Health Services helps students handle stress

Gisela Lagos, Editor in Chief

Traumatic disasters are a part of everyone’s lives, at San Diego Mesa College the Health Services department takes the time to help students who have been affected by personal or worldwide tragedy.

The last few decades have brought world events to the forefront of people’s minds.  The aftermath of earthquakes and hurricanes are now seen as soon as they’ve happened through YouTube and social networking sites.

Graphic pictures are no longer censored by television news and shocking images are streamed online leaving some uneasy and changed.  Stress and anxiety caused by world events and by everyday life are all priority for the psychotherapists who work at the Health Services department.

Located in the L-500 building, just east of the H-300 building, the Health Services department holds events, seminars, group meeting and has a psychotherapy program to help with managing the various stresses of life.

The Director of Student Health Services Suzanne Khambata said, “The Psychotherapy program is staffed with one marriage family therapist and one licensed clinical social worker.”

The staff is available to see students one on one and also holds group meeting that focus on managing depression and anxiety. While the therapists are trained in a variety of techniques that help the student work past traumatic events, each persons recovery is very personal.

“It is best to address your specific needs directly to a Student Health provider so we can wwork to resolve the concern,” Khambata said.

Stress and post-traumatic stress don’t just affect the people that experienced the event, family members, friends and even acquaintances are susceptible to the symptoms.

Shock and denial are the two typical responses people will encounter.  The American Psychological Association says that some people are affected shortly after the event, while others may take a long time for the emotional effects to emerge.  It continues by saying that the reactions will vary from person to person.  Intense or unpredictable emotions, flashbacks may start for no known reason, trouble concentrating or making decisions, and physical symptoms are all normal and common.

The Health Services department created a flyer to give information on managing stress, which is linked onto their website.  Here the reader will find where to seek help, what signs to look for in someone suffering from stress anxiety and post-traumatic stress and what can be done to help themselves and their family.

Once a week a therapist is located in front of the cafeteria and helps students with their various needs or directs them to Health Services if needed.

The Be Calm workshop is held several times a year, as the time and locations permits, and emphasizes on time and stress management and how to handle test anxiety.

No stress or anxiety is too large or too small for the Health Services department.  The therapists are currently available by appointment.  Stop by L504 to make an appointment or call 619-388-2774.

For more information on the programs provided through Health Services please visit