Kirsten Robertson is here at TU to provide additional support for students undergoing mental trauma. photo by Brooke-Lyne Holland

Alexander Health Center adds position for mental crisis response

The Alexander Health Center defines and explains their new hire’s position.

Improvements are coming to the Alexander Health Center Counseling Center this semester to help students deal with stressful situations. Staff Counselor and Outreach Specialist Kirsten Robertson is here to help students at TU.

Robertson went to Antioch University in Seattle and majored in clinical psychology throughout her college career. She works as an intern at TU and is completing her doctorate in clinical psychology. In two weeks, she will begin work in a new position at the counseling center: Staff Counselor – Outreach Specialist.

Director of Alexander Health Center Counseling Center Michael McClendon described Robertson’s position as a “mobile extension of the counselor center” at the University of Tulsa. “Her job is to help facilitate coordinating student’s care and getting them connected to sources that can help them,” McClendon stated.

Robertson has a split week, working half of the time at TU and the other half at Laureate Psychiatric Clinic & Hospital where she helps in a crisis unit.

To this end, Robertson explained her choice in career by saying, “I like the diversity of working at the crisis unit … while I also like working in a counseling center so I can establish ongoing relationships with people.”

Robertson also likes teaching and training, which she will be doing on campus at TU once she fully establishes her role here. She was recently certified to be an instructor in mental health first aid and will slowly educate teachers and students on how to notice and deal with mental health problems.

Robertson is here to make students’ hard transitions more bearable. Such transitions include attending college and dealing with issues that may be too much for students to handle on their own.

She will be equipped with a cellphone and laptop while she responds to calls that pertain to mental outbreaks or crises on campus. She will work alongside Campus Security, Housing and The Center for Student Academic Support to give extra support from the counseling service to those in need.

Robertson will support students who are dealing with mental health concerns and stress that can branch from food insecurities, social issues and even housing issues that interfere with their daily activities.

“It’s a direct response to all the effort the university is putting forth to focus on the success of students,” McClendon said of Robertson’s new position. “We’re really excited about her position because it will augment everything that deals with students’ success.”

Currently, students are not able to directly contact Robertson, but if there is a crisis or student of concern on campus, she will be notified and attend along with Campus Security to assist in the situations and be there for the students. This gives the students a safe place when going through predicaments.

If students need help and believe Kirsten Robertson can be of help, she will be notified by Campus Security, CSAS, or by the Counseling Center so she can be there to assist in the situation.

Post Author: Brooke-Lyne Holland