GODFREY – Terri Austin, LCPC, transitioned into her new role as Lewis and Clark Community College’s new full-time counselor July 1, just in time to welcome students back to campus for the fall semester.

“Supporting students’ mental health is an important component to helping them be successful, but the effort is more important now than ever,” said Dean of Student Support Services Sean Hill.

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A September 2020 Active Minds Student Mental Health survey showed that student mental health has worsened significantly over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, with high percentages of students reporting increased stress and anxiety, disappointment or sadness and depression.

“Lewis and Clark offers students free counseling services as they work toward their academic, career, and personal goals,” Austin said.

These include crisis intervention, brief therapy interventions, academic problem-solving, anxiety management, help with career decisions, depression and eating disorder screenings, referrals to community services and more.

“Whether a student is having a crisis or just needs a listening ear, I encourage them to utilize counseling services,” Austin said. “The best part of my job is getting to know students and being able to help them overcome obstacles and achieve their goals.”

Austin, of Hazelwood, Missouri, isn’t new to the Trailblazer team. Six years ago, she joined L&C’s Adult Education division as a transition counselor, helping high school equivalency students transition into college credit courses.

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Her current role is a dream come true, she said.

Austin is a member of the American Counseling Association; a licensed counselor in Missouri and Illinois; a certified school counselor and special education teacher in Missouri; holds national counselor certification; and has her own private practice in Missouri.

Austin graduated from Webster Groves High School in 1987. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Saint Louis University in 1990, her Master of Arts in Counseling from Lindenwood University in 1999, and her Master of Education in Special Education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in 2014.

She has professional experience in both community counseling and teaching, and was a professional writer early in her career – when she worked as a reporter for The Telegraph in Alton just after college.

Austin says her greatest strength as a counselor is her ability to give support without judgement, and that the most challenging part of her job is seeing her students struggle.

“As I begin this new journey, I want to continue to build my skills and knowledge as I strive to do my best each day to serve our students,” she said.

To learn more about these services and more, visit www.lc.edu/counseling, call (618) 468-4121 or visit the Center for Access and Accommodations in Caldwell Hall, Room 2320, on the college’s Godfrey Campus.

L&C is now enrolling for Fall 2021. Contact the Enrollment Center at (618) 468-2222 or enroll@lc.edu to get started.

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