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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

OPINION: Men’s Basketball just won’t back down
Abigail Taylor, Contributing writer • February 27, 2024

Wellness Center Hires New Counselor

Tiara Woney, Mental Health Counselor

Counseling services aims to meet needs of students

In April 2020, just after Wofford College moved to remote learning due to the coronavirus, the Wellness Center hired Tiara Woney, Master of Marriage and Family Therapy, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist – Associate, as a new Mental Health Counselor. 

According to Wofford Counseling Services data from 2018-2019, the Ratio of Full Time Equivalent Counseling Services was one staff to every 955 students. The addition of Woney to the Counseling Services staff improves the school’s ratio; now, there is one staff member for every 624 students. In comparison, Wofford’s peer institutions including Converse College, Davidson College, Furman University, and three others have an average Ratio of Full Time Equivalent Counseling staff of one staff to every 381 students. 

Director of Counseling Services, Perry Henson, noted that “we can see that the stigma around mental health issues on our campus is decreasing and we know that many students, faculty and staff have worked hard to make this happen,” which may contribute to an increase in demand for Counseling Services over the past few years.  

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Originally from the Bronx, NY, Woney moved to Spartanburg in 2015 to attend graduate school at Converse College. Prior to coming to Wofford, Woney worked at the South Carolina Department of Mental Health at the Cherokee Mental Health Center in Gaffney, SC for almost two years.  

While being hired in the middle of a pandemic limited how often she was able to hold counseling sessions with students, Woney was able to use the time to adjust to tele-therapy, or therapy held via phone call or video chat, and find creative ways to meet the needs of students.  

In the spring, Woney started Zoom student support groups after the transition to online learning to help create a sense of community for students coping with the pandemic and other stressors. The support groups will continue on Zoom in a similar fashion this fall, with a general student support group open to all Wofford students on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3 p.m. and a First-Year only student support group on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11 a.m. Now, Woney also offers individual counseling sessions.  

A member of the Wofford Anti-Racism Teach-in Series planning team this past summer, Woney wants to highlight how emotionally taxing it is to fight for social justice and fight against racial injustice: “It can be traumatic and hard to keep your emotions together in order to still function in your daily life”. 

Woney’s hire came at a time of critical need as the United States is grappling with racism and police brutality as protests for racial justice have been ongoing since the murder of George Floyd in May.  

Woney is currently the reigning Mrs. Black South Carolina International Ambassador 2020, and has plans to compete for Miss Black International Ambassador 2021, where her platform is to end the stigma attached to mental health in the Black community. Based on personal experience, she said: “There is a stigma about therapy and mental health in our country but I feel it is even more prevalent in the Black community.” 

Through her role as a therapist and as a pageant queen, Woney hopes she can contribute to the conversation about ending the stigma on a larger scale, so that real change can be made in people’s ability to recognize symptoms, seek help and gain access to services and work on being mentally well. 

Counseling and Mental Health Information: 

Wofford Mental Health Assistance Line: 864-597-4393 
This line provides mental health support to all members of the Wofford community. You do not need to be in crisis to access this resource. 

If you are in need of immediate assistance, call Campus Safety at 864-597-4911. If you need to speak with someone immediately, you may call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255

Student Support Groups: 
Links in Daily Announcements 
First Years: Tuesday and Thursday at 11 a.m.  
General: Tuesday and Thursday at 3 p.m. 

Individual Counseling: To schedule an appointment, use the Patient Portal found on MyWofford. In the interest of the health and safety of the Wofford community, all counseling appointments for Fall of 2020 will be conducted via virtual therapy, until further notice.  

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