Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Let’s talk with the CBHA, SEMO

Friday, May 7, 2021
The SEMO Campus Violence Prevention Program hosted a Denim Day Event on April 28 to promote sexual assault awareness.
Photo submitted by Millicent Odhiambo

As the semester comes to a close, it can be a stressful time for many students, faculty and staff. April is National Stress Awareness Month, and May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and the Center for Behavioral Health and Accessibility (CBHA) is working to help students relieve their stress.

Center for Behavioral Health and Accessibility director Millicent Odhiambo said one of the biggest programs the CBHA has is the “Let’s Talk SEMO” program. The program provides confidential consultations with a counselor from the CBHA without making an appointment and without a fee.

“It’s an informal way of talking about what’s going on,” Odhiambo said. “I think programs like [“Let’s Talk SEMO”] help students who are not able to come into our center to still have access to services.”

The CBHA is planning on expanding “Let’s Talk SEMO” to other locations around campus in an effort to reach more students.

The first event of the Fall 2021 semester will be a wellness fair, Odhiambo said.

“We’ll have vendors from different partners in the community and on campus,” she said.

Odhiambo said when students become stressed, they won’t perform at their best level, so it’s important for them to identify when they are overwhelmed.

“It is very important that we as human beings, especially our students, understand that stress, and especially chronic stress, is not healthy for anyone,” Odhiambo said. “Students need to know how to identify [stress], reach out for supportive resources if they need to reach out, talk to someone if they need to, and then figure out how to work within their limits.”

The CBHA hosted different outreach events for students throughout the semester to promote self care, stress awareness and mental health awareness.

Odhiambo said sometimes as semesters draw to a close, they see more students weekly.

“We’ve seen a number of students come in who are graduating and trying to figure out what to do,” Odhiambo said. “We are working with students on a number of issues to help them successfully complete the semester.”

Odhiambo believes months like Stress Awareness Month and Mental Health Awareness Month serve as a reminder for us to take care of ourselves.

“I do think awareness months like those are important as a reminder to us, because sometimes [we] just go, go, go, and we don’t remember to take care of ourselves,” Odhiambo said. “Some people say, ‘I’m just fine,’ or, ‘I work under stress,’ and sometimes knowing that it’s okay to slow down so you are a healthier you [is best].”

The CBHA is located in Crisp Hall 201-202. Or, you can call (573) 986-6191 to make an appointment with a counselor.