UPike announces partnership with WestCare

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - College is a time when many folks go through transitions and are faced with new decisions and demands. The University of Pikeville is now offering services to help their students during this time.

The partnership announced on Friday is one that school officials say will greatly benefit the well being of their students while also adressing some issues that were expressed by faculty.

Discussion of a partnership between the university and WestCare began after President James Hurley received a letter that voiced some concerns by professors.

Professor Hannah Freeman explains, "We have a young, vulnerable population...particularly with freshmen but also college students in general. We had no resources for them, if they were struggling with any kind of problems."

Shortly after receiving that letter President Hurley met with WestCare officials.

WestCare President/CEO Richard Steinberg says, "He didn't want to be the incoming president and have his head in the sand...he wanted to address the issues."

Officials worked for nine months on the partnership and came up with a plan to help meet the needs of their students.

"It is very expansive...everything from drug and alcohol prevention counseling, to human health counseling, and on to suicide counseling. All of those are very important on a university campus," explains Hurley.

Steinberg says, "It says a whole lot about the school to have folks stop and do this."

Officials say this partnership is another component to the student experience and family atmosphere at the growing university.

There will be three counselors available on campus to students, faculty, and staff.

In the future, officials say they plan to expand their services and make them available to the community.

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