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Longbrake hires new counselor

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The College of Wooster recently hired Emily Harstine as a counselor at Longbrake Wellness Center after several short-staffed months resulted in a weeks-long waiting list for counseling appointments.

“Our goal is to get ourselves fully staffed and with the addition of Emily we are a few hires away from that goal,” said Ray Tucker, director of Health and Wellness Services. “We would like the Wellness Center to continue [to] develop into a place of teaching and learning. Emily Harstine is very willing and able to begin outreach efforts and engage with the College community beyond the Wellness Center.”

Harstine was previously employed with a community mental health agency and was a member of the Adult Crisis Response Team. She worked in a variety of concentrations, including severe mental illness, alcohol or drug treatment and forensic treatment for violent offenders.

“What this boils down to is that I am comfortable dealing with difficult circumstances whether they be mental health concerns or relational issues within both partnerships or within family of origin,” said Harstine.

Tucker noted that Harstine has worked “with many people of various races, gender[s] and socioeconomic status[es].”

“The College of Wooster community is a microcosm that I feel Emily Harstine will work well with and in,” he said.

Hartsine emphasized preventative care within the College community, stating that “balance is difficult in almost every stage of life, and it can look different for each individual.”

“The coping skills that are developed now can often impact lifestyle and boundaries for career and future relationships,” she continued. “This is why the concepts of self-care and healthy boundaries are so important.”

Encompassed in this preventative care is the “first responders” concept, according to Harstine. “Frequently, we think of that being a counselor or other medical professional,” she said. “As a student body, there is a much more accurate assessor in friends and classmates. Look after each other, encourage individuals that you see struggling to seek out help if it is necessary.”

Harstine hopes that encouragement from friends will increase the number of students who need counseling to seek help.

“There are not ‘silly’ or ‘small’ problems. There are just problems, and there are times that they can seem insurmountable,” she said. “In those times it can be so intimidating to reach out to a counselor, especially one that you have never met. […] My desire is that regardless of what you may be wrestling, it is not fear that keeps you from seeking out connections.”

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