Are you feeling depressed or more sad than usual?  Have your friends or family expressed concern about how you are handling this new year already?  We are here to help!

Health and Education at Loyola (HEAL) and the University Counseling Center are partnering with the Counseling Graduate Program to put on the annual Loyola Student Depression Screening.  

Monday, September 30th, 12pm – 2pm

We’ll be at the Grid area in the Danna Student Center distributing information and administering a short 21 item questionnaire to help figure it out.

This is a quick (15 minutes) and confidential way to see if you are good to go, or need a little help.  If you need a lot of help, University Counseling Center staff is available immediately to speak privately about your concerns.

If you aren’t available on Monday, then you can stop by the University Counseling Center (2nd floor Dana, above the OR) and we can give you the same questionnaire and provide some feedback.  We’re open 8:30am to 4:45pm, Monday thru Friday and you can stop by or call X3835 to schedule a time with a counselor.

Thanks, and remember, Loyola Cares!

-Logan Williamson, LPC
HEAL Committee Chair & University Counseling Center Staff Counselor


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HEAL INITIATIVE: Smoking Policy & Designated Smoking Areas

Loyola University is committed to being mindful of the health and well-being of the campus community.  Please make note of Loyola’s smoking policy that states that the smoking of cigarettes, cigars, and similar legal substances is permitted only in designated smoking areas on University property.  Smoking areas are designated by “Smoking Area” signs.  Smokers are asked to please use one of these 10 designated smoking areas. The main campus has six smoking areas and the Broadway campus has four. Each is in an accessible location which is distanced in compliance with federal standards of at least 25 feet from entrances and high traffic walkways. These smoking areas, together with clearly marked restrictions around the entrance and exit ways to buildings, will allow those who choose to smoke to do so while protecting the health of nonsmokers.

Please note that the front porch of the Danna Student Center is not a designated smoking area given that smoke enters into the air conditioning ducts and doorway of the Student Health Services clinic.

Your respect of and participation in using the designated smoking areas is expected.


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Loyola’s University Counseling Center and Student Health Services are here to serve the mental and physical health of students with a broad spectrum of appointments and programs.  While you probably already know about our office hours on Mondays-Fridays from 8:30am-4:45pm, our locations in the Danna Center, and our free appointments, I compiled a list of our lagniappe, those extra benefits that we offer, that you might not be familiar with … yet!

At the University Counseling Center check out our:

  • Group services
    • For the fall 2013 semester, the UCC will be offering several group therapy options
      • Sexual Assault Survivors—Support, counseling and hope for adult survivors
      • Emotional Wisdom—Develop skills for dealing with difficult emotions and improving relationship effectiveness
      • Honors Students Stress Management—Connect with peers and learn new ways to create a more balanced life
  • HEAL committee
    • Loyola’s HEAL (Health Education at Loyola) committee is comprised of students and staff from a variety of departments who provide health education programming to the campus community. The committee meets once a month and coordinates events such as Take Back the Night, Smardi Gras, Safe Spring Break, Substance Abuse Social Norming Campaigns, Take Care of Yourself Tuesdays, Sexual Assault Awareness week, the  Wellness Expo and other similar events.
    • Please visit to learn more or to complete an application to become a HEAL member.
  • Advocates Initiative
    • Sexual violence is a well-documented social concern among colleges and universities nationally. This training educates campus community members about the gendered nature of violence, potential outcomes of sexual violence, and a range of resources available (e.g., medical, legal, judicial, mental health). Empathic communication skill building is discussed and practiced. Trained advocates then voluntarily serve as first responders to bridge survivors of sexual violence to appropriate community resources. Through this program, we educate our community and provide a much needed services while illustrating institutional support toward sexual non-violence.
    • Join us for our next scheduled Advocates Training on Saturday, November 9, 2013 from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.  For more information or to register, please contact Brooks Zitzmann at (504) 865-3835 or

At Student Health Services, be sure to take advantage of our:

