CUH Counseling Center Offers Support, ‘Open Conversation’


Cara Gutierrez

Students can schedule their initial counseling consultation in the Student Support Services building, located on the second level adjacent to Henry Hall.

Since March 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic hit Hawaiʻi in full force and students were sent home from the Chaminade University campus only to face a lockdown, mental health challenges have only increased for students facing financial worries, risk of Covid exposures, and the unfamiliar world of online learning. 

One student, who asked to remain anonymous, sought guidance from the Chaminade Counseling Center during the fall 2020 semester.

“After I went to them, I noticed a big boost in my emotional state,” the student said. “I was feeling more confident, I was working on myself more, rather than worrying about everything else going on. … I felt more comfortable in my skin again.”

Many students on campus are unaware that Chaminade offers student support services. The Counseling Center is a resource that full-time undergraduates and graduates can seek if they are interested in personal growth or are facing challenges such as academic pressures, development concerns, or trouble transitioning. If you or someone you know wishes to inquire about mental health services, email [email protected], call (808) 735-4845, or visit the Student Support Services building on campus to schedule an initial phone consultation.

The Counseling Center assures students that they can provide intervention that touch upon mental health issues. Students can walk in and do same-day appointments should they need crisis intervention. Their role is to assist strained students with coping skills to help them to navigate through their mental health challenges.

To try to help withstand some of these struggles, the Chaminade Counseling Center offers approximately 10 free visits with one of the two licensed clinical psychologists on campus. Sharolyn Tani, Chaminade’s director of counseling services, encourages students to take advantage of the support and guidance.

“We’re not promoting fixed 10 sessions, it’s more of an open conversation,” said Sharolyn Tani, who has worked at CUH since 2019. “We’re trying to be flexible with Covid too because we understand that services are really saturated in the community.”

Tani said that the main reason students are limited to approximately 10 sessions is “best access to care.” CUH counselors are responsible for scheduling their clients, treating case management, and providing more resources to students like collaborating with other departments such as Office of Student Activities and Leadership (OSAL), Campus Ministry, and Residential Life.

Since Chaminade resumed fully in-person classes this fall, students are once again adjusting to a shift in priorities. This change can inflict turbulence with school and personal life. The impact of the pandemic has caused college students to face uncertainty and abrupt transitions, worsening anxiety and depression. Disruption of social support systems and extracurriculars have caused students to feel less connected with their peers.

“The people struggling with mental health issues … have had more severe difficulties dealing with their mental health issues,” Tani said. “The students who were high performers, who were doing really well, we’ve also seen a switch with them.”