It's OK to not be OK.
The College's Counseling Center welcomed four new staff members this summer to meet the mental and emotional health needs of our Saints with one-on-one counseling as well as an array of creative and diverse programming.
Nicole Muller, LCSW-R is the team's new director.
"I feel truly fortunate to be leading our talented and dedicated team at The Counseling Center here at Siena,” said Muller. “My goal for our program is to help students achieve emotional well-being and remain resilient despite the challenges and obstacles they may face. I believe this can be best accomplished by building upon the many strengths of our students and campus.”
The Counseling Center's services are available on an ongoing or crisis basis for any student who needs them. Skills-based workshops on a variety of topics will also be offered.
“My advice to students is to focus on connection and to seek help when needed,” she said. “I have quickly discovered that the Siena community is full of caring, helpful people and that this is a supportive environment to learn and grow!"
In addition to Muller, new Siena team members this year include Tom Templeton '08 LMHC, associate director, and mental health counselors Alexis Benedetti '14 LMHC and Jennifer Mattler '16 LMHC.
"We’re excited to attend to the mental health needs of our students, meeting that demand," said Templeton. "We want students to know that we are prepared to partner with them to meet their needs with empathy and curiosity, never judgment. When they walk into our office they’re entering a brave space, where we will meet them right where they are and to help them get to where they want to be."
Muller and Templeton explained that mental wellness is a holistic pursuit, so in addition to providing clinical services, the center will connect students with resources on and off-campus that will allow them to be fully successful, and to understand that mental health is health. The clinical team is also staffed with two outside consulting psychiatric providers and four master’s level interns.
The Counseling Center offices are located in Foy Hall 110, and you can look into services or set up an appointment by stopping in; by calling 518-783-2342; or by filling out an online request form on the counseling center’s webpage.
"With challenges facing colleges across the country, in providing responsive mental health support to our students, it is important to have a clinical team that knows how to rethink traditional college counseling center practices to meet the needs of the student,” said Maryellen Gilroy, Ed.D., vice president for student life. “Equally important is having clinicians with varied clinical orientations that can provide a range of care for our students.”
Benedetti and Mattler said they are happy to be giving back to their alma mater.
"I am ecstatic to be able to help the community that has personally given me so much!" said Benedetti. "Being a college student is not an easy task, but we know that our student body is comprised of resilient individuals who are going to help impact the world for the better. We are here to provide support and help the student body work towards their happiest, healthiest selves."
Mattler said, "One of my favorite things about Siena is its strong sense of community and as an alumna I know firsthand how uplifting this community is. It is such a privilege to be a part of it as a Counseling Center staff member. Siena has such wonderful students with so many strengths, and a desire to make a change in the world. We are eager to provide support to such incredible students.”