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Gas-lighting is a form of manipulation where a person makes someone else doubt their judgment, opinions, or reality. The term started being used in the 1930's in a play about a manipulative husband trying to make his wife think she is losing her mind; this was later developed into an Alfred Hitchcock film.

This manipulative technique occurs in abusive relationships (with a partner, parent, friend, etc) in an attempt to discredit the victim's reality, but can be seen in many types of interactions. Some examples of gas-lighting can be blatantly lying, discrediting your experiences, distracting from the concern, minimizing your thoughts and feelings, shifting blame, denying any wrongdoing, rewriting past experiences, and in general is very dismissive. Gas-lighting can make the victim feel very isolated and alone, as they are being made to believe that they are "crazy", "unstable", "out to get someone", "overly emotional", "too sensitive", and much more. Some signs that you may be being gas-lighted by someone around you are:

  • you doubt your feelings and reality
  • you question your judgment and perceptions of the world around you
  • you feel vulnerable, insecure, alone, or powerless
  • you feel confused, and second-guess your opinions and choices
  • you worry that you are too sensitive or too emotional
  • you struggle to make decisions because you distrust your own opinions

Remember that you are not to blame for what you are experiencing, and are not responsible for the abuser/bully's actions. If you are experiencing this and/or other signs of an abusive relationship, a counselor can help. Contact Student Well-Being to schedule an appointment at or 573.341.4211.

Yes, the COVID-19 vaccine is safe to receive. According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, there are actually hundreds of coronaviruses. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, like the common cold. However, three new coronaviruses have emerged over the past two decades to cause serious and widespread illness and death, one of them being COVID-19. While COVID-19 is specific and different from other viruses, previous research on this family of viruses established research ahead of this specific pandemic. And amid a global pandemic, researchers quickly mobilized to share their coronavirus data with other researchers and scientists. The ability to fast-track research and clinical trials was a direct result of worldwide cooperation, which isn't always the case with vaccine and medical developments.

Yes! Counseling services through Student Well-Being are free for all students. Learn more on our counseling appointments page.

Yes! Student Health can help with starting birth control, changing methods, or refilling a prescription. They provide birth control pills at a very reduced rate, and can assist in prescriptions or referrals for other forms of birth control (implant, IUD, patch, etc). Contact Student Health by emailing, calling 573.341.4284, or going to to learn more.

After having sex but BEFORE pulling out of your partner, make sure to hold the condom in place at the base of the penis. Then pull out of your partner. From here you can simply pull the condom off and throw it away being careful not to spill (mostly because it's a mess!). It's important to note: Those with a penis generally lose their erection soon after ejaculating, and when that happens it’s possible for the condom to slip off or spill semen. To prevent spilling, pull both out before the penis softens.

A dental dam is a thin, flexible, square piece of latex that helps prevent the spread of STDs and other germs during oral sex.

Place one over your or your partner’s vulva and/or anus so that it creates a barrier between the mouth and genitals. Don’t worry about stretching the dam or pressing it tight against the skin — just hold it in place. Sometimes a dam will even stay in place on its own because of vaginal moisture or static.                 

Dams can sometimes be hard to find in stores. In Rolla, there are some available for free at Planned Parenthood. Or, you can cut open a condom and lay it flat on your partner’s vulva or anus. Check out this guide to turning a condom into a dental dam.

While there are of course many germs in a restroom, the toilet seat is not a common way of transmitting infections or diseases to humans. Many disease-causing organisms can survive for only a short time on the surface of the seat, and for an infection to occur, the germs would have to be transferred from the toilet seat to your urethral or genital tract, or through a cut or sore on the buttocks or thighs, which is possible but very unlikely. You cannot receive a STD (sexually transmitted disease) from a toilet seat. 

Yes, you can certainly have a dependence on marijuana/weed, as with any drug, which is where you may feel symptoms of withdrawal when not using it. 

Marijuana use can be considered an addiction when the person cannot stop using the drug even though it interferes with many aspects of their life. Estimates of the number of people addicted to marijuana are controversial, but studies from the National Institute on Drug Abuse suggest that 9% of people who use marijuana will become dependent on it.

If you feel like you have to use marijuana to relax and are unable to do so without it, that may be a sign of dependence. So the case may be not so much that you aren't relaxed, but that you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms from too much time passing between uses. Common withdrawal symptoms are restlessness, insomnia, nervousness or anxiety, irritability, headaches, nausea, or bad/unsettling dreams. 

