Campus Health Centers Help Students Process Grief

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By: Melissa Gonzalez, gonzalezme@mnstate.edu 

In the days after a student’s death was announced on campus, administration officials recommend students utilize campus health centers if they’re in need of assistance.

On Tuesday, Jan. 15, President Anne Blackhurst sent out a campus wide email notifying students of the death of Carter Amundson.

Amundson, from Morris, Minnesota, was a recent graduate of Minnesota State Community and Technical College (MSCTC) and was in his first semester at MSUM. His family held funeral services on Monday, Jan. 21 in Morris.

Counselors were sent to Amundson’s floor in Holmquist Hall to speak with his floor mates to help them process their grief.

As a response, the administration reached out to Amundson’s social networks and organizations he was involved with, as well as assisting his family in their time of need.

Kara Gravley-Stack, the Dean of Students at MSUM, recommended that students seek professional counseling services offered by Hendrix Health Center and the university’s Counseling Community Outreach Center program, which opened on Jan 22.

Gravley-Stack highlighted that while students can reach out and look out for one another, access to professional services can help those mourning and struggling with the news of Amundson’s death.

Maty Lund (elementary education; Bismarck, North Dakota) is a resident assistant in Grantham Hall and was on duty the night of Amundson’s death. She received a call from Public Safety and followed their instructions after being notified of the incident.

Since the incident occurred, Lund has sought counseling from Hendrix and said that the services she received helped her process and work through her grief.

“I went to see a counselor over at Hendrix and that really helped me to let everything go and talk to someone who was there and ready, whenever we need them to be,” Lund said.

The Hendrix Clinic and Counseling Center offers services ranging from medical, pharmaceutical and mental health assistance. 

The Counseling Community Outreach Center offers students and community members counseling services for a wide range of issues. Graduate students offer the services as part of their course practicum.

According to Gravley-Stack, counselors at Hendrix have opened up their schedules to allow more opportunities for walk-in appointments.

Lund appreciates the space provided to her by her counselor at Hendrix and encourages other students to talk to someone if they need to vent about their grief or emotional vulnerability.

“She helped me figure out my grief process and just explained that grief isn’t a straight line. There’s a lot of loops and curves,” Lund said.

Although the news of Amundson’s death came out amidst the news of a car theft that happened on campus, there was no connection between the two incidents.

“We are confident there’s no danger to the community from his death,” Gravley-Stack said.

Hendrix Clinic and Counseling Center is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. while classes are in session.

The Counseling Community Outreach Center is available in the afternoons and evenings and encourages students to call to schedule an appointment. Their number is 218.477.2513.

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