Dr. Eric Rose attended a small university in the 1990s, which didn’t have any kind of formal counseling service for students. He remembers that some of his peers and friends struggled during their years in college, and still can’t help but wonder if things might have been different for them if proper help had been available. Realizing the importance of a confidential place to talk with a mental health professional for students was his main motivation to get into university mental health, a path that led Dr. Rose to his new position as director of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at Stevens.
Dr. Rose has brought to Stevens a vast amount of experience from a plethora of prestigious universities such as Johns Hopkins, Princeton, Case Western, and Stony Brook. One of the things that he has noticed while working at different universities is how each university’s student body has its own sense of character. Describing the Stevens student body he says, “I can honestly say that I’ve really been enjoying how down-to-earth the students at Stevens are. I enjoy hearing the stories of students who care deeply about the friends and family back in their hometowns.” Aside from counseling, Dr. Rose also carries out workshops and presentations for faculty and students. This month, he has been conducting an hour-long mindfulness meditation group for students at 4 pm on Tuesdays in Calder.
His goal is to make CAPS a place where students don’t have to wait very long to make contact with a counselor, which may actually be life-saving for a student in crisis. A number of steps have been implemented to fulfill this goal, he says. “First, we’ve instituted session limits. Second, we’ve made daily urgent care hours for students in crisis. And third, we’ve been working hard to connect with therapists in Hoboken who can partner with us in working with our students.”
Dr. Rose’s key advice to freshmen is to talk to one another. He believes doing so can be a real relief, especially because it can serve as a reminder that you are a part of the human race. “Take a risk and tell someone about your experience. So often people are afraid that they are the only person going through something, or feeling something, or having a particular experience. It’s when we take the risk to be vulnerable that some of our deepest connections unfold,” he says.
To unwind, Dr. Rose loves to play his guitars, both electric and acoustic. Lastly, he may or may not be an active member of a fan club at CAPS dedicated to “The Walking Dead.”
CAPS is open from 9-5 Monday to Friday, and until 7 pm on Tuesdays. Urgent Care hours are from 2-4pm on weekdays. Appointments can be made by calling 201-216-5177. You can email CAPS at firstname.lastname@example.org.