If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, including having thoughts of harming yourself, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. If you are seeking non-emergency assistance for a crisis after hours, see the Emergency and Crisis Care page.
During Fall 2020, due to COVID-19, mental health services will be provided through teletherapy. Students who reside in the state of Illinois are eligible for teletherapy. Students who live out of state cannot receive teletherapy, but can utilize care management services to access mental health care in their state. Students who live out of state can also join a mental health group.
Students seek therapy for a variety of reasons. Many students come for counseling when life events or academic stressors leave them feeling troubled or distressed. When these feelings last for more than a few days, you may find it helpful to speak with an unbiased, objective professional. Some common reasons for entering treatment include:
- homesickness/difficulty making the transition to college
- dating violence or stalking concerns
- sexual assault survivor issues
- drug and alcohol use issues
- eating and body image concerns
- relationship concerns
- family conflict
- identity issues
- sexuality concerns
- vocational goals clarification
The first step in beginning counseling at the Wellness Center is a brief telephone screening appointment with one of our licensed clinical social workers or psychologists. You may schedule this appointment either by calling the Wellness Center front desk (773.508.2530) or by scheduling a web-based appointment. During this initial phone appointment, you and a counselor will discuss your reason/s for seeking counseling, and your counselor will advise you if services provided through the Wellness Center will meet your needs, or if your needs would be better served through a referral to a community provider.
During the phone consultation appointment, you and the MHP may decide that Wellness Center services are a good fit for you. If so, you will be scheduled for an initial telehealth appointment for group or individual counseling.
Prior to that initial telehealth appointment, you will be asked to complete the telehealth informed consent form. Your MHP may ask you to complete some surveys and health history questionnaires before your first visit as well.
The day and time of your initial assessment will, in most cases, be the day and time that you will attend short-term therapy each week with your MHP. Your counselor will talk with you during your initial assessment about scheduling future appointments.
Everything that you discuss in session with your counselor is confidential. This means nothing will go on your student education records. Also, your parents or loved ones do not have access to your mental health records without your consent. Your therapist will not consult with anyone outside of the Wellness Center, or outside of the university, without your written consent. There are some important exceptions to this, including information about child or elder abuse, serious risk to human life, and court orders.
The Wellness Center provides brief individual psychotherapy, which means that students have a limited number of sessions. Students who are seeking longer term therapy, or whose counselor determines would benefit from longer term therapy, will be provided with referrals to providers in the community. We will seek a good fit for you with someone who accepts your insurance. We do our utmost to ensure that cost is not a barrier to receiving needed care, and can provide referrals to providers and clinics who offer sliding scale fees. There is no session limit for the variety of group therapy offerings.
During the initial telephone assessment, our counselors gather a lot of information about what you’re dealing with now and what you’ve dealt with in the past. They evaluate whether brief therapy at the Wellness Center can address your treatment needs, or whether longer-term care in the community represents the best option for you. Our goal is to get you to the care you need as quickly and smoothly as possible. There are many factors that go into a mental health professional’s decision to recommend care in the community. As commonplace examples, active eating disorders, severe and/or chronic depression or anxiety, addiction and other conditions are often best treated in a setting not constrained by session limits. The session limit model at the Wellness Center in turn allows our counselors to meet the needs of as many students as possible given the high volume of demand. Even if you are referred to treatment in the community, your counselor may remind you that Wellness Center groups and workshops remain available to you without limitations on sessions.
Also, in Fall 2020, students who reside out of state are not eligible for teletherapy with the Wellness Center. These students will be given referrals and helped to find care in their area.
The Wellness Center has a limited number of psychiatric appointments available, and nurse practitioners also manage some psychiatric medications, depending on your condition. Like brief therapy, long term psychiatric care is not offered at the Wellness Center. Students will be provided with referrals to the community for ongoing psychiatric care. Students in need of medications used to treat ADHD or ADD will be provided with referrals for a psychiatrist in the community because the Wellness Center does not prescribe medications for these disorders.
If you are referred to a community provider by the Wellness Center, the staff will help you find a provider that accepts your insurance. The Wellness Center also has a Care Manager on staff who specializes in helping students connect to outside care. You can meet with her to ask questions or call providers together if you are unsure about first steps. See Care Management for more information.
Please contact the Wellness Center at 773-508-2530 if you have any other questions about counseling.