Washburn hires new mental health counselor

Jackson Hermann

Washburn University hired Sally Konzem, MS, LPC, Oct. 17 as a University Counselor.

While Washburn provides many services to its students, student wellness and mental health services are often overlooked despite the many assets it provides to those who would like to take advantage of them. Many are unaware or under-educated on the benefits it can provide.

Washburn recently showcased its dedication to these resources with the hiring of Sally Konzem, a new University Counselor who had previously worked in the Student Wellness Center at Emporia State University since August 2013.

“The transition to WU has been a lot of fun,” Konzem said. “Personally, it’s been a fun transition because my mom was a professor at Washburn for 30 years, so I grew up on this campus as a child and it’s cool to now create my own experiences here. Professionally, it’s exciting to work with so many wonderful colleagues who are passionate about supporting students and who are always looking for the best ways to serve the Ichabod community.”

Free and confidential counseling services are available for enrolled students, faculty and staff in Morgan Hall 140. Students can call (785) 670-1470 to schedule an appointment or can come in during walk-in hours. They are open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Walk-in patients will be seen Monday through Wednesday.

“We see students for a variety of issues: depression, anxiety, relationship problems, academic stress, et cetera,” Konzem said. “When students are struggling with mental health concerns it can make doing well in school very challenging. At Washburn, we counselors are committed to helping students succeed academically and to helping students reach their personal goals.”

Statistically speaking, about one-third of US college students report having had difficulty functioning in the last 12 months due to depression. Almost half of the students in the same population reported having felt overwhelming anxiety in the last year. Seven percent of college students report having “seriously considered” suicide in the last year.

“I think that the best thing that we can all do is to change the way that we talk about mental health,” Konzem said. “All of us struggle with something at one time or another and as counselors we work to normalize that experience and empower our students to find healthy ways of thinking and living. If a student is concerned about a friend, sometimes it can be helpful to help that friend schedule an appointment or even walk the student over to our office.”

The continued focus shown towards mental health services by the University helps sustain its credibility as an institution truly devoted to promoting student wellness and helping its scholars through tough times.

If you are contemplating self-harm or suicide, are concerned about a friend or loved one or would like emotional support, please call the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1 (800) 273-8255.