Self-care and counseling support

Message sent on October 13, 2020

Kathy Bradley, Director of Counseling Services, informs the campus community about the counseling services and resources that are available during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Surprisingly, we’re halfway through the semester! As academic pressures mount and the daylight dwindles, this seems a good time to remind people about what support is available from Counseling Services for students who are on- AND off-campus.

Counseling Services continues to offer services to students REGARDLESS of where students are physically located. There are a couple of states that will not allow us to offer services over state lines, but even in those few cases we are happy to consult with students to help them find services close to them.

  • We offer 1:1 counseling and support groups.
  • We provide information via our website and Instagram @gettysburggood.
  • We are also happy to offer the PEEPS to all students. The PEEPS are Peers Educating and Encouraging Peers to Succeed. The PEEPS are Gettysburg students who have undergone intensive training with us. They are available to students who could use some extra support but don’t necessarily want to meet with a professional staff counselor. The PEEPS have their own Instagram at GBCpeeps.

We are providing all services via a HIPAA compliant ZOOM platform, so students can remain in the comfort of their rooms and homes.

Call us at 717-337-6960 to schedule time with a professional counselor or one of the PEEPS.

  • For students who want something but don’t want counseling, we encourage checking out our website and the list of mental wellness apps listed there.

Finally, for ALL of us: these are difficult times! (Like you needed a psychologist to point that out.) Many of us are having difficulty finding motivation, and we may be feeling down, if not depressed. We endured the early stages of COVID with courage and determination, but those traits are harder to sustain the longer we endure the changes COVID has brought. Our sprint has turned into a marathon! So what do you do?

  • Practice self-compassion. Sometimes you just need to be kind to yourself and give yourself a little TLC, whatever shape that takes for you.
  • End each day with an appreciation for a few little things that were good in your day. Of course you can always be appreciative of good health and family, etc., but it helps to think of the small kindnesses we experience, too: someone letting you into traffic, holing a door for you, or giving you a smile.
  • Do something kind for someone else! That is a behavior that pays off twice—for the giver and receiver.
  • When’s the last time you sent someone a handwritten note? Maybe it’s time to slow down and give it a try. Those of us who remember the excitement of receiving letters from home or afar an attest to how pleasant it is to receive snail mail.
  • Spend some time in or around nature—whether that is studying the birds outside your window, or walking through a beautiful meadow. You can even be in nature online if you don’t have ready access to the natural world. Nature reminds us that life goes on, through good days and bad.
  • Don’t drink (or smoke) too much. Short-term relief, long-term problem.
  • Online window shopping can be a healthy mood booster. But keep those credit cards at a distance—you don’t need to buy for the boost!
  • Find ways of connecting with others. Don’t let physical distance become emotional distancing. Sit outside with a friend. Make a phonecall for ZOOM/FaceTime call.
  • If you need to, see a therapist, whether it’s one of us (if you’re a student) or someone else. Sometimes that is the TLC we really need.

Finally, keep yourself and others well. Look for the occasional silver linings afforded by COVID, as we all try to make the best of a truly remarkable time in history.

Virtual hugs to everyone.

Kathy Bradley, Ph.D.

Director of Counseling Services
Associate Dean for College Life
Gettysburg College