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Events and Presentations

Screening and Education Days

The Counseling Center sponsors two screening days every academic year for anxiety and for depression. Our goal is to provide wellness information to help students regarding stress and mood and to provide screening services to students who are concerned about their levels of anxiety and/or depression in their lives.

Our Screening and Education days combine a valid and reliable screening tool with interactive activities with games and prizes with an educational component. We'll also serve food!

Screening Day includes a completed screening form and a confidential one-on-one meeting with a counselor. The counselor will help the student decide if they wish to pursue further counseling.

Education Day includes information about symptoms, coping skills and treatments. The goal is for students to learn ways to manage their mental health before usual life difficulties become overwhelming and they need to seek counseling.

Academic Year 2020-2021

  • Spring 2021: April 12-16 (*Virtual Event on the Den)

Stress Relief Weeks

The Counseling Center sponsors a week of stress reduction events before finals each semester -- Stress-Less Week!

The events offer activities to help students be at their best as they finish up classwork and prepare for finals.

Watch for flyers for the dates of this semester's events!

  • Chill - The Counseling Center provides all the necessary components for ice cream sundaes; rain or shine, snow or heat!
  • Unleash Your Inner Child - A big collection of games and crafts are available for students to drop in and play for a break.
  • Re-Center - Our most popular event! A visit from several massage therapists offer 10-minute chair massages to help students de-stress. And while you're waiting, walk the labyrinth for a relaxing meditative experience.

And there is always an appearance of Lucky and Pals to finish off the week!

Test Anxiety Workshops

The Counseling Center is holding a series of workshops throughout the semester for students to learn new ways to manage their mental health before tests.

Our goal is to provide students with information to identify and change self-defeating thoughts. We offer relaxation techniques to combat anxiety and improve focus and concentration.

How to make anxiety work for you Relaxation techniques How to identify and change self-defeating thoughts Mindfulness to help with focus and concentration

Signing Up for a Workshop

For more information or to sign up, contact Matthew Marjan at or 773-298-3824.

Therapy Dogs

Research has shown that therapy animals can reduce anxiety, depression and stress. The ability of animals to be present with openness and responsiveness can increase socialization and alleviate loneliness. We've seen this happen first-hand through our therapy dogs program.

A few times a semester, certified therapy dogs from Rainbow Animal Assisted Therapy visit us for a stress reduction event. Students can drop in anytime during the event and play with the dogs. Watch for the flyers for this semester's events!

Therapy Dog Days at SXU

Therapy dogs will be visiting SXU for a stress relief event. Students, staff and faculty are invited to come spend a few minutes relaxing in canine company! The therapy dogs program has been suspended for the fall semester due to COVID-19 but will resume in spring 2020.

All events will take place in the Christine M. Wiseman Student Lounge from 10 to 11:30 a.m. For more information, contact the Counseling Center at 773-298-4045.

Question, Persuade, and Refer

"QPR is a Gatekeeper training program, based on the fact that adults, peers, family and friends are often in the best position to make an intervention because of their routine contact with the person at risk for suicide. The QPR strategy is designed for any group that may have contact with at-risk populations." - QPR Training Manual

QPR stands for Question, Persuade and Refer -- Three simple steps that anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help.

With QPR, the following Chain of Survival elements must also be in place:

  • Early recognition of suicide warning signs. The sooner warning signs are detected and help sought, the better the outcome of a suicide crisis will be.
  • Early QPR. Asking someone about the presence of suicidal thoughts and feelings opens up a conversation that may lead to a referral for help.
  • Early intervention and referral. Referral to local resources or calling 1-800-SUICIDE for evaluation and possible referral is critical, as most people thinking about suicide are suffering from an undiagnosed and/or untreated mental illness or substance abuse disorder for which excellent treatments exist. Also, the offering of hope and social and spiritual support can often avert a suicide attempt.
  • Early professional assessment and treatment. As with any illness, early detection and treatment can result in better outcomes and fewer lives lost to suicide.


(Staff, faculty, RA/RPM/RPAL)

According to the Surgeon General's National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (2001), a gatekeeper is someone in a position to recognize a crisis and the warning signs that someone may be contemplating suicide. Gatekeepers include parents, friends, neighbors, teachers, ministers, doctors, nurses, office supervisors, squad leaders, foremen, police officers, advisors, caseworkers, firefighters and many others who are strategically positioned to recognize and refer someone at risk of suicide.

A gatekeeper will learn to:

  • recognize the warning signs of suicide,
  • know how to offer hope, and
  • know how to get help and save a life.

Gatekeeper Instructors

(Counseling Center staff)

This certification course trains Instructors to teach QPR for Suicide Prevention to their community. Participants first learn about the nature of suicidal communications, what forms these communications take and how they may be used as the stimulus for a QPR intervention. To gain perspective, participants are introduced to the history of suicide, suicide prevention and the spectrum of modern day public health suicide prevention education efforts. The history, background and research support for QPR are reviewed. Participants then learn to market QPR, target potential gatekeepers and how to teach the QPR curriculum. Participants also learn to deal with pent up audience demand to talk about suicide, survivor issues and how to make immediate interventions and referrals. Each participant has the opportunity for individual rehearsal and practice through role-plays.

From the QPR Training Manual, QPR Institute, third edition, Paul Quinnett, 2011.