Counseling groups increase accessibility

USF Students grieving after the devastating terrorist attacks on the United States were not alone in their sorrow Tuesday. Within hours of the attack, Victim?s Advocacy, with the help of Marshall Center administration had setup in MC 108.

Mary Samuel Reid, program coordinator for Victim?s Advocacy, said the group was taking extended measures in light of the crisis.

?Usually we have one member on 24-hour call,? Reid said. ?All four members are on call 24-hours until this blows over.?

Reid said Victim?s Advocacy handles short-term crisis situations while the Counseling Center for Human Development handles long-term situations. However, the two groups are working together in an effort to ensure all students? needs are met.

Olga Skalkos, assistant director for the counseling center, said in addition to their role of comforting students, they will make themselves available to student organizations.

?We will conduct organization debriefings so we can give people the opportunity to express themselves emotionally in terms of loss and fear,? Skalkos said.

She said they will serve as a basis of information, answering questions and concerns for students.

?We consider ourselves essential,? Skalkos said. ?We are making ourselves accessible to student faculty and staff.?

She said the counseling center has 13 psychologists, three psychiatrists, four interns and two graduate students, all of which are capable of counseling students.

William D. Anton, director for the counseling center, said the severity of this situation on campus cannot be overlooked.

?We view today as just the beginning of what is going to be needed for the students and staff for weeks to come,? Anton said. ?We can?t underestimate the significance of this.?

For immediate counsel, contact Victim?s Advocacy at 974-5757.