Pio-to-Pio peer counseling center opens up after two years in the making

Pio to Pio peer support center
Pio to Pio peer support center(Kheron Alston)
Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 9:04 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Pio-to-Pio peer counseling center has officially opened up to all Marietta College students.

A need that Pio Peer Educator, Colin Walters, saw as soon as he stepped foot on campus.

“When I first got here there was a lot of stigma around mental health and the resources we had on campus just weren’t there,” Walters said.

The lack of resources impacted Walters and his closest friends directly and he knew a change had to be made.

" A lot of the first friend group that I had when I first got here at Marietta they fell apart. Because of mental health people dropped out, they transferred to different schools, they decided to go into the work force right after high school and so that was a reason I got involved. The reason why this is so important and the reason I’m so passionate and the reason so many others are passionate is because you are getting help from your peers and you are with people that understand what you’re going through,” said Walters.

The changes made has brought the campus closer as a community.

“It was definitely an instant impact when I first got here and I noticed that something was wrong and even though we’re a small, tight knit close family community it kind of had an inverse effect even where we are in a small area but we stay in our rooms, we don’t get involved around campus, we don’t get into club events, we aren’t going to seeing basketball games. I wanted to get people out of their rooms talking about mental health, interacting with each other and breaking down the walls and breaking down those barriers because a lot of them weren’t here,” said Walters.

A ton of changes have been made for the peer counseling center but there is still tons of work to be done.

“In terms of future plans for the center, some of our main goals that we set. We want to make this Pio-to-Pio center as a big administrative help so when we have high school juniors and seniors visiting campus we want them to see a pio-to-pio center where they can get help from their students but there is also a mental health club on campus and there are a ton of resouces on campus,” Walters said.