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Counseling Center - Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to your questions

For any other questions please call 660-543-4060 or stop by Humphreys 131.

How do I know if I need counseling?

You should generally seek counseling when you:

  • Are feeling stuck or distressed
  • Are not functioning as well as you have
  • Seeking the perspective of a professional

Am I eligible for services at the Counseling Center?

Any enrolled student who is not UCM faculty or staff is eligible for an Initial Consultation. For couples counseling, both members of the couple must be UCM students.

If I am under 18 can I go to the Counseling Center?

Yes. But confidentiality and consenting to treatment are different for minors. The clinician you see will discuss these things with you.

Forms for students under 18:

Special Aspects of Consent to Treatment and Confidentiality for Students Under Eighteen

Parent/Legal Guardian Consent for Psychological Treatment of a Minor at the University of Central Missouri Counseling Center

Is there a fee?

No; Counseling Center services are free to UCM students.

How do I make appointments?

Stop by the Counseling Center, located in 131 Humphreys, or call (660) 543-4060.

What kind of counseling does the Counseling Center provide?

Counseling Center provides brief individual, couples, and/or group counseling.

How many sessions will I need to have?

During your Initial Consultation, the student and the clinician will discuss counseling needs. If you are in need of ongoing therapy, the clinician can make an appropriate referral to an off campus provider.

Does the Counseling Center provide medication?

No, the Counseling Center does not have staff that can prescribe medication. Clients of the Counseling Center who may benefit from medication are provided an appropriate referral. Students who want to explore medication as an option, but do not want counseling should seek out a psychiatrist or physician in the community who is willing to discuss this with them.

Students who are already on medication and want to switch to a provider near campus should contact their current prescriber or their insurance carrier for referral options.

If I go to the Counseling Center, will they put me in a hospital or have me kicked out of school?

Counseling Center staff does not have the power to hospitalize students or kick them out of school. A clinician may require a student, who poses a serious risk of harm to self or others, to be transported to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation, but it is the hospital’s decision as to whether or not the student needs to stay there. If the hospital feels the student is not an immediate danger, they will not require them to stay. This means that students we see who are hospitalized have been evaluated twice: once by the Counseling Center and once by the hospital. This makes it very unlikely that someone would be mistakenly admitted to a psychiatric hospital when they didn’t really need to be there.

Suicide is a leading cause of death among college students. Mental health professionals have a legal and ethical duty to protect individuals who are at risk of harming themselves or others. It is important to remember that just because a person doesn’t want to be in a hospital does not mean they don’t need to be there.

How do I get help in a crisis?

For personal/emotional crises during business hours, call the Counseling Center at 660-543-4060 or walk in to our office in 131 Humphreys. Students are seen for an emergency session in the order in which they arrive. For a personal/emotional crisis outside of business hours, call the Compass Hotline (1-888-237-4567),  Suicide Lifeline (1-800-275-TALK), Text HOME to 741741, call 911, or go to the local ER.

I'm currently in treatment. Can I continue treatment at UCM?

Because the Counseling Center does not provide ongoing therapy nor can we prescribe medications, it is important to keep your current treatment providers or arrange for new providers in the community before you arrive at UCM. 

If it is not possible to do so, then you should make appointments with new treatment providers in the community in advance of your arrival on campus.

Our Warrensburg Area Referrals document has many options.

I’m worried about someone else. Can the Counseling Center help?

Faculty, staff, friends, family, and others can be very concerned about a student's wellbeing and want to talk to a professional about what to do or how to refer them for counseling. Our professional staff is available during business hours for consultation regarding the welfare of UCM students. Simply call 660-543-4060 and indicate you want to consult with a clinician. 

When referring a student for counseling, let the student know you are concerned about them and encourage them to make an appointment. If the student is willing but scared, you can initiate the call and put the student on the line to set up the appointment. You could also offer to walk over to the Counseling Center with the student if they prefer. Reassure the student that counseling services are professional, confidential, and helpful.

Is the Counseling Center staffed by professionals?

Yes. Staff members are licensed psychologists, licensed professional counselors, or counselors in training under supervision.

Does the Counseling Center provide counseling for faculty and staff?

No. Faculty and staff mental health needs are served by the New Directions Employee Assistance Program (EAP). The program can be accessed by calling 800-624-5544 or by visiting their website: www.ndbh.com. See UCM's Human Resources website for more information.

What kinds of problems can the Counseling Center help with?

The Counseling Center can help people suffering from mental health concerns such as:
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • wanting to improve self-esteem and self-confidence
  • trying to adjust to your new environment
  • wanting to have better relationships
  • having academic problems such as difficulty with test anxiety
  • feeling stressed out
  • trying to figure out who you are and what you want to do with your life
  • coping with having been assaulted

Counseling provides a safe, confidential opportunity to talk things over with someone who is not directly involved in your life. This can help clarify your feelings, needs, and options.

Will the Counseling Center write me an excuse letter?

The Counseling Center does not routinely provide letters of excuse. Students who have legitimate reasons for excuse should consult the Student Experience and Engagement office about the appropriate procedures.   That office is in Administration 214, and the phone number is 660-543-4114.

 

Will people judge me if I seek counseling?

People may judge you for any reason, but it is important to remember that students who seek counseling are taking positive steps toward addressing their concerns. There is nothing weak about a person who does this. In fact, it takes courage to make the first appointment and to explore personal concerns.

Will counseling center staff be able to tell me how to "fix" my problems?

There is no “quick fix” for most problems. The clinician is there to help you explore your feelings, thoughts, and concerns, expand your options, and assist you in achieving the goals you have set.

 

None of the staff has the same background or experiences I do. Can they help me if they haven’t been through what I’ve been through?

Counseling Center staff are trained to be sensitive to and respectful of individual differences, including the specific concerns of students with regard to gender, racial/ethnic, cultural, religious, age, sexual preference/orientation, and socioeconomic issues.

Does the Counseling Center provide letters for documenting the need for an Emotional Support Animal?

To receive permission for an emotional support animal (ESA), a student must have: 1) a documented disability and 2) a recommendation that an ESA is a reasonable accommodation for that disability. A specialized evaluation is necessary to establish these two facts. The Counseling Center does not provide this type of evaluation and cannot provide the documentation needed for an ESA.

A good place to start would be an appointment with the Office of Accessibility Services in the Elliott Student Union, Room 222, phone number 660-543-4421.

Most frequently, documentation of a disability is obtained from one of your health service providers from whom you have been receiving treatment for some time. Otherwise, you may need to seek a provider who does evaluations for the purpose of disability determinations.

Below are some options in the Kansas City metropolitan area for professionals who could do evaluations regarding the need for an ESA:

Ochester Psychological Services
https://mindfulkc.com
816-561-9494 

Dr Dan Clairborn
http://courtpsychologist.com
913-438-2100 

Reduced Cost Clinic:
Kansas City Free Health Clinic-Midtown
816-753-5144 

 

Contact

Counseling Center
Humphreys 131
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Tel: (660) 543-4060
Fax: (660) 543-8227

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