Tech psychologist discusses importance of counseling after campu

Tech psychologist discusses importance of counseling after campus shooting

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When it comes to tragedies like the deadly shooting at Texas Tech, it can be hard to talk about the personal impact it can have on us. The sights and sounds, and the reality of Tech Officer Floyd East's death can take a terrible toll on our mental health.

The shooting is still fresh on the mind for a Tech graduate student who wanted FOX34 to hide her identity, we called her Hillary for this story. 

"It could have been a lot worse, and I think the adrenaline initially was 'Oh my God' so many people could be hurt," she said. 

She said she's feeling anxious.

"I think hearing the sirens, and seeing the video of the police actively looking for different clues and different things, I think it was a real moment when I heard the first siren," she said. "It connects it back to it."

She already suffers from anxiety normally, but this has taken it to another level. Hillary wants everyone to understand the impact this could have on mental health.

"So it is better to get it out," she said. "It is better to say what you have to say, even if it may not be agreeable on all sides."

Staff Psychologist Dr. Amanda Wheeler works at the Student Counseling Center.

"I think a lot of people are still in shock," she said. "My hope is people are still talking to each other about this."

She says Tech immediately came up with a game plan to provide any support services. Dr. Wheeler said it would be normal right now to be anxious, scared or sad.

"My thinking is if it lasts longer like a week or two, and if starts interfering with daily functioning, which means you are scared to go to class or you don't want to walk around campus that is when you should come and talk to us,"  Wheeler said.

Dr. Wheeler expects more people to stop by in the coming days and weeks. 

"I think we have to remember there is a lot of stuff going on in the world right now," she said. "The Las Vegas shooter, the hurricanes, and the wildfires there is a lot trauma that is going on. It is just building for some of our students."

Tech has individual or counseling group support services, and there's even a 24-hour mental health crisis support hot line."

"It is not a place to be scared of," Wheeler said. "We are really friendly I promise. We are normal human beings, sometimes we like to think that therapists aren't normal. I think we are pretty easy to talk to."

Hillary has seen her primary doctor, and plans to see a counselor on campus. She encourages anyone struggling to do the same. 
"If you don't talk about it, it just builds up inside of you and there's no way to release it," she said.

Student services are free for Tech students, well sort of. They pay for it as part of the student fees.

For more info on the Student Counseling Center, click here.

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