Counseling Services

UPDATE TO SERVICES - Effective August 24, 2020

In these uncertain times, it is normal to experience increased feelings of stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns.  As the university continues remote instruction in fall semester, the Counseling Center will be offering online counseling services to enrolled students.  All services will solely be online to protect the health and safety of students, staff, and faculty. 

If interested in mental health services, students will need to go through our Triage hours which are Monday – Friday between 1-3pm.  Unlike in previous years where students walked-in for triage, students should call the Counseling Center (610-436-2301) on the same day they are interested in scheduling a triage appointment.  These appointments are on a first-come, first-served basis, so we encourage students to call earlier in the day to reserve their timeslot for that afternoon.  Triage appointments will be occurring via phone and students will be sent an email with forms to complete. These forms must be completed in order to participate in the triage phone call. 

During the triage session, students will discuss their concerns and options for counseling moving forward.  Options may include: short-term online counseling via Zoom Health with a Counseling Center counselor, online group counseling via Zoom Health with Counseling Center counselor(s), or obtaining off-campus referrals for longer-term or specialized counseling via our referral specialist (Janelle Silbert; jsilbert@wcupa.edu).  If students know they are solely interested in off-campus referrals, they can contact Ms. Silbert directly.  Please see the Counseling Center website for a list of online groups offered for fall semester.

Please be advised that due to licensure rules, we may be limited in our ability to provide online counseling to students who will be located outside of Pennsylvania in the fall semester. 

If a student is experiencing a life-threatening mental health emergency during business hours (Monday – Friday from 8 AM – 4 PM) and they need to talk to someone immediately, please call the Counseling Center (610-436-2301).  Students in crisis are able to come to the Counseling Center office, we ask to please call before entering so that health and safety measures can be taken.

A mental health emergency is defined as:

·         Suicidal thoughts with plan and intent

·         Homicidal thoughts with plan and intent to harm another

·         Survivor of a recent traumatic event (e.g., victim of a mugging, sexual assault, recent death)

·         Experiencing hallucinations (visual or auditory)

We will also continue to provide virtual outreach services.  If a class or student organization is interested in an online workshop or training, please contact our outreach coordinator (Liz Carper; ecarper@wcupa.edu).

  • If you are experiencing a mental health emergency:
    • Call 911
    • Crisis Text Line: text “HOME” to 741741
    • Suicide Prevention Line: 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
    • Domestic Violence Hotline: call 1-800-799-7233 OR text “LOVEIS” to 22522
    • Crisis Resources by County
 

Counseling Center Charges

  • There is no charge for counseling appointments with the Counseling Center Counselors.
  • Psychiatry
    • Initial Assessments with a psychiatrist is $20.
    • Ongoing Psychiatric appointments is $10.

No Show or Late Cancellation Appointments

A charge of $10 will be assessed if you schedule an appointment in the Counseling Center for individual counseling, case management appointments, and psychiatrist appointments and then do not show up for the appointment. There is a $25 charge if you no show or cancel late for an Alcohol and Other Drug Assessment. To avoid this charge, please call to cancel your appointment (giving 24 hours' notice) if you find that your needs have changed or that you cannot make your scheduled time.

 

Individual Counseling for Personal Problem Solving

Personal Counseling consists of a one-to-one counseling experience where the focus is upon:

  • resolving personal conflicts,
  • resolving conflicts with others, and
  • improving your expertise at making personally meaningful choices.

It may also help some people to avoid decisions which restrict their personal growth and undermine their well-being.

Note: The Counseling Center ascribes to a brief therapy form of treatment. Once you have had a triage appointment and been assigned to a counselor, you will work in conjunction with that individual to determine your level of need. Having well-defined goals in therapy often leads to better treatment outcomes.

 

Group Counseling

Each semester a number of Counseling Center counselors and doctoral-level trainees lead (or co-lead) groups. The groups vary depending on the needs of the students and the special interests of the group leaders. In the past, groups have been offered with a particular focus on stress and anxiety, relationship issues, problem-solving groups, and loss and grief issues. View our current list of group counseling services offered for more information.

 

Crisis Intervention

During the Work Day (Monday - Friday, 8am-4pm)

Students who are in urgent need of mental health assistance may call or walk into the Counseling Center and indicate that they are experiencing a mental health emergency.

Click here to help distinguish what is a mental health emergency.

After Hours or When Classes are Not in Session

The mental health crisis service may be accessed by contacting 

  • Public Safety Office (610-436-3311) or
  • Valley Creek Crisis Intervention: 610-280-3270
 
 
 

Psychiatric Services

The Counseling Center has two part-time consulting psychiatrists available to assist in evaluations and follow up where medication may be necessary as an adjunct to counseling. This service is available to students who are in an on-going counseling relationship with a department counselor and may not be accessed independently.