In this instance, reducing or quitting your use can be very beneficial. For those who have a higher dependence/addiction, it may be more helpful to slowly reduce the amount you use over time instead of going "cold turkey" as this will help reduce withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal can last for many days, even up to a week or longer. 

If you need support or want to quit/reduce use, Student Well-Being offers judgement-free marijuana use consultations.

It is totally normal to be feeling particularly anxious or stressed after an interaction (or in this case many interactions) with a potential employer. It can feel like there is a lot riding on you doing well! If you are feeling like you wished you had done better, we would recommend talking to COER because they have many options for helping you to better prepare for those types of interactions, such as practice interviews, resume review, professional clothes, and much more when it comes to getting a co-op, job, or other future plans. You can check out their services at

Regarding the anxiety attacks, we'd highly recommend coming into Student Well-Being for a quick 20 minute screening to see what resources or services would be most valuable to you. Persistent anxiety attacks after an event has occurred can be serious. If you feel as though you cannot "move past" your anxiety and/or the anxiety is interfering with your ability to get through your day, this is a sign that additional support would be valuable! You can schedule a screening with a licensed counselor by calling 573.341.4211, visiting 204 Norwood Hall, or through the Patient Portal

We are so sorry to hear that you are experiencing all of this, we know how difficult it can be to manage academics and personal concerns when it feels like they just keep piling up. Thank you so much for reaching out and getting support, that's the best first step!

Burn out is tricky because it affects all of us differently and can stem from many places, but it can be helpful to tackle it with both an external and internal/emotional approach. Externally, try starting with making a list of your largest stressors- or what parts of your day cause burnout. And try and be specific. What do you look forward to the least? Which parts of your day make the rest of the day difficult to get through?

Look at what is on the list- there are a few things that may help:

  • Classes/Obligations: if you have specific classes, meetings, or other scheduled obligations that are causing burnout, try scheduling time after those obligations to decompress and have a moment for yourself, even if it is a short window. For example, after your 11am class, set aside a dedicated few minutes to journal gratitudes, take a walk, make lunch or coffee, listen to your favorite songs, or try a breathing exercise. Your goal is to schedule specific time doing something that will help you feel calm before moving on to the rest of your day.
  • Look for What is in Your Control: classify the items on your list that you can change/control and what you cannot. This can help you to see what you can change and look for new solutions, but also can help you take specific notice of what is out of your control- sometimes just the act of saying "This is out of my control, I am doing my best to manage it" can be helpful!

With lack of family time, if you are unable to visit as much as you'd like, it can be helpful to schedule set times in the day for a phone call, video chat, or text, even if the time frame has to remain limited. Try incorporating the chatting into other pockets of already-scheduled time, like when you are eating meals or when you exercise. If you are unable to make calls or video chat, try making texting more fun or intentional with family by creating texting "games", such as taking a picture in front of something specific that everyone has to recreate (ie posing in front of a tree, copying each other's silly faces, wearing certain colors, etc). This can help take the pressure off only talking about school and updates, and can help form new memories from afar.

Overall, we'd strongly recommend seeking external support to talk more about your concerns and to find long-term solutions. Hopefully some of the above ideas are helpful, but having consistent and ongoing support may be best in this situation. Below are a few services/resources to consider:

  • Come in for a mental health screening with Student Well-Being: A screening with a licensed counselor only takes about 20 minutes, and the counselor will work with you to find the next best step based on your concerns. Some recommendations might be individual counseling, group counseling, health coaching, online resources and apps, and more. Screenings can be scheduled online or by calling 573.341.4211.
  • Nutrition Consultation: If your physical health is declining based on lack of exercise or eating well, a Nutrition Consultation can be very helpful. These are private one-on-one sessions with a Student Well-Being Health Educator. Learn more here.
  • Join the Miner Support Network or ProjectConnect: The Miner Support Network and ProjectConnect are both student-led groups (no university staff or faculty are present) that allow you to be yourself in a safe space and interact with other students. While ProjectConnect has more scheduled fun activities, the Miner Support Network allows for open discussion about stressors and other topics.

