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Waubonsee Community College and the Association for Individual Development (AID) have launched a new support line to help Waubonsee students grapple with the pressures of college and life.

Waubonsee, AID Partner to Create Support Line for Students

Waubonsee Community College and the Association for Individual Development (AID) have partnered to create the Waubonsee Talk Line, a 24/7 hotline dedicated to help Waubonsee students find help in times of crisis. Above, from left, Dr. Melinda James, Waubonsee’s Vice President for Student Development, and AID Chairman Chuck Miles discuss the goals and benefits of the Talk Line during a ceremonial signing of the memorandum of agreement establishing the Talk Line Sept. 12.

Just as many in the general population, college students today report feeling intense pressure: pressure to perform academically and professionally, to advance their careers, to not only stay in school, but to succeed and excel.

That pressure has begun to exact a toll from students nationwide. According to The National Alliance on Mental Illness, 80 percent of college students report feeling overwhelmed, and 45 percent report feeling hopeless.

To help students, Waubonsee Community College has partnered with the Aurora-based Association for Individual Development (AID) on establishing the new Waubonsee Talk Line.

The two organizations signed the agreement governing the operation of the hotline for Waubonsee students at a ceremony on Sept. 11.

Students with questions about the Talk Line may contact Waubonsee Counseling at 630-466-2361.

The hotline will be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week by counselors trained by AID, which operates other crisis referral hotlines.

Names of callers will not be recorded, and all conversations will be confidential. Callers will also be referred to local support services for a range of issues, including depression, addiction, domestic violence, financial difficulties, medical care, veterans affairs, child and elder care, legal services and family and relationship issues.

At Waubonsee, counselors employed by the college will refer students to the hotline for assistance during times when Waubonsee counselors are unavailable to provide confidential counseling sessions with students.  

“We have amazing counselors, offering services at all four of our campuses,” said Dr. Melinda James, Waubonsee’s Vice President of Student Development. “But we know crises don’t always happen when we have scheduled hours of operation.”

James lauded the partnership on the hotline between Waubonsee and AID, noting AID’s exceptional work already within the communities served by both Waubonsee and AID.

“This is one of the proudest moments I’ve ever had here at Waubonsee,” James said. “This is our community, and about what’s best for our students. It’s a good reflection of how our community supports us and how we support our community.”

Chuck Miles, a Geneva resident who serves as chairman of AID’s board of directors, said the partnership between his organization and the college represents an effort to help “the 11,000 Waubonsee students who can benefit from this.”

“We are stepping forward, and not waiting for somebody else to fix this problem for us,” Miles said.