me and this is what’s going on,’ Drug usage is just a coping mechanism based on other mental health concerns [such as] trauma, depression, anxiety, things along those lines. So just working those things out through counseling,” McGruder said.

In the past, the Counseling Center has offered group sessions for people dealing with alcohol/drug problems, but tends to have low attendance. McGruder does not feel that adding an Alcoholics Anonymous chapter is appropriate to Knox’s campus because of the diverse background.

“I don’t know it’s appropriate considering the religious affiliation that they have with it, that’s something that needs to be considered too. There’s a lot of reference to God and stuff along those lines, so it’s not just cut and dry for our diverse population,” McGruder said. “We’ve offered [alcohol group sessions in the past] but they don’t get filled”.

To continue learning about these issues, the counselors in Health Services is required to complete 30 hours of clinical education every two years. It is most important to the counselors that the training they are receiving is intersectional and will consider all backgrounds when it comes to their education.

Other than the Counseling Center offering individual and group counseling, Knox does not offer other resources for people going through rehabilitation.

“I want to make sure that individuals know that it’s okay to come in and talk about one thing but really want to talk about something else, and we will get to that when they feel comfortable,” McGruder said. “It’s about building trust. It’s about seeing where they are with it. It’s about seeing who they have for resources.

For the upcoming summer months, McGruder encourages students to remember to incorporate hobbies they love into their everyday lives.

“I think that too often things like exercise and journaling really gets dismissed,” McGruder said.


Tags:  addiction counseling services janell mcgruder rehabilitation substance abuse

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