Figuring out how to show support can be difficult especially after a traumatic event like sexual assault. In short, there is no single correct response. The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) offers helpful information about how to support and validate a friend, family member, or intimate partner who has survived sexual violence. One useful strategy for structuring conversations is the TALK method:

  • Thank them for telling you:
    • It’s important to take a moment to acknowledge how incredibly difficult it can be to tell someone about this type of trauma. Showing your appreciation for their trust at the beginning of the conversation may help your loved one feel more comfortable. You can begin to show your support by saying something like: "Thank you for telling me this. It means a lot to me that you feel you can share this with me."
  • Ask how you can help:
    • Even though your first instinct may be to try to give your loved one advice on what to do, it’s important to let them make their own choices about what to do next. You don’t have to have all the answers––you just have to listen and let them know that you are there for them to help in any way they need. If this is the first time someone has disclosed the assault or if it has just happened, they may not be certain what support they need from you, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask. It’s always better to ask than to assume that you know what they want or need. Simply saying something like, “I care about you a lot, and I want you to know that I am here to help in any way I can,” can mean so much to someone who has just told you about their experience.
  • Listen without judgement:
    • While it’s normal to have reactions like anger or shock when someone you care about shares an experience of sexual violence, sometimes those reactions can make a survivor feel like they are responsible for your feelings and discourage them from feeling that they can open up. Listening without judgment can be one of the most healing things you can do for someone you care about. For instance, give them your undivided attention and focus on their feelings. Listen to whatever the survivor is telling you in a calm and empathetic manner. Even if you’re feeling angry or upset or shocked, try to keep those emotions within yourself and focus your attention on supporting the person in front of you.
  • Keep supporting:
    • Healing takes time, and it’s crucial that survivors have the ongoing support and love they deserve throughout this process. Every survivor’s healing journey is a unique and ongoing process, so continued care will look different for every person. For many survivors, feeling that their normal life has been taken away from them can be especially hard. Continue to offer to do things together that your loved one has always enjoyed. For instance, if you enjoy cooking together or following the same TV shows, make sure you’re reaching out to initiate those activities. Even if your loved one doesn’t want to talk about what happened, it can be helpful to spend time together and feel normal.

Following this method is a good guide to ensure you are providing the support your friend needs. If your friend does state they want help in locating what resources are available to them on campus and in Rolla, you can provide them with information that is located on our website under the “Sexualized Violence/Harassment/Discrimination” section. These resources include:

  • Student Well-Being – If your friend wants to receive support, they can visit Student Well-Being to receive counseling. The counseling staff members (example: licensed counselors) are legally and ethically required to maintain confidentiality. They are NOT Mandated Reporters. This means they are NOT required to promptly report any details they possess in relation to a Title IX or Equity policy violation. The exception to this is that Wellness Coordinators in Student Well-Being ARE mandated reporters.
  • Equity and Title IX – Individuals can submit a report of discrimination or harassment by email, phone or in person. Reports are sent directly to the university's Title IX Coordinator and Equity Officer, who oversees all Title IX and equity matters at the institution. Upon receipt of the report and depending on the detail of the information provided, the institution will take reasonable steps to investigate the matter, stop the behavior, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects.
  • University Police Department – If your friend wishes to pursue criminal charges, the University Police Department can assist them.
  • Russell House - Russell House is a domestic and sexual violence service provider and shelter in Rolla. Their services include shelter, hospital advocacy, and more.
  • National Sexual Assault Online Hotline (RAINN) – 800.656.4673
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline – 800.799.7233 or text “START” to 88788
  • Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
  • Phelps Health Emergency Department – 573.458.7800, 1000 West 10th Street Rolla, MO 65401

RAINN has developed a Friends and Family Toolkit for Supporting a Loved One After Sexual Violence available here.  If you want more resources or information please contact Student Well-Being by calling 573.341.4211, visiting 204 Norwood Hall, or emailing

The short answer to this is yes! But maybe not as much as you'd think.

According to the Missouri Assessment of College Health Behaviors, 45% of S&T students have had zero sexual partners in the past year, 34% of S&T students have had one sexual partner in the past year, and 18% have had more than one partner (at the time the survey was taken).

If you are having sex, we recommend using safe sex practices, such as using at least one form of birth control (female birth control, condom, etc), using safe sex items to prevent STDs/STIs (such as condoms, dental dams, etc), and getting tested before new sexual partners. Please note that female birth control only prevents pregnancy and does not prevent the spread of STDs/STIs.