Does Your College Have Student Counseling?

I’ve spent a lot of time in college. Undergraduate. Graduate. Graduate again. It was partly because I enjoyed school and partly because I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Later, I worked for a college in a college counseling center.

Interestingly, after all those years in a college setting, it was only after being employed in a college counseling center that I found out I had access to counseling in all those other places. I had no idea that my undergraduate or graduate institutions had counseling available to students. And, while I’m not sure if I would have used it, I know for certain it would have been a good resource to be aware of.

While there are a lot of different ways colleges may provide counseling for their students, it is true that almost all colleges have at least some resources available. Read on below for the most common ways colleges provide these opportunities as well as suggestions for researching if your campus provides student counseling.

Common Options for College Student Counseling

On-Campus, Student Counseling Center: This may be the most common option for students to access counseling. These centers are often on campus and available to any student who wishes to access counseling services. However, within this broad umbrella, there may be differences:

○ Unlimited, tuition-supported (free) counseling

○ Limited sessions (i.e. 4-6 sessions per issue) tuition-supported counseling

○ Counseling for a fee, possibly based on income/need

Off-Campus, Contracted, or Non-Contracted Counseling: If a college is unable to support or staff a counseling center on campus, they still usually consider the local options available for referral. As with on-campus counseling, this may also come in different forms:

○ Contracted counseling available to students because the college has used funds to contract with an agency or individual

○ Insurance-contracted counseling because the college has contracted with a business or agency through required student insurance

○ Referral lists available for students to consider so that they can pursue counseling through a local agency or individual via their own insurance or ability to pay

Does My Campus Offer Student Counseling?

If you are unsure about the options available on your campus there are a couple of common places to begin your search for answers:

● Search your college website for “student counseling” or simply “counseling”

● Contact your student life department

● Ask a professor what options may be available

● Inquire at the student health center where physical care takes place. They often know about mental/emotional healthcare options as well.

College is an important time for students in terms of academics, personal development, identity exploration, etc. Additionally, it is occasionally a time of stress and is the average age of onset for many common mental health conditions. It is very likely that your campus has resources available for student counseling and, for many, it is right there where you live. If you are in need of counseling services or are simply curious about what resources are available on your campus, I encourage you to inquire!

Post published October 17, 2023 by Anne Rulo, Author, Speaker, Therapist. FB/IG/Twitter @annemrulo

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