CCW adds new counselors, resources to aid students through pandemic isolation


The Center for Counseling and Wellness can direct students to the care that meets their needs

The Center For Counseling and Wellness have expanded their staff and resource offerings by hiring additional counselors and students, as well as purchasing new wellness equipment and upgrading the CCW’s online resources.

Brian Antrobius, Stephanie Bennett, and Stephanie Bergman are the new counselors. Last November, the CCW also hired a new department assistant, Kelsey Bruinwood. This will enable quicker access for students in need of mental health support, according to Irene Kraegel, director of the CCW.

These additions are to assist students with mental health difficulties that have resulted from heightened COVID social distancing measures.

The new students are either peer moderators on the Calvin Unmasked team or Certified Peer Educators through the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA) on the Student Advisory Board. Both groups have received training for their roles. The Calvin Unmasked peer moderators learned how to give support to their fellow students via the student-led app, and the Certified Peer Educators learned how to “implement wellness initiatives” such as “outdoor, in-person, informal wellness walks…in the nature preserve,” according to Kraegel. Students can discover other workshops and groups by visiting this sign-up request form.

The CCW office in the Spoelhof Center now includes a biofeedback headband and lightboxes that students can check out and use. Students can also take advantage of the wellness room, which includes many other wellness supplies. 

Kraegel encourages students to use the updated Therapist-Assisted Online (TAO) program. Studies have proven that TAO is as effective as individual therapy. However, students may also sign up for virtual services with CCW counselors via Zoom by visiting the CCW office. 

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, please call the Campus Safety Department emergency number 616-526-3333. You can also access 24/7 support through the Pine Rest Contact Center, which can be reached at 616-455-9200.