  • Ochsner affiliation
    • Did you know that Loyola partners with Ochsner Health System for delivery of our campus health services?  That’s right; all of our medical professionals in our Student Health clinic are Ochsner employees.  You can feel confident in the healthcare that you receive and also have access to a wide range of referral resources through the Ochsner system.
  • Ochsner On call
    • For non-life threatening issues outside of normal Student Health Services hours, students can call 1-800-231-5257, a free after-hours nurse care line to speak with a Registered Nurse.  Ochsner On Call provides nurse triage, appointment booking, health education, and advisory services from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 a.m., seven days a week, 365 days a year.  Ochsner On Call nurses are supported by an on-call physician.
  • Student Health 101
    • As a service to the Loyola community, the Office of Student Affairs provides an online subscription to Student Health 101, a monthly health and wellness e-magazine tailored to fit the needs of today’s college students.  Each month, you will receive a personal email with the latest issue of Student Health 101.  Student Health 101 contains valuable information that will help you make the most of your time at Loyola … from tips on reducing stress to achieving academic success to improving your relationships, Student Health 101 has it all.  Please take 10 minutes to read the September issue at

One last thing, the Care for the Pack blog is updated twice a week with all sorts of great information about mental health and encouraging words.  Check back often, or take a look at some of our past postings!

-Alicia Bourque, Ph.D.
Director of University Counseling & Student Health Services



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Representatives from the University Counseling Center and Student Health Services will be present in the lobbies of the residence halls Monday night (9/9) from 5:30-7:00pm.  Please be sure to stop by to meet the counselors and medical staff and learn more about the services we provide.  Cookies and lemonade will be provided (but probably won’t last long!)

Here’s some information about the UCC and Student Health that may surprise you:

Facts about the UCC:

20% of the student population accessed services at the UCC last year

31% of students who come to the UCC are first year students

92% of students surveyed reported they would recommend the UCC to a friend

The UCC is located in room 208 on the 2nd floor of the Danna Student Center

Hours of operation are M-F 8:30am-4:45pm

The UCC has a counselor available after office hours who can be reached through LUPD

Please visit us at  for more information about the UCC counselors.

Facts about Student Health:

20% of the student population accessed services at Student Health last year

100% of students surveyed were satisfied with the friendliness and concern of the medical staff

Same day appointments are available by calling (504) 865-3326

Student Health is located in the basement of the Danna Student Center

Hours of operation are M-F 8:30am-4:45pm

Please visit us at for more information about the Student Health medical staff.


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Rags to Riches  

Stories of success often start with a hero.  They spin a fascinating tale of destitution or disadvantage that evolves into the hero reaching the very heights of achievement.  In his book Outliers, Maclom Gladwell debunks the myth that the heroes of these stories of success do it on their own, without luck, coincidence, or outside aid.  But as Gladwell clearly states, “Successful people don’t do it alone.  Where they come from matters.  They’re products of particular places and environments.”  Whether you are a freshman just starting, settling into the meat of your major, or staring down graduation – You are from Loyola. 

From Loyola means something special.  It carries the weight of its 101 year history, its reputation within the community and the world, and its purposeful approach to producing students who are, as Gladwell puts it, “products of particular places and environments.”  There are so many ways on campus to get involved and be supported.  This can come from a number of supports on and around campus.  The Care for the Pack Blog is just one of those supports.  You can find it as a break in your day to think about life just slightly different.  You can use it as a way to get to know the counseling staff here at Loyola.  And you can even find it as a source of information about ongoing events on campus.

I would encourage you to lean on the support that the University provides while you write your own rags to riches story.  Bookmark this page and check us out throughout the semester.  Something new is up at least once, if not twice a week.  Thanks for reading!

-Logan Williamson, LPC

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Putting on a Front

I recently read an article on the idea that there are a defined number of “fronts” that we use when deciding what to post on social media, specifically Facebook.  He identified them as: The Partier, The Socialite, The Risk-Taker, The Comic, The Institutional Citizen, & The Eccentric – oddly closely resembling the members of the Breakfast Club.  The author argued that these categories allow Facebook friends to more quickly understand the messages that we are communicating and that this communication generally leaves a positive impression.  He went further and suggested the fronts are “central to performing as an undergraduate in front of peers.”  Viewed from this lens, he suggests that the social media process is less about Narcissism and more about participating in a socially expected manner.  Conformity would be the wrong word choice here, but there is a certain tinge of conformity to his suggestion.   I am more apt to spin it as harmonizing with your peers.

