Counseling Services Welcomes New Director Robin Campbell

MEGHAN NELSON

Salem College welcomes Robin Campbell as the new Director of Counseling. Campbell has over 20 years of experience in the mental health field, most recently at Bennett College where she held the same position for 12 years. She has also worked at a behavioral health hospital in High Point, North Carolina and earned her masters at UNC-Chapel Hill. 

As Director of Counseling, Campbell will oversee the counseling department here at Salem College. The counseling program aims to make therapy more accessible to students and follows a brief therapy model, meaning students will typically have around five to eight sessions. The Department consists of herself as a full-time member, a part-time clinician, and two graduate students from Wake Forest University. 

When asked what the most rewarding part of her time at Bennett College and here, Campbell said “being able to be a part of helping to develop… and empower” young students. Seeing students graduate and achieve their “professional and personal goals” is always the most “gratifying” aspect of working at colleges. 

When asked about the challenges she faces in this position, she claimed that in her years of experience she has witnessed mental health changing, especially on college campuses. In her opinion, students are facing “increased challenges” that are more difficult for students to overcome. 

Campbell has  made it clear that she is “not afraid to help” students who are facing these increased difficulties; Campbell is willing to tackle whatever may be plaguing her students, despite the growing amount of stressors in a society that just has “so much going on.” If ever Campbell feels the Department cannot adequately provide help to a student, they can refer them to an outside program to ensure the student receives the proper help they require. 

While Cambell discussed how the stigma surrounding therapy and counseling has decreased over the past decades, it still exists. For students that do not believe therapy to be beneficial or are uncomfortable with one-on-one counseling, Campbell recommended the outreach programs. Their focus is to casually bring together students that can have helpful conversations on college life. 

For students feeling overwhelmed, she reminded them that their “main responsibility is to graduate–” first set a “good foundation,” and then join clubs and other extracurriculars.

“You can’t pour from an empty cup,” Campbell said, “you have to replenish your own energies.”

As for improvements she plans to bring to Salem College, Campbell discussed the new emergency mental health protocols she has recently established. Typically, if a Salem student were to have a mental health emergency, their Resident Coordinator would provide transportation for the student in need to have a behavioral health assessment at the E.R. 

“Well, that’s stressful,” Campbell said.

If a student is having a mental health crisis, the best approach is to have a calm environment that can help them quicker than an E.R. might. 

Campbell has set up a partnership between the Counseling Services on campus and the mobile crisis team at Daymark Behavioral Services. Daymark will come to campus and provide a clinician who can help make behavioral health assessments.

Campbell concluded by expressing her excitement to be here as Salem’s new Director of Counseling. Despite her years of experience, she says there was “never a dull moment!” in this field.

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