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The beginning of a new school year is, for many, a time of excitement and new beginnings. But for freshmen stepping onto a new campus for the first time, the transition into college life can be a stressful, if not anxiety-inducing, experience.
Students seeking counseling can turn to a number of services on campus, most of which are run through Ohio University Counseling and Psychological Services.
For immediate mental health needs, CPS offers drop-in services at its Hudson Health Center location. During those appointments, counselors are available to help patients create a plan of action to address pressing crises.
Alex Driehaus | FILE
Hudson Health Center, April 16, 2016.
Emergency appointments are available Monday through Friday from 9:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
If a crisis arises while CPS is closed, students are encouraged to contact 740-593-1616 to speak with a counselor via the 24/7 Crisis Intervention Service. Students can also contact the Ohio University Police Department at 740-593-1911. Those living in residence halls can receive help by contacting their resident assistant, who may contact a counselor-in-residence or a counselor-on-call.
With a staff including clinical counselors, psychologists and graduate students in-training, CPS offers individual counseling sessions
To begin individual counseling, students must first attend drop-in hours for an initial contact appointment, during which the student will be evaluated and referred to a counselor who will answer questions the student has.
During a typical counseling session, students will speak about the issues they are facing while a counselor listens, asks questions and works to help the student address questions and provide guidance.
Under the WellBeing Plan, OU students can use up to 20 counseling sessions per academic year. The WellBeing Plan is a payment students can make that helps reduce the cost of OU healthcare services. A $20 fee will be charged for missing an appointment or failing to cancel within 24 hours of the scheduled time.
CPS also offers group therapy sessions during which a group of six to eight individuals meets face-to-face with a therapist who specializes in group therapy. During a typical session, individuals talk about their stressors with a focus on self-disclosing or revealing one’s feelings to other members of the group.
The first sessions, which serve as an introduction to group therapy, focus on fostering trust with other group members to create an environment conducive to the discussion of personal issues.
Group therapy sessions are covered by the OU WellBeing fee and do not count toward the 20 session limit.
Students looking to see a psychiatrist, who is authorized to write prescriptions for various mental health disorders, must be referred through their drop-in or assigned counselors at CPS.
With only one full-time psychiatrist on staff, CPS warns wait times for care may stretch from four to six weeks during the peak demand for services, which typically occurs later in Fall Semester.
Students are also advised to partake in a physical exam before seeing a psychiatrist to rule out medical illnesses. CPS also encourages students to have another provider off-campus or at home to see during breaks, after graduation or in case the campus psychiatrist is not available.
The Living Learning Center, located on South Green, offers walk-in “Let’s Talk” hours for students seeking counseling outside of CPS’ regular operating hours.
The sessions are offered Sunday through Friday from 5 to 10 p.m. in room 160 of the LLC.