Pictured above: Megan Little, a counselor in residence (CIR), sits at a table promoting mental health at the Feb. 8 Relationships Fair in the Arkansas Union’s Connections Lounge.
University Housing has three counselor in residence (CIR) positions that support students’ mental wellbeing while they live in the residence halls.
These professionals are located across campus in Maple Hill East, Gibson and Pomfret Halls, but all residence hall students can use their services.
CIRs present training to the coordinators for residence education and resident assistants about mental health topics throughout the year. CIRs also assist with supervision of the counseling interns that provide services.
CIRs and counseling interns assist more than 100 clients and provide about 150 hours of outreach each semester.
CIRs participate in numerous outreach events across campus including events such as Play Day, the Relationships Fair, Razorbash and Suicide Prevent month.
They also have opportunities to work with RAs on building-wide or floor programs with topics such as “How to Resolve Roommate Conflicts” and a mental health “Jeopardy” game.
In addition to the formal planned programs, CIRs also support hall staff and students after a stressful situation such as a natural disaster or student death.
Megan Little, serves as CIR in Maple Hill East.
“I love my job as a CIR because I constantly get to help people in a variety of ways. One hour, I can provide individual counseling to a student. The next hour, I might be consulting with RA staff on mental health concerns in the hall. Next, I get to help with group supervision of our counseling interns,” she said.
Little worked with the Reid Hall staff to develop a program about body image and eating disorders.
The staff discussed the messages young women get from the media, and even at home, about body image.
They provided a space, a gym where the mirrors were covered over, to create a lesson in the all-women’s hall that minimizes competitive body image.
“There is room for me to be innovative and try out new things like creating my own therapy group with supervision over that process from a senior clinician. I am always learning and evolving as a clinician, educator and supervisor in my role as a CIR,” Little said.