Adding Mental Health Help

October 6, 2017

Recognizing the importance of mental health, the Towson University athletics department added licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Shreya Hessler to its staff.
Sometimes, the issue of mental health in college students, specifically student-athletes, is stigmatized and neglected. Towson is changing the narrative by creating a culture where seeking care for mental health issues is as normative as receiving treatment for physical injuries.
"I am thrilled to return to Towson University after serving as visiting faculty in the psychology department for four years (2003-2007)," Hessler said. "After working with elite youth athletes in independent practice and some club programs in the Baltimore area, I am excited to work with the athletic department in building mental health wellness into its overall program. I hope to provide support to these students and help them to build resilience and skills that they can take long after they've left their sport and step into the working world."
Hessler is the founder and director of the The MINDset Center. She has been in private practice for over a decade. She specializes in the identification and treatment of anxiety disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression, and behavioral disorders. Hessler is trained in cognitive-behavioral therapy for the treatment of children, adolescents, and adults.
Hessler will be a terrific asset as Towson continues to educate and provide resources for its student-athletes on mental health and emotional well-being.
In addition to its already strong relationship with the counseling center, having Hessler on staff allows for enhanced service, communication and delivery of services so that Towson can best address the variety of psychological issues (individual, team, staff) that potentially could be present.
While Hessler never played organized sports, she has been around athletes who have played a variety of sports including soccer, rugby, fencing, field hockey, and martial arts. She has worked with youth athletes and consulted with sports programs to create healthy environments for athletic development.
 "After almost a decade of watching youth athletics grow as an industry, I saw the need for helping families navigate the rigors of their demands," Hessler said. "Issues pertaining to performance anxiety, team interaction, coaching style, head injury, and return to play post injury became frequently visited in my practice. Providing coping, mindfulness, and resilience skills to individuals at the collegiate level seemed like a natural progression for my work and only strengthens a student athlete and maximizes their potential."
In addition to her therapy practice, Hessler has been an affiliate member of the faculties at Towson University and Loyola University in Maryland and has taught psychology courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. 
Hessler frequently presents locally and around the country on topics regarding anxiety and behavior management. Hessler also volunteers her time as a member of the Local Management Board of Harford County and as a board member of the Maryland Psychological Association.
After serving the community in individual practice, Hessler launched The MINDset Center to help clients receive more integrated care when needed. In addition to individual and group therapy, The MINDset Center offers specialized services for those with identified learning differences including dyslexia, dysgraphia and ADHD.
A graduate of the University of Maryland, some of Hessler's professional membership and affiliations include the American Psychological Association, Maryland Psychological Association, Anxiety and Depression Association of America, International Obsessive Compulsive Foundation, and International Dyslexia Association.
"The most common positive qualities I have seen in student athletes are grit, determination, and a readiness to succeed," Hessler said. "These are also the qualities that make treatment for anxiety, depression, and other challenges more likely to be successful. More often than not, this population is eager to strengthen themselves physically and mentally."


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