When harmonizing, the trick is to hit the right key.  Without the use of subtle social cues and facial expressions, it can often be safer to exist in these categories.  I would argue that these categories change over time as this article only deals with college aged students.  For instance, I might add the categories of “Involved Parent,” “Proud Foodie” or “Single and having fun!”  to my 30-something generation.

If social media is truly becoming a paralleled process to normal everyday interaction then we should treat it as such.  The danger is not social media, but when we mistake social media for the normal everyday interaction.  If you are having a bad day, don’t post it on Facebook or Twitter.  It does not resonate with the categories and will not yield positive results.  Use your normal everyday interactions for that purpose.  Lean over to your friend and say, “I’m really struggling today.”  They can listen, empathize, and comfort in real time.  Alternatively, use social media to reinforce the more important aspects of your personality.  Express that creativity and and wit, tag your friends and post on how you are training for a marathon.  Just remember when reading your newsfeed – fronts are exhibitions and are sometimes exaggerated.

So what front do you use on Social Media?  Would you suggest a separate category?  I felt while reading the article that people might be fluid in their categories depending on a variety of factors (ie. relationship status, commuter vs. residence hall status, greek involvement, performance of the school’s sports teams, etc.)  Is behavior on social media static enough to categorize?

-Logan Williamson, LPC
University Counseling Center

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Life at Loyola can be fun and exciting while at the same time stressful and demanding.  A visit to the University Counseling Center (UCC) could be your answer to staying balanced as you navigate the responsibilities of being a student either as a first-year or a seasoned Wolf Pack returner.  Your on-campus UCC provides mental healthcare for all currently enrolled Loyola students including residential, commuter, full-time and part-time.  Our staff in the UCC provide a range of experience and expertise and are made up of a licensed psychologist, a licensed clinical social worker, a licensed professional counselor and a license-eligible professional counselor.  The UCC also has a part-time contracted psychiatrist on staff.  You can check out our individual biographies on our main page at

We are located on the second floor of the Danna Student Center, directly above the Orleans Room (OR).  Office hours are Monday-Friday 8:30am-4:45pm.  We provide individual counseling, group counseling, couples counseling, ADHD testing, and medication management appointments.  Counseling services are provided for concerns such as anxiety, relationship difficulties, adjustment issues, ADHD, and depression, just to name a few.  UCC staff can also make referrals to local specialists and psychiatrists in the area, if needed.

If you would like to make an appointment, simply call (504)-865-3835 or visit the UCC in the Danna Center.  It is best to call or stop by to schedule your appointment as soon as you need assistance.  If you need assistance after-hours or on weekends for a mental health emergency, please call LUPD at 504.865.3434 and ask to speak with the counselor-on-call.  A UCC staff member is on-call 24/7/365.

There is no cost beyond your tuition for an appointment at the UCC.  However, there are fees for prescriptions.  If you receive a prescription from the UCC consulting psychiatrist, you will need to have that medication filled at a local pharmacy.  We can provide you with a list of nearby pharmacies.

Strict confidentiality laws under HIPAA are firmly respected in the UCC.  All medical records are kept strictly confidential and are not a part of the student’s academic record.  Medical records are only released with the signed consent of the student.  For more information on the UCC, please visit our website at

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Spring Forward, Fall Back

As the new school year sets upon us it is important to find inspiration to restart, reassess, and recommit.  Some of you may be beginning your college journey, while others may be looking to synthesize the last three years’ knowledge about yourself and the world.  Regardless of your point along the path, taking stock can only serve to make sure your bearing is true.

Spring Forward
Take this semester as an opportunity to spring forward.  Studies show that the involved student is the successful student.  This is the sort of study that has a great deal of face validity to it.  Of course students who engage other students, make friends in different spheres, and seek out new experiences are going to bond more, work harder, and feel more accomplishment when they succeed.

If you are not involved yet in the many different activities and organizations on campus, check out our new online service OrgSync.  It puts information about every student group on campus in one place alongside a regularly updated calendar for events so you never miss out.

If you know you are going to be needed a job in a short nine months, make an appointment with one of our career counselors.  Building a relationship with one of them can help you make that jump from graduated to employed.

Say you want to work on yourself – make an appointment with the University Counseling Center and meet with one our therapists on staff.  We take pride in helping students through difficult times and sustaining the healthy student body here at Loyola.

