WCC Partners With the Guidance Center of Westchester

by Jenna Colon


This semester, WCC’s Personal Counseling Department has partnered with The Guidance Center of Westchester (TGCW). By joining with this organization, WCC hopes to help more students with support and services.

“The program is in line with the mission of the Personal Counseling Department and Westchester Community College as a whole. Cultural competency, understanding the varying needs and struggles our students face, and individualized support is something we greatly value. Additionally, as this is a grant-funded program, there is no additional cost to the college or to students,” said WCC social worker Kristy Robinson.

The Personal Counseling department chose to partner with TGCW because of their longstanding positive reputation. They are a non-profit, community-based organization that has been helping the community since 1942 and have worked with SUNY Purchase for 25 years.

“Currently providing services to more than 5,000 people each year, TGCW is a $16 million agency with over 200 employees and programs in 35 communities throughout Westchester County. TGCW’s professional staff is dedicated to helping clients of all ages overcome psychological, social and cultural barriers as they strive to develop brighter futures.“

The Guidance Center doesn’t just help out college students, they offer multiple services to the community including a program that helps those dealing with substance abuse, homelessness and an early childhood program.

“Supported Education differs from the already in place Personal Counseling services in that the students who are eligible for the Supported Education program have been diagnosed with a serious mental illness. This service is often in conjunction (not in lieu of) mental health treatment outside of school,” said Robinson. “The goals of Personal Counseling and Supported Education are ultimately the same –to help students who are struggling cope with stressors and take care of their of their emotional and physical wellness.”

Students can get access to this resource by contacting the Supported Education Coordinator, Patricia Murphy, a licensed mental health coordinator, who has helped students for over 20 years.

Students can also schedule an appointment through the personal counselors, who are located on the second floor of the Student Center.

“Personal Counseling has existed at WCC for a number of years and has taken on many shapes and forms. In the past three years, there has been a significant increase in students reaching out for support and mental health services. This is a great thing, and a testament to a cultural shift towards destigmatizing mental health and mental illness,” said Robinson. “However, with this increase and with the size of our student population, more resources are necessary. We are so grateful that the Guidance Center of Westchester extended this opportunity to Westchester Community College, and we look forward to a successful partnership that will support our students.”

These services are for every student who is in need of help.
Supported education is here at WCC to provide emotional support, organization skills, coping strategies and symptom management.

It is cost-free and conveniently located on the main campus, as well as the Mount Vernon and New Rochelle extension sites.

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