New counseling model aims to enhance student mental wellness

There is a new face on campus. Katy Pruitt, staff therapist II, joined Pacific in January 2024. Pacific has adopted a new model for supporting the overall well-being of students, embedding counseling professionals in the schools and integrating them into campus life. Pruitt supports students from the Conservatory of Music and the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy, including pre-pharmacy, doctor of pharmacy and Pharmaceutical and Chemical Sciences Program graduate students.

A Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Pruitt earned her bachelor of arts in sociology and psychology from University of California, Davis and her master of science in marriage and family therapy/counseling from California State University, Sacramento. During her almost 20-year career, she has worked with children exposed to trauma and adults with serious and/or persistent mental health diagnoses. 

Katy Pruitt, Staff Therapist II

Q&A with Katy Pruitt

Why is it important to prioritize your mental health?

“In my opinion, everyone at some point in their lifetime has experienced or will experience a mental health symptom, mental illness does not discriminate,” said Pruitt. “Mental health is just as important as physical health. If your heart needs attention, you go to a cardiac specialist. Why is it so hard to get help when our brain needs care? Our minds need regular checkups too!”

“The message from President Christopher Callahan and Vice President Maria Blandizzi around the importance of students’ mental health and wellness is being promoted by Dean Berit Gundersen and Dean Peter Witte, and throughout Pacific. This emphasis on overall well-being is uplifting, promising and exciting. I am honored to be a part of it.”

When should you seek help?

“While I will always support someone in crisis, it is better to take a proactive approach. Come see me if you notice any symptoms such as difficulty concentrating, challenges with task completion, difficulty sleeping, racing thoughts, feelings of self-doubt or engaging in negative self-talk. We can just sit, check-in and develop ways together to help reduce some symptoms you may be experiencing. It is important to come in early when you start to notice these ‘signs’ so it doesn’t result in more serious symptoms that could lead up to a crisis.”

Where can students find you?

“My office is a private space in the B wing of Edward and Alice Long Memorial Hall, B102A. I can be reached at”

Student wellness resources

Request a counseling appointment

Contact Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at or 209.946.2315 EXT 2. Students should specify they are part of the Conservatory of Music or Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy, if applicable.

Call the crisis hotline

Students have 24/7 access to an on-call crisis therapist at 209.946.2315 EXT 3.

Get academic support

The Office of Academic Success and Instructional Support (OASIS) offers workshops and training sessions for individuals and small groups. Contact Mark Stackpole, MA, EdD, director of OASIS, at or 209.601.1029.