Schuyler Watkins ’14, Associate Editor-in-Chief
Merrimack College campus sure has encountered a few facelifts over the past year. Between the new residential buildings and the innovative assembly of the Volpe addition, one may think, “What else will Merrimack introduce to its community?” If curious, take a look at the chain-linked fence surrounding a portion of the St. Thomas Parking Lot just down Walsh Way. This location is the future home of the new and improved Hamel Health and Counseling Center.
Since its birth in 1973, Hamel Health and Counseling has been the primary destination for Merrimack students to visit in times of strep throat and headaches. Its new location, which was chosen because of its convenience for students, will be located within the residential community. However, students living in surrounding residence halls need not worry about potentially bothersome construction. “The college has purchased a high-end modular that has been outfitted for health and mental services,” Dr. Suzanne Slattery, Director of Hamel Health and Counseling explained. While the modular could be delivered at any point, “We are hoping we will be able to move into the new building the first week of January,” Dr. Slattery acknowledged.
Along with a new look, Hamel Health and Counseling will introduce new programs geared to students. Dr. Slattery revealed there will be a peer education group which will provide support to other students, a student health advisory board, stress reduction group, collaboration with campus ministry on TALL, Talking About Life and Lost, and starting in January, an after hours phone counseling service, which will provide phone services for students on weekends and after hours. Included on the list of new offerings is an appointment system. “It’s a much more efficient system. Students will know appointments are available-they know they are going to be seen and there won’t be a long wait,” Dr. Slattery proudly stated. Programs that have been used in previous years will still be offered at the new Hamel Health and Counseling Center. These include urgent care, crisis intervention, short and long-term counseling, and assessment and referral for specialized care.
Until Hamel Health and Counseling moves to its new location, students can find counseling services on the second floor of the Sakowich center, or for health services, visit Deegan West. For updates or information about Hamel Health and Counseling services, please visit http://www.merrimack.edu/about/offices_services/counseling_and_health_services/services.php.