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Marietta College is conducting a grand opening for the Pio-to-Pio Peer Support Center at 4:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 15th, in Andrews Hall.

The new center is located on the second floor in what was formerly the Riggs Board Room. The Center is designed to provide a supportive and safe space where students can destress, relax, and discuss college and life stressors and challenges with fellow students and Pio Peer Educators.

Suzy Zumwalde, a Mental Health Counselor at Marietta, said peer support on college campuses is becoming more and more common.

“Studies show that over 70 percent of students will go to a peer for support before seeking an advisor, coach, or mental health professional,” she said. “In an effort to support and complement our counseling services on campus, I have been working with a small group of students since the fall to open a peer support center on our campus.”

The Pio-to-Pio Peer Support Center will be staffed with trained Pio Peer Educators who will provide peer education and peer listening to students, along with referrals and resources.

“I am excited to work with the student leaders to open the new Pio-to-Pio Peer Support Center and offer an additional resource for students that will strengthen our mental health resources on campus,” Zumwalde said.

The Center is designed for group or individual discussions with students, and students can conduct a private discussion in a designated space separate from the main support center. Zumwalde said the Pio Peer Educators and volunteers are not trained and licensed counselors and will not act in that capacity.

The Center will be staffed from 6:00-9:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday. It will also be open from 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. but without staffing.

Funding for the Center was provided by the Sister’s Health Foundation and the Appalachian Children Coalition.