Georgia Southern University Counseling Center Wins Media Award
The Georgia Southern University Counseling Center won an Award for Excellence in Media from the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors. The award recognized the Counseling Center’s efforts to bring attention to the intersection of individual identities through their live Instagram series “Speak Fire”, which aired earlier this year.
“When we created the series, we were trying to find innovative ways to reach students, especially when there was so much fatigue being online all day in the middle of COVID,” said Jodi Caldwell, Ph.D., executive director of the Consulting Center. “So we were trying to find ways to be therapeutic and helpful, but it was different from your typical webinar or your Zoom meeting.”
The Speak Fire program was designed to create a safe place for students to ask questions and find support while meeting students in a familiar space: social media. Using the Instagram Live format, students were able to interact in real time with the people leading the sessions in the comfort of a less formal setting.
“Jamal Hailey and Raven De La Cruz decided to focus on the intersecting identities of gender, sexual orientation and race, and how they can combine to create a unique set of influences on individuals,” Caldwell said. “The hope was to give individuals a safe place to really explore the intersection of their identities, to provide students with a place to ask questions that they might not have another place to ask, and to give them a place to ask. ” get support for their own experiences that they don’t have. I have no other way to find support.
To be eligible for the award, the work presented had to be of significance to student mental health and relevant to current issues in the work of campus counseling centers, among other standards. Caldwell is proud of the team that came together to build the program.
“The way our field is progressing is to nurture the creativity and energies of new mental health professionals,” Caldwell said. “It’s recognition of some of the creativity and innovation of clinicians here and the hard work they’ve done thanks to COVID. Hopefully having this award communicates to all of our students that the counseling center is a place where people can receive support and explore any issues they face, and find support for that exploration.
Two of the “Speak Fire” sessions are still available for viewing in the Instagram Video section of the Advice Center Instagram profile, @georgiasoutherncounseling.