As a new academic year begins, the Student Support & Referral Team (SSRT) begins its fifth year of providing assistance to the students and staff of Montgomery County Community College.  Since the fall 2009 semester when SSRT began, it has evolved, grown and consistently offered the college community services for students in need.

Since its inception, SSRT has averaged 100 referrals per year.  The majority of these referrals come from faculty.  The next greatest source are students themselves who walk in at each campus’ Student Success Center wishing to speak to someone because they need help dealing with various issues in their lives.  Many of them have heard about SSRT and come in to find out if it is a place to which they can turn.  The major reasons students are referred or turn to SSRT are psychological distress, because they are seeking counseling and domestic issues.

Psychological distress covers a variety of things with stress and anxiety being in the forefront of these issues.  Striving for success in college itself is a universal cause of stress and anxiety.  When coupled with maintaining a job, keeping up with one’s life schedule and responsibilities along with things beyond our control, the probability of being stressed and anxious is greatly increased.  This is also where the domestic issues affect students.  Being a student and raising a family, caring for an elderly parent or sick child and experiencing domestic situations that affect one’s ability to properly focus on schoolwork are just some of the issues students face.

Students also come in for referrals to counseling services for various reasons.  They realize they could use extra support and SSRT gives them direction.  Hotlines and helplines, general resources and our “Community Resource Guide” are used to assist students and can be accessed by clicking on the respective tab above.

During these past four years, SSRT has also provided programming for the college and the public, partnered with several community agencies, was influential in securing a counselor for veterans one day per week at the West Campus and offered programs specifically for faculty and staff.  Entering our fifth year of operation, we plan on continuing our efforts for the benefits of our students.

(This post was written by Michael Ondo,Counselor/Advisor)