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Mental health support services available at NIU

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Last week, Northern Illinois University student Latif Adeboyejo was found dead near campus. He was the second NIU student found dead on or near campus this year.

Tim Paquette is the director of Counseling and Consultation Services at NIU. He says, in a time like this, they focus on making sure students close to Latif are aware of the university’s services.

Sometimes they reach out directly to those students, and work in groups or individually.

“It's usually in two phases: the first step is to really provide that immediate debriefing and mental health emergency support. We’re going to be using a trauma-informed approach," he said. "And then, depending on what people's needs are moving forward, we're able to provide ongoing mental health support.”

Paquette highlights it's not just during a tragedy that students can access Counseling and Consultation Services.

“Our services are available year-round, and that includes crisis support. What we offer is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. During office hours, we're here to provide students but we also have availability for on-call counseling support," he said.

Many students aren’t on campus in June, and Paquette says they have on-call counseling for those students.

He says they can work with students individually or in groups. Faculty and staff are affected by this tragedy too. Paquette says the Employee Assistance Program can offer them mental health services.

The tragedy also may impact students' ability to meet academic responsibilities. Paquette says they offer advocacy support, which works with advisors and professors to help students who may need academic accommodation like extensions.

He says they hear too often that students wish they hadn’t waited so long to reach out for help. Students can find information on all of their Counseling and Consultation Services’ mental health resources on NIU’s website.