How do I know if I need counseling?
Having questions, concerns, and big choices to make are all a normal part of college life. Sometimes students are able to work through challenges on their own or with the support of family and friends. Other times, the issues can seem too overwhelming, complicated, or private to share with someone you know. When this is the case, speaking with a counselor can provide a safe and confidential setting to discuss your concerns, clarify the problems, identify goals, and explore options that might improve your situation. No problem is too big or too small to benefit from counseling. Your counselor is trained to help people struggling with the challenges that normal life presents as well as problems resulting from mental illnesses like Bipolar Disorder and severe anxiety. Some of the most common reasons for seeking on-campus counseling are:
- Relationship concerns
- Adjusting to college and being away from home
- Wanting to improve your self-confidence
- Wanting to improve your relationships
- Sadness, anxiety, or depression
- Worrying too much
- Thinking about ending your life
- Alcohol and drug concerns
- Questions about your sexuality
- Body image and eating concerns
- Considering dropping out of college
- Reactions to traumatic experiences
- Difficulty balancing the demands of student life
- Grieving a loss
Is on-campus counseling confidential?
Yes! Confidentiality is taken very seriously and your protected health care information will almost never be released without your written consent. There are a few, rare situations in which we can or must share information with others:
- When you sign a release, requesting that we share your information with others;
- When it seems that an individual is an imminent danger to themselves or someone else (for example, there is evidence to believe that an individual is likely to attempt to kill himself or herself);
- When information is shared that leads a counselor to believe that a child or vulnerable adult is being abused or neglected;
- When a court of law subpoenas information from your record.
In any of these cases, you can rest assured that only the minimum amount of information necessary will be shared with the appropriate person(s). In your first meeting with your counselor, the two of you will review these potential reasons for releasing your information and your counselor will answer any questions you may have.
Do you prescribe medications, such as for anxiety or depression?
Your counselor does not have the capability to prescribe medications for you. However, she can assist you with a referral to a psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner who can prescribe medications. If you do not want to see a medical professional specifically trained to treat the symptoms of mental health issues, your counselor can work with you to talk to your Primary Care Provider (PCP) so that you may better explain to him or her what you would like psychotropic medication(s) to do for you.