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A stint in prison – as a counselor – taught Scott Hamilton about himself and his work.

Hamilton, a member of DePauw’s counseling services, worked at Rockville Correctional Facility, a state women’s prison, for two years “and I loved that job. I learned so much about myself and being a therapist.”

He brought his skills to DePauw in 2010, thrilled that a position in counseling services had opened because “working with young adults really intrigued me.”

Hamilton supports DePauw students as a clinical counselor, outreach coordinator and wellness advocate program supervisor. Having received an undergraduate degree in psychology from Anderson University and a master’s in clinical mental health counseling from Indiana State University, he also worked in community mental health in a job that was “productivity-based and less about client care” but nevertheless a valuable experience.

At DePauw, he witnesses the life-altering changes students make in their lives, and  “that I get to be part of that is very rewarding,” he said.

Hamilton said that he and other members of the counseling staff are always working to get the word out about the services they offer. Counseling, he said, isn't just for students who experience depression and anxiety. 

“The majority of our students in counseling are high-functioning individuals who just have a lot of things on their plate. … We serve students who are struggling in their relationships, academics, career planning, students who are struggling with life values, religious or spiritual struggles, social, financial stress, choosing a major.”

Counseling services offers workshops and classes throughout the academic year to help students build life skills and self-care practices. Additionally, Hamilton supervises a growing peer education program that connects students with positive and consistent messages, education and support around mental health awareness and wellness issues. 

“This advice might seem obvious, but some of the best things that students can do for their mental health are the basics: eat healthy, sleep well, move your body and get outside if you can,” he said. “It’s okay to get help. Don’t let things build up.” 

Hamilton encourages people who witness troubling behavior in others to encourage them to contact counseling services.  “Be honest and direct,” he said. “Say ‘Hey, I noticed that you’re struggling. I'm here if you want to talk about it.’ Or even be more direct if you have enough information to ask, ‘Are you having thoughts of suicide, or are you feeling safe right now?’”

In a mental health emergency, call public safety.

-Counseling services hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.
-Schedule appointments by visiting counseling services in the Wellness Center in Hogate Hall or by calling 765-658-4268. 
-Emergency walk-in hours are 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
-Students who need to speak with a counselor on call after 5 p.m. should call 765-658-4268.

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