Club Spotlight: Counseling and Human Services Association assists in the community

CHSA President Anne Murphy '23 discusses club initiatives across campus and within the local Scranton community, including a recent Veterans Day delivery to Gino J. Merli Veterans' Center residents.
Notes to Gino J. Merli Veterans' Center residents delivered by the University's Counseling & Human Services Association volunteers.
Notes to Gino J. Merli Veterans' Center residents delivered by the University's Counseling & Human Services Association volunteers.

In an occasional series, Royal News spotlights clubs from the university’s 80+ student organizations on campus, speaks to members, and offers information on how to connect with the clubs.

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Club: Counseling and Human Services Association
Meet: Anne Murphy ‘23, shown, a senior counseling and human services major from Flemington, New Jersey, and president of the Counseling and Human Services Association.
Connect: @chsa_uofs on Instagram

By: Gabriella Petti ’24, student correspondent

Q: What is the Counseling and Human Services Association mission?

"The Counseling and Human Services Association (CHSA) is a student-run organization associated with the Counseling and Human Services undergraduate program. It aims to further the mission of the university as well as human service professions in general. In the spirit of being "men and women for others," this club is committed to counseling, human service, social justice, and related educational and service initiatives across campus and within the local Scranton community."

Q: Please explain more about counseling and human services.

"Counseling is a profession that involves building good rapport and forming a therapeutic relationship between a counselor and client(s). This profession provides individuals with mental health services, which involves guiding clients through personal and social issues that they are experiencing, or have experienced, by providing them with coping skills and psychoeducation.

The human services field involves providing services, such as food, shelter, mental health, healthcare, and more, to local individuals, families, and communities through government and nonprofit agencies.

Counseling and human services professionals strive to provide services to individuals, families, and groups who are in need of assistance. Their goal is to improve the quality of life and maximize the potential of their clients. The roles of these professionals involve supporting individuals, providing mental health services to clients, advocating for those who are unable to do so for themselves, connecting individuals with local community resources. Individuals within this field have the ability to become licensed professional counselors (LPC), licensed clinical social workers (LCSW), case workers, crisis workers, child abuse workers, community action workers, and more."

Q: What topics do you discuss within the association?

"Some of the topics we discuss in CHSA include mental health, counseling, human services, social justice, self-care, local internship and volunteer opportunities, potential career paths, relevant problems and initiatives within the CHS field and current events."

Q: What does a typical meeting involve?

"Our meetings typically run 30 to 45 minutes. Our members express any questions, concerns, or recommendations that they may have, which usually foster brainstorming and meaningful conversation. Club members then participate in activities such as making cards for Veterans, painting canvas bags for the Catherine McAuley Center’s Period Project initiative, playing a Kahoot about mental health facts, or self-care activities. ... Our members love to participate in the activities and utilize the time to chat with one another and to have fun!"

Q: What, in your opinion, is the club's most exciting event or activity?

"CHSA hosts several significant events and activities, so it is difficult for me to choose a favorite! 

CHSA’s most significant event is our annual internship fair. The CHSA Internship Fair allows our club members and other Counseling and Human Services students at The U to connect with human service agencies from the NEPA area and inquire about possible internship and/or volunteer experiences. Each year, this event affords countless students the opportunity to secure internship positions and some students even get offers on the spot.

I think that CHSA self-care night offers a great way for overwhelmed college students, such as myself, to carve time out of their busy schedules to be kind to their minds. This activity involves eating lots of pizza, coloring, drawing, making friendship bracelets, participating in a guided meditation, listening to music, doing face masks, and connecting with other members."

Q: Why would you encourage someone to join?

"It is a great way for those who are interested in counseling and human services issues and initiatives to fuel their passion and help make a positive difference in the lives of others and the local community. Also, CHSA welcomes all students, regardless of their major(s) or minor(s), so it is a great way to connect."

Q: Why did you join?

"I was originally drawn to the club based on the diverse volunteer opportunities and fun events that it organizes, because being involved on campus is very important to me. It has been a great way for me to meet new people, make great friends, and to form meaningful connections with the Counseling and Human Services faculty, especially our club advisor, Dr. [Paul A.] Datti."

Q: When and where does the Association meet?

"CHSA meets once or twice each month on Mondays at 8 p.m. in St. Thomas Hall, Room 312. We also host several events and activities that take place throughout each month for our members to attend."

Shown, association member Fiori Tannenbaum '23, makes a special delivery to Gino J. Merli Veterans' Center residents. Thank you notes for Veterans were created by the University's Counseling & Human Services Association volunteers.  

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