Many UNM students who seek on-campus counseling may not be aware of all of their options. They opt for the more well-known services at Student Health and Counseling or even the Counseling, Assistance and Referral Services; but few use the Manzanita Counseling Center.

Manzanita is completely free to any student or outside community member and offers confidential individual, couples and family counseling throughout the fall and spring semesters, said Alfredo Palacios, a graduate assistant at the center.

The clinic is run by the counselor education department of the College of Education and its services are provided by masters and doctoral students in the program.

“The need for mental health services for college-aged individuals spikes nationwide during the fall months,” Palacios said. “Students can seek counseling for many reasons: stress management, depression, anxiety, substance use or simply to process challenging life circumstances and transitions. Counseling can also teach skills needed to maintain wellness and live a meaningful life. Counseling is a process unique to each person and can become a useful tool to improve numerous desired areas in the lives of individuals, couples and families.”

Although the center has been on campus for more than 25 years, it receives a disproportionate number of community members to students, he said.

“We pretty much exclusively provide services to the community,” said Matthew Lemberger-Truelove, an assistant professor at the College of Education. “We don’t want to take away from services already available to students but want to make sure there is a counseling service available to the community.”

Manzanita also serves as a training program for the students who run it. Since most of these students will serve community members upon graduation, Manzanita provides them with the proper experience, Lemberger-Truelove said.

Although it primarily serves the community at large, Manzanita is open to accepting more student clients. They plan to look at branching out in this way more in the future but will accept student applications now.

“I don’t think many students know about the services we provide, as we are not the only mental health service provider on campus,” Palacio said. “Improving awareness of the Manzanita Counseling Clinic is crucial in improving the wellness of the UNM student body.”

Manzanita Health Center is located in Manzanita Hall next to the Kiva and has an availability from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Students can call 505-277-7311 to schedule an appointment.

Marielle Dent is a freelance reporter for the Daily Lobo. She can be reached at or on Twitter @Marielle_Dent.