Thomasina Cotton / Staff Writer

According to the Spring 2013 National College Health Assessment, stress is the no. 1 reason students are unable to achieve academic success. Free one-on-one counseling is available for all LBCC students on the PCC and LAC who have difficulties managing their personal or academic lives.

“You don’t have to suffer with anxiety and stress,” said Anita Gibbins, director of Student Health Services and PCC Student Life. “We lose a lot of potential in society by ignoring mental health issues.”

The National Alliance on Mental Illness states, “Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in America. Left untreated, the disorders can dramatically reduce productivity and significantly diminish an individual’s quality of life.”

Cal State Dominguez interns earning master degrees in social work are on campus every Monday and Wednesday to support and advise students with resources for their specific needs.

Intern Selamawit Habte said, “We try to accommodate students as much as possible. If we cannot help them here, we send them where they can get help.”

Intern Zoua Lor said, “We want students to take advantage of the resources available to them to help them reach their educational goals.”

Eric Mauk, 35, an art major, said, “I think it’s great. School is stressful, and a lot of people don’t know any better to go get therapy. I would definitely use the service.”

Esperanza Maldonado, a licensed marriage and family therapist, is also available to provide one-on-one counseling on the LAC every Tuesday and Wednesday and on the PCC every Thursday. She is also a facilitator of a women support group that explores topics such as self-esteem and relationships. The group meets at noon till 1:30 Wednesday on the second floor of the E building in the Student Conduct conference room, and Thursday in the conference room of the Student Union on the PCC.

Be Calm workshops are also held on the LAC and PCC twice a month. The workshops help students with time management, reducing stress, and accessing community resources. Each topic is discussed for 15 minutes. Topics for discussions may be added or changed.

Workshops are held in the Building EE conference room on the PCC, and on the second floor of the E Building on the LAC.

This month’s sessions finished Wednesday, Feb. 26. The dates for March are available by calling (562) 938-3987.

Foster youth can find support by attending the Solid Start Club which meets every Wednesday at 1 till 2 p.m. on the PCC in the Student Union. Times are subject to change.

Counseling appointments are made by calling (562)938-3987 or by visiting the Student Union office on the PCC.