(ROSENBERG, Texas) – Justice Johnson works as a Texas State Technical College counselor for the Fort Bend County campus.
She likes to cook, bake, and read books and articles. Her favorite genre of book is either romance or suspense. Originally from Mississippi, she moved to Fort Bend County to help TSTC students handle their stress and mental health concerns.
How did you get into counseling?
When I was in my undergrad, we had to take different psychology classes. I knew I was never going to do experimental psychology, and I didn’t think I was going to do teaching. I ended up taking a counseling and psychology class. I remember thinking, I really like this. That led me to start doing internships and focusing on that. I ended up working at a community mental health agency for a little while as a therapist. I knew while there that it was set in stone that I would be a counselor.
I knew I wanted to work with college students or college-age people. While I was at school, we didn’t have access to a therapist for free, so I really wanted to be that for somebody.
How did you end up at TSTC?
I was online looking for a job. I had made the decision I was going to try and move out of Mississippi. I started looking at Texas and wanted to work at a university or college there. I found this job online, but had never heard of Rosenberg nor TSTC. I knew it was a technical college, however, and I have a lot of family who are in the trades, so that runs deep in my family. My sister has a welding associate degree, my grandpa works in HVAC, and my dad has his CDL. So I said, “Why not try and help people working on entering the trades?”
For a lot of people, the holiday season is a stressful time of year. Why do you think people find it harder to manage their mental health during the holidays?
I think it is really an overwhelming feeling you have. Depression and anxiety can happen all throughout the year, but during the holiday time, when people are with their families and out celebrating, it can be triggering for those who have not had things end up well for them. There is an increase of triggers around the holidays. People can feel useless and unable to contribute to the holiday. With the holiday rush people can also experience heightened anxiety.
What advice would you have for people to better manage their mental health during the holiday season?
Definitely setting boundaries with themselves and their family members. Also identifying their triggers. For example, if you know social media is a trigger for you, maybe stay off social media during the holiday time. Or if you know you can’t buy everything you want to, set a budget for yourself. It is really about identifying your triggers and figuring out a plan. You can seek out a therapist and connect with some of the resources in the area. As a student at TSTC, you can reach out to counselors and the Advocacy & Resource Center for help.
TSTC offers a variety of resources for students to help them succeed. The Advocacy & Resource Center is designed to assist students with nonacademic barriers. Mental health services and other assistance to students is available through the counseling office located on their campus. Other student services and resources include tutoring, a learning resource center, and access and learning accommodations.
Registration for TSTC’s spring semester is underway. For more information, go to tstc.edu.