Summer counseling interns Daniela Tapia, Aneeka Ahmed, Karla Herrera and Daniel Costa are offering free mental health counseling services for San Joaquin Delta College students this summer.
'There is a need': Interns offer free mental health counseling
Alex Breitler
July 15, 2019

As Daniela Tapia puts it, asking for help is a sign of strength — not of weakness.

She and four other graduate students from Stanislaus State are hoping to show Delta College students just how strong they are this summer, by offering free mental health counseling on Delta’s campus.

You can help by making sure Delta students know about this service.

“There is a need,” Tapia said. “Students are very interested. We’ve had students approach us and ask if they can schedule something.”

The idea originated with Delta’s College Health and Wellness Advisory Group, which modeled this pilot program after an existing counseling internship program offered through the Stockton Unified School District and Stockton-based nonprofit Delta Health Care.

The hope is that this summer’s program, while temporary, will lay the foundation for an ongoing internship program in the future, said Delta counselor Heather Bradford.

The work the clinical counseling interns are doing nicely supplements the work of Delta’s academic counselors.

“Right now we as counselors do personal counseling and we do crisis intervention, but we’re not therapists,” Bradford said. “Normally when we get a student who does need ongoing personal counseling therapy, we try to refer them outside campus. But it’s so much better if we can have people on campus. It makes it so much more efficient and students’ access is so much better.”

Students don’t need to be formally diagnosed or suffering from a major mental health problem in order to visit with the summer interns.

“If just you need someone to talk to, someone to vent to, come on in,” Tapia said.

“It doesn’t need to be an hour. It can be just 15 minutes. Thirty minutes. There’s no time commitment,” added intern Kristy Verna.

Counseling interns Daniel Costa, Daniela Tapia, Aneeka Ahmed and Karla Herrera are four of the five Stanislaus State grad students who are providing mental health counseling for Delta College students this summer. The services are free of charge.

This summer's Stanislaus State counseling interns, from left to right: Daniel Costa, Daniela Tapia, Aneeka Ahmed and Karla Herrera. Not pictured: Kristy Verna.

Intern Daniel Costa said that counseling doesn’t have to be a reactive step following a mental health crisis, but rather can be a proactive step taken before such a crisis even occurs. The challenges facing college students are many: time management, stress, and family problems at home, to name just three.

The good news is that since these summer interns are themselves college students, they can relate to what Delta students are facing. And they want to help.

“We know how overwhelming it can be,” intern Karla Herrera said.

“We get it,” Tapia added. “We feel it.”

Details: Counseling is available this summer from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Friday. Call (209) 954-5151 ext. 6276 or stop by DeRicco Room 234. You can also email Heather Bradford with questions.