NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Counseling Office is Here to Help

The Counseling Office is here to help college kids keep a grip in the middle of the pressures and stressors of our home, school and work lives.

Marcia Winters is the coordinator of counseling on the Haverhill campus, while Karen MacDonald is the mental health counselor on the Lawrence campus.  The school website says they are both “licensed mental health counselors who provide treatment, crisis intervention, support services, and referrals to off-campus therapists and specialized professionals.”  Their office hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. “Walk-ins can be seen on an emergency basis,” according to the brochure.

Counseling can encourage the student to become healthier in all aspects of life.   Common reasons to visit the Counseling Office include the following issues: feeling overwhelmed, depression and anxiety, family problems, alcohol and drugs, coping with grief and loss, and many more.

Workshops offered through the Counseling Office include National Depression Screening Day, Anxiety Awareness, Relationships, Sleep Clinics, Alcohol/Drug Awareness, Stress Management, Eating Patterns, Domestic Violence, and Sexual Assault Awareness.

The next event with the Counseling Services is National Depression Screening Day.  The Lawrence campus had their Screening Day on Monday, Oct. 5, and the Haverhill campus will have their Screening Day on Thursday, Oct. 8, in the C building lobby, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

To schedule an appointment with Marcia on the Haverhill campus, call (978) 556-3644 or email

To schedule an appointment with Karen on the Lawrence campus, call (978) 738-7433 or email

A relatively new branch under the umbrella of Counseling Services at NECC is the Wellness Educator.

Erin Neal, the Wellness Educator, works with Mallory Stamp, an intern from UMass Lowell.  Neal’s position on campus is to educate the students about personal wellness. It’s a part-time position for 12 hours a week.  The Wellness Educator also helps promote the Counseling Services at NECC.

Neal is planning on incorporating a sex education workshop along with the other workshops provided during the next year or so.

“I think that sex education is a great idea, but we don’t currently have it. I would like to see that. It’s definitely not continuous on campus,” Neal said.

“Birth control is a huge issue too,” says Marcia Winters, coordinator of counseling on the Haverhill campus.

The goal of a Wellness Coordinator is to supply a variety of information on health and wellness and fulfill that need for information.

“It would be nice to have a (sex education) workshop, giving some information, and to provide a safe environment to ask questions,” Neal said. “We are definitely working on that.”

The Wellness Educator is located in the Sport and Fitness Center.

Another branch under Counseling Services at NECC is Social Services, located on the Lawrence campus, room 231-A at 45 Franklin Street. Office hours are Monday and Tuesday, 1 to 4 p.m. and Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Family resources include information about SNAP benefits, WIC, food pantries and other related resources.

Financial information is available for credit counseling, debt management, SSI benefits and unemployment benefits.

Legal resources include eviction, immigration, child support, child custody, divorce and discrimination.

Health resources include MassHealth, mental health, domestic violence and other assistance. For more information, contact Stefanae Bowen at (978) 738-7432.