MEGAN COURTNEY | Reporter
Beginning in the seventh grade, Dr. Whitney Mathison, Lindenwood’s new director of the Student Counseling and Resource Center, was a mediator for students who were getting into fights.
“I was good in school, so they would pull me out during classes when people had arguments,” she said. “I would mediate, and they would come to an agreement about what they would do.”
Mathison said that is how her work in counseling began. But other jobs also helped to prepare her.
Being a bill collector, she said, readied her for when people are angry because people would hang up on her or not like that she would be calling.
Most recently, she served as a clinical supervisor at an outpatient mental health clinic. There, she helped people who have chronic mental illnesses, people who are suffering from drug addictions or other health issues.
As the new counseling center director, Mathison said that she hopes to provide a welcoming atmosphere for students to come talk when they are stressed.
“I’m hoping to bring a face that says ‘I’m like you,’” she said.
Mathison said that the students and staff on campus are so nice, but one of her favorite things about the campus is the music that’s played.
On her second day, she was so happy that she got to come in and hear Bruno Mars playing at 8 a.m.
“I got to hear some rap right after, and I was like ‘Oh my god!’” she said, “I was so pumped about that.”
As the director, Mathison said that she makes decisions about operations, reaching out to different groups to welcome them to the counseling center and getting up to date with the newest technology to find ways to make students feel comfortable.
From Mathison’s perspective, mental and physical health go “hand-in-hand.”
“If your mind isn’t functioning in the way that it should, come and talk to somebody,” she said. “Don’t be ashamed to talk to somebody about your stressors.”
She wants students to know that it’s okay to reach out and ask for help or advice.
Mathison is the successor to Joseph Cusumano, who retired. She said that she wants to help improve mental health and decrease stress levels for all students.