An addition to the Marian student services department this year is Ms. Amber Determan. With education from Creighton University and UNO, she is a provisionally licensed mental health practitioner. She is available through contacting one of the counselors to arrange a time to meet. Her job as a therapist is to diagnose and treat mental health disorders, which can range from depression, anxiety disorders and ADHD. She is at Marian to allow girls who may not have the outlet to see a therapist outside of school, due to financial reasons, time constraints or transportation issues, a chance to speak with a therapist and gain help and create solutions.
A focus of hers is working on determining what is causing difficulty in people’s lives, then working on developing strategies to help combat and cope with those circumstances. Determan, and all licensed mental health professionals, are resources to help people gain skills to function and find tools to help live a fulfilling life, despite the struggles that they are facing. “Talking about our struggles and counseling experiences with others helps normalize these experiences,” Determan said. “It can make it easier for people to get help.”
Her license allows her to work with people of varying ages, but she especially enjoys working with teenagers. “They are at that stage in life where they’re figuring out who they are and where they’re going,” Determan said. “It is a privilege to be able to walk alongside them on this journey.” She emphasizes the importance of having someone who is not judgemental and able to listen to them share what they are experiencing.
Mental health disorders are experienced by around one in five adults, according to the National Alliance of Mental Illness, but everyone experiences negative emotions and feelings of stress and loneliness. These emotions are part of daily life, but they do not have to consume you, Determan explains. If those emotions are constantly interfering with one’s day-to-day responsibilities, solutions such as therapy or consulting a counselor or adult can help assess your symptoms and guide one to resources to receive help.