College life is stressful sometimes. Students can feel overwhelmed from juggling academic demands, living on one’s own for the first time, managing relationships, roommate conflict, family issues, and extracurricular activities, among other stressors. If your emotional or environmental stress is weighing you down, you are not alone. Many college students utilize counseling at some point. Our center is staffed with experienced Licensed Professional Counselors who will partner with you to address your concerns. Please do not hesitate to reach out and schedule an appointment by calling 573-875-7423.
Benefits of counseling
Columbia College students report gaining support, insight, and valuable skills for coping with stressors in a non-judgmental, confidential, safe environment, as the result of counseling (Wellness, Health and Counseling Student Satisfaction Survey, 2019). Other benefits of counseling include, but are not limited to:
- Learning skills for managing anxiety, depression, PTSD, mood disorders, ADHD and other mental health related issues.
- Grief and loss support
- Working through family of origin issues
- Support with LGBTQ issues
- Improved interpersonal communication
- Increased ability to tolerate and manage distress
- Strengthened positive sense of self
- Healthier relationships
- Improved ability to cope with loneliness
Consultations vs counseling
Consultations involve one or two meetings with a licensed professional to address a concern, seek assistance on how to support another student, or obtain a referral to an off-campus provider. If a student chooses to engage in a counseling relationship, after the consultation, your counselor will gather more information and work with you to develop a plan for the course of counseling.
Confidentiality and privacy
Student privacy and confidentiality are important to the counseling relationship. Therefore, we take numerous measures to insure information students share is kept confidential and electronic and paper files are stored securely. When you speak with a counselor, the content of your meeting is kept confidential, unless you give your counselor written permission to share information. There are a few exceptions to confidentiality that involve safety. Your counselor will review exceptions to confidentiality in the first session, so you have the opportunity to ask questions and address any concerns, before you begin to share.
Know the difference between a mental health crisis and a mental health emergency
Mental health emergency
A mental health emergency is a life-threatening situation in which an individual is imminently threatening harm to self or others (has a plan and intentions to act on the plan), severely disorientated or out of touch with reality, has a severe inability to function, or is otherwise distraught and out of control.
Examples of a mental health emergency includes:
- Acting on a suicide threat
- Homicidal or threatening behavior
- Self- injury needing immediate medical attention
- Severely impaired by drugs or alcohol
- Highly erratic or unusual behavior that indicates very unpredictable behavior and/or an inability to care for themselves.
Suggestions for what to do in case of a mental health emergency:
- Call 9-1-1
- Call campus safety (if you are a day or evening student in Columbia, Missouri) at 573-875-7315
- Call Wellness, Health and Counseling Services at 573-875-7423
- Notify your Dean or Division Chair
Mental health crisis
A mental health crisis is a non-life threatening situation, in which an individual is exhibiting extreme emotional or behavioral distress, has thoughts about, but NO intentions and NO plan to harm self or others, disoriented or out of touch with reality, has a compromised ability to function, or is otherwise agitate and unable to be calmed.
Examples of a Mental Health Crisis includes:
- Talking about suicide threats
- Talking about threatening behavior
- Self- injury, but not needing immediate medical attention
- Alcohol or substance abuse
- Highly erratic or unusual behavior
- Eating disorders
- Not taking their prescribed psychiatric medications
- Emotionally distraught, very depressed, angry or anxious
Suggestions for what to do in case of a Mental Health Crisis
- Seek support by getting in contact with your medical provider and/or counselor, either on campus or in your community. Take care of yourself by practicing good self-care and practice strategies for coping with strong emotions.
- Call Wellness, Health and Counseling at 573-875-7423. State that you are in crisis or are with a person in crisis.
- If you are a support person, remain with the person until you are able to reach help. If you are a student in crisis, please seek support. You do not have to suffer alone.