Health is multifaceted, so take care of your body as well as your mind and set fitness goals now for the new school year.  There are a variety of different classes available and staff that can help you work out effectively and safely.

Take a look at the offerings from Mission and Ministry such as CLC groups, the Awakening retreat, mission trips to Jamaica and Belize and attend to your spiritual side.

This is a short list and not meant to be exhaustive.  Do your own research and take a (second) look at the fraternities/sororities on campus, our excellent athletics, and Student Government.  Get involved from the beginning and you’ll find that Loyola is so much more than just the number of hours that you are taking this semester.

Fall Back

Fall Back into good habits.  You are here for a reason.  You are an accomplished student who has had experience at balancing academic, social, and personal demands.  Trust yourself to be able to handle the fresh set of challenges that are laid out before you.  Trust yourself that you know the difference between a night you need to lock yourself in the library and a night to explore the wonderful city of New Orleans.  Trust yourself that if you feel a little homesick, you can find extra resolve by connecting with friends around you.

Take advantage of your Strengths Quest results and reflect on how you can make assignments and activities compliment these strengths.  Accept that there are some things that you do better than anyone else you know and other things that require help to do well.  Enhance these strengths and make yourself the expert for others to rely on when they need a great researcher, presenter, writer or group leader when you are assigned your next group project.

Lastly, Fall Back on those that support you and give back to those people when your spirit is feeling generous.  This may mean picking up the tab on a late night Taco Bell run for your friends or a phone call to your parents to say thanks for the Walmart run they made right before dropping you off.  This college thing is fun, but it is tough too.  Give back when you can because a grateful spirit will maintain this support system in a genuine and meaningful way.

Good luck this Fall Semester and remember – Spring Forward and Fall Back!

Logan Williamson, LPC
University Counseling Center

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Rahm Emmanuel, President Obama’s former Chief of staff and current mayor of Chicago, once (in)famously stated, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste.  And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”  This statement came at the outset of the current worldwide recession.  Politically, it was a sticky message at the time, but rationally it holds water.  His statement mirrors a sentiment that Malcolm Gladwell wrote about in his book Outliers.  Gladwell looks at different times in history where individuals with certain talents were able to take advantage of the changing culture, technology and economic circumstances of their time to become successful.  He references the generation born around 1830 that were able to take advantage of US expansion and industrialization as examples.  He also cites software giants like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Bill Joy and others who were primed to take advantage of the advent of the personal computer.  Gladwell suggests that generations who miss being mired in war, depression or other societal circumstance have the opportunity that can make the difference between success and failure.  With the USA winding down wars, the economy finding its feet, and the world still trying to sort out how to comprehend 1.2 Billion people on Facebook, I feel like the generation coming out of college and graduate school is primed for this type of success.

So I ask this question to you.  If generations who come into the workforce as a recession is ending have distinct advantages over those who had to bear the consequences of it, what then do you have in store for us?  What new industry will you pioneer?  What new invention, device or service will you take mainstream that will impact every single person’s daily living?  I actually wish this wasn’t so rhetorical, because I’d like to know.

Here is the catch though.  That next big thing will take work and a lot of it.  I talk to a lot of people about motivation and the will do the work that is presented before them.  Gladwell talks about this too.  He recounts a story about a turn of the century Jewish immigrant looking for ways to make a living in the New World.  This man went out into the city with a pad and a pencil and wrote down everything that people wore in the streets.  He noticed a few small girls playing hopscotch wearing embroidered aprons and ran home to giddily share his idea with his wife.  That night they proceeded to make 40 aprons and sold them all the very next day.  This was the beginning of his lifetime in the garment industry.

Gladwell’s insight is that once we find our passion, that one thing that we want to do, it will transform hard work into something completely different.  His words are better than mine to describe this process.  “Hard work is a prison sentence only if it does not have a meaning.  Once it does, it becomes the kind of thing that makes you grab your wife around the waist and dance a jig.”  College is designed to expose you to a diverse set of ideas that will inspire you towards meaning.  So grab your pen, find your passion, and make this coming semester one that marks the beginning of the next big thing.  You can even squeeze in a jig or two.

-Logan Williamson, LPC

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