About Counseling

Counseling is the psychological equivalent of visiting one’s family doctor for medical illnesses. The counseling department treats illnesses and disorders of the psyche, including depression and anxiety. The counselor also helps students with adjustment disorders related to change and stress. These may include being a first-time college student; juggling school, work, and parenting; peer conflict; poor academic performance; or a life change such as a relationship ending. Other reasons to see the counselor may include low self-esteem, poor communication skills, or a need to learn effective problem solving. For those who need specialized or long-term treatment, referrals will be made to South Arkansas Regional Health Center.

Our Counselor

Our counselor, Vanessa Williams, is licensed as a licensed professional counselor through the Arkansas Board of Examiners in Counseling, State of Arkansas. She has several years of experience working with clients from various backgrounds, in multiple settings, across the lifespan. Mrs. Williams is also the Director of Student Success Services. She will conduct workshops throughout the year to help students not only succeed in college, but also succeed in landing jobs and keeping them. These workshops will include subjects like interviewing skills, making a good first impression, conflict resolution, and job etiquette. Mrs. Williams is here at no charge to help students of SouthArk. She can be reached by:
• Calling 870-875-7235
• Going to Student Services in the El Dorado Conference and Student Center and signing in using Who’s Next


Arkansas law protects confidentiality for those in a counseling relationship, age 18 and older. It also requires or permits some exceptions, including the following:
• If the counselor has cause to believe there is a probability of imminent physical injury to the student or another person
• If the counselor has cause to believe that a child, elderly person, or disabled person is being abused, neglected, or exploited
• In response to certain court orders
These exceptions do not occur often. SouthArk is not legally obligated to discuss releasing a student’s confidential information with that student before doing so if doing so would prevent SouthArk from securing the student’s safety or the safety of others.

A student’s interactions with Counseling Services can be disclosed to others only with his or her written permission, except under the circumstances described above. A student’s confidential counseling file is not part of his/her academic record.


Because email is never fully confidential, SouthArk asks students not to use email to communicate with the counselor about personal matters or to schedule appointments. If a student contacts the counselor by email, he or she implicitly gives permission to the counselor to reply by email if the counselor chooses to do so. The counselor will not provide counseling via email under any circumstances. Email should never be used to communicate an urgent or critical message. Please keep in mind that emails sent to or received from the College are subject to the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act, Ark. Code Ann. Sec. § §25-19-101 et. Seq.

If Concerned About a Student

If it is believed that a student is at risk of becoming suicidal or violent, immediately call SouthArk Campus Security for assistance at 870-864-7125.

Suicide Prevention

If a student becomes suicidal and is on campus, the student should contact Campus Security at 870-864-7125 for immediate assistance or the counselor at 870-875-7235. If the student is off campus, he/she should call 911 immediately or report to the nearest emergency room.  Other resources include the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-276-TALK, which is available 24/7, and texting the number 741741 which will connect you with a crisis counselor.  For further information, visit Suicide Prevention Awareness | Know the Warning Signs of Suicidal Behavior.

Engagement, Success, and Wellness Training

SouthArk is dedicated to providing an optimal learning environment. We are invested in student success and want students to engage in the educational process and be prepared to continue his or her education or enter the workforce as top candidates. To this end, Student Success Services in the form of workshops and seminars are offered throughout the year. The counselor may also visit SouthArk Student Success classes to teach students some of the skills necessary to not only succeed in an educational program, but also to succeed in life.

  • Workshops and seminars include topics such as:
  • Conflict Resolution Skills
  • Stress Management
  • Resume Writing
  • Interview Skills
  • Job Etiquette
  • Communication Skills
  • Using Social Media Responsibly
  • Time Management
  • Study Skills
  • How to Write A Letter of Interest
  • Financial Literacy

The counselor will work collaboratively with faculty and staff to ensure that students have all the tools they need to succeed in today’s world. Faculty and staff are encouraged to utilize this service as a referral source for students who may need some extra help in these areas. Rest assured, the counselor is an advocate for the students, and will work hard to make students’ time in school successful and their transition to a university or job smooth.

Self-Help Resources

el dorado police department

Off-Campus Resources

    • Women’s Crisis Center of South Arkansas
      1116 Washington Street
      Camden, AR 71701
      Phone: 870-836-0375
    • AARDVARC.org
      An Abuse, Rape, Domestic Violence Aid and Resource Collection
    • Suicide.org
      Suicide Prevention, Awareness, and Support
    • Arkansas Crisis Center
      1-888-CRISIS2 (274-7472)
    • Salvation Army
      419 South Madison Street
      El Dorado, AR 71730
    • National Sexual Assault Hotline | 1.800.656.HOPE(4673) | Free. Confidential. 24/7.