HELP304 creates support group for college students

Health

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WTRF) – You wouldn’t understand. You haven’t been through it. Ever felt that way? 

College students if you have there’s a new support group to connect you with someone who gets what you’re going through.

A few months ago, First Choice Services established Help304, which is a hotline West Virginians can call for emotional support. 

What counselors found was that they were hearing from a lot of college-age students going through some unique challenges, so they made a program just for them. 

When we’re able to relate to others sometimes we’re able to have a better understanding of ourselves. 

Steven Perry, Coordinator for Clinical Services, First Choice Services

West Virginia’s Emotional Strengthline hopes that connecting students struggling will help them find a way to cope. 

We hear this on all of our helplines, we operate some helplines for addictions, and we hear this particularly in that field that people are particularly comforted by talking to people who’ve gone through what they’ve gone through.  

Sheila Moran, Director of Marketing & Communication, First Choice Services

This new support group will address unique challenges students face, everything from stress and anxiety to leaving home for the first time. 

There’s that aspect of home sickness. Maybe they’ve been uprooted from their community you know there’s that loss of their peers. For some it’s kind of a milestone saying goodbye to childhood, adjusting to living in a new place. 

Steven Perry, Coordinator for Clinical Services, First Choice Services

Help304 believes now is the right time to try and reach these students, before they disperse for summer break. 

There have been a lot of ads popping up, especially during the pandemic, for paid talk therapy, things like that. We are not that. We are completely free. We aren’t even going to ask about insurance or payment.

Sheila Moran, Director of Marketing & Communication, First Choice Services

Participants also remain anonymous, even though there’s no shame in needing help. 

Some students they learn to isolate and suppress these feelings because they feel like they may be wrong or there’s something weird about them for feeling this way.

Steven Perry, Coordinator for Clinical Services, First Choice Services

Anyone in post-secondary school in West Virginia can participate. That includes colleges and universities, junior college, community college and trade schools.

The group meets Thursdays at 6:00 p.m. via Zoom. 

If you’d like to participate, call 1-877-HELP-304 to get the information to join.

You can also visit HELP304.com or e-mail group304wv@gmail dot com. 

That phone number is also staffed round the clock with crisis counselors. So anyone, adults or students, who is having a hard time emotionally can call.

Help304 also has an anonymous virtual group for adults that meets on Wednesdays. Call the same number to find out how to join.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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