Students who have completed their short-term therapy at the Counseling Center but are still in need of medication must transfer that to a private provider (outside psychiatrist or PCP). The student may work with our Case Manager to find a provider but medication management is up to the student after the therapy terminates at the Counseling Center.

Students Stable on Medication Prescribed by a Physician at Home

Students who are stable on medication prescribed by a physician at home are advised to remain with that treating physician. In the past, parents and students have expressed concern that they can't get home frequently enough, so they prefer to see a psychiatrist on campus. Our experience has been that students have done extremely well in working with physicians at home and are usually relieved to find that there are several breaks each semester. With proper planning, students can continue to work with the doctor at home who knows their history and has been following their treatment.

 

Consultation

Counseling Center counselors are available to consult with faculty, staff, and students via phone. On occasion, university community members call out of concern for another student's mental health. counselors in the Counseling Center will listen to your concerns and assist you in finding ways to deal with the presenting situation.

 

Outreach

Counseling Center counselors and counselor trainees often present workshops or educational programs on campus. In the past, topics have included:

  • Coping with Stress
  • Communicating More Effectively
  • Dealing with Differences
  • Eating Disorders
  • How to Help a Student in Distress

WCU Outreach Mission Statement

Outreach services are an integral part of the activities conducted in the Department of Counseling and Psychological Services. Our outreach services aim to serve the campus community as a whole by extending our clinical and educational services beyond the walls of the Counseling Center. We offer a variety of outreach services to the university community with the goal of creating and maintaining a healthy, psychologically-minded student population. Our outreach services allow the provision of deliberate, systematic, and creative psycho-educational programming with a multicultural and developmental perspective on prevention, wellness, and student self-help. Such efforts allow us to work collaboratively with students, staff, and faculty across campus to ensure student engagement and success.

Our programming is geared towards providing:

  1. Support
      1. We are able to come to classes or be present at events and meetings, etc. in order to provide support and care to the WCU Community. We also have the Dog Therapy Program; we have three certified therapy dogs - each dog comes monthly to Sykes Student Union to visit with students. Also, upon request and with sufficient advance notice, our therapy dogs can be present at other campus events/programs.
  2. Education
      1. We are able to provide workshops to classes, organizations, meetings, and events. Examples of workshop topics we have presented include stress management, improving communication, resiliency building, and conflict resolution.
      2. For Faculty and Staff, we offer Campus Connect training. Campus Connect is a gatekeeper training program that teaches others how to: (1.) Recognize warning signs and risk factors of suicide; (2.) Assess the level of risk for someone in crisis; (3.) Ask someone if they are thinking of suicide; and (4.) Refer someone to the appropriate resources. Suicide prevention is a community responsibility — the more we know and can look out for one another, the safer the community becomes.
      3. In addition to Campus Connect, we offer a program geared towards students called Peer to Peer: Talking about Mental Health (P2P). This is a peer-led program that encourages students to discuss mental health issues and provides tools for providing assistance.
  3. Advocacy
      1. The Counseling Center works to promote mental health services, both on campus and in the WC community, along with raising awareness on mental health issues and reducing stigma. Some examples of our advocacy work: Our annual "Checkup From the Neck Up" Screening Day, attending classes to speak about our services and mental health, participating in the Green Light Day, etc. We are happy to collaborate with other offices, groups, and organizations on promoting mental health awareness and advocacy.

Outreach requests are available to students, faculty, and staff with sufficient notice (at least two weeks). While we do our best to accommodate as many requests as possible, there are times when the volume and timing of requests is simply more than we can meet, given other clinical demands.

 

Drug and Alcohol Counseling

There is a Alcohol and Other Drug Counselor on campus in the Counseling Center, Tammy Hock. Students who are motivated to reduce their alcohol or drug consumption are allowed one-on-one sessions with this counselor. As with all counseling services, interested students should come to the Counseling Center during one of the posted triage times for a brief assessment.

  • Due to demand and limited resources, the alcohol counselor will not meet with students who have been court-ordered.
  • Those students who have been court-ordered to receive an assessment and/or treatment must use resources outside the school. We will not provide verification of therapy for mandated treatment. Please meet with the Case Manager for assistance.

 

Alcohol and Other Drugs: Wellness Promotion Programs & Services

The Office of Wellness Promotion provides educational programs and services that encourage students to explore their use of alcohol and other drugs through personalized feedback assessments, brief screening and intervention programs, wellness coaching, and a variety of educational programs and events. 

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