FGCU makes mental health a priority with new, low-cost counseling center

Mental health is treating the cause of everything, from mass shootings to classroom conflicts, for Southwest Florida families. Now, a new center at Florida Gulf Coast University provides counseling at an affordable cost.

On the second floor of a brand new building, FGCU will offer counseling at a low cost. Anyone in Southwest Florida can seek treatment at the new Student and Community Counseling Center.

Students who take advantage of the current counseling services said they are glad the university is making mental health a priority.

“If they’re opening up to the public,” Nina Morice said, “that definitely makes FGCU on the forefront.”

WINK News had an exclusive look inside the building, which is set to open in October.

Alise Bartley will help oversee the community counseling portion. It is equipped with five counseling rooms, two group rooms and a play therapy room for children. Graduate students who work there can help families address a number of needs.

The cost of construction was $6.7 million.

“Stress, depression, anxiety,” Bartley said, “to working on how to make your family work better.”

Also in the works is an agreement with the School District of Lee County to serve its students.

“Maybe it’s a 10-year-old school student who is really struggling academically and because of the struggles they’re having at school, they’re having some family issues at home,” Bartley said. “We’d be a great place to help them work through those issues.”

The costs are $25 an hour for counseling or what you make hourly at your job – whichever is less expensive.

Reporter:Andrea Henderson
Writer:Michael Mora
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