Scope of Services
The Department of Mental Health & Counseling Services is a comprehensive college counseling center. As such, DMHCS provides a full array of clinical services to students, as well as non-clinical services to students and the broader College community. The aim of services is to support student mental health and wellbeing, educate the WCC community on mental health topics, normalize and promote utilization of mental health services, and provide access to resources for further mental health support.
Confidential and Free
The Department of Mental Health & Counseling Services services are free of charge for students and protects student privacy and confidentiality. Information from a student’s confidential record is only released if the student gives written consent. Faculty, university administrators, and parents do not have access to Mental Health & Counseling records.
By law, there are limited exceptions to this rule in cases of minors, health or safety emergencies, and court subpoenas. Licensed Mental Health Professionals are mandated to report specific information only when there is the possibility of harm to a student or another person, in cases of abuse of a child, elder or disabled person, or under court order. Information regarding confidentiality and limits to confidentiality is outlined in the Informed Consent form given to students during the first meeting.
The Department of Mental Health and Counseling Services utilizes a short-term treatment model in order to provide high quality mental health support to as many students as possible. Individual therapy is short-term and focused on helping students to resolve or effectively manage a specific problem or challenge, or to make a particular desired change. The therapy is typically solution-oriented, and sessions are geared towards direct and active intervention to help clients achieve specific goals. Frequency of sessions is determined collaboratively between clinician and student taking into consideration assessment, needs, and availability. Clinicians are general therapists who employ an eclectic therapeutic approach to meet the unique needs of each student.
The Department of Mental Health and Counseling Services does not maintain a formal session limit. Instead, the clinician, in working with the student, will determine the number, type, and frequency of sessions that are appropriate based on the nature of the student's concerns as well as available resources. The limits to service are explained within the context of a discussion about each student's presenting concerns.
Individual Counseling, commonly referred to as therapy or psychotherapy, is the mental health support provided on a one-to-one basis between a licensed mental health professional and student. Individual counseling is typically solution-oriented, and sessions are geared towards direct interventions that can help students achieve identified goals, enhance coping strategies, increase resilience, and improve symptoms of mental health related struggles.
In addition to individual counseling, group counseling can provide unique benefits including learning with and from peers, receiving feedback and support from peers in a counselor-facilitated setting, and learning specific skills in a group environment. The group topics and types offered evolve based on student need and current identified trends. In addition to being an effective treatment option for many presenting problems, group counseling may allow a student to receive more long-term services than would be available through individual counseling provided by DMHCS.
Some students may require more immediate, longer-term, and/or higher levels of care than can be provided by the Department of Mental Health and Counseling Services. In these circumstances, the clinician will work with the student to identify appropriate community resources. Clinicians will work with the student to identify potential barriers for accessing off-campus support. Partnerships and relationships are often created between DMHCS and community agencies/organizations to streamline referrals.
Clinicians may assume case management responsibilities for students on their caseload. Case management responsibilities may include but are not limited to: coordinating care or treatment with outside providers, arranging for evaluations and/or assessments, referring students to appropriate services on or off campus, and collaborating with support networks. When multiple service providers or parties are involved, the clinician will ensure necessary Releases of Information are completed to ensure prioritization of student’s rights and confidentiality.
Programming and Psychoeducation
Fundamental to comprehensive and holistic mental health support is the development and support of ongoing learning and engagement opportunities for the college community. Clinicians participate in and facilitate programming and psychoeducation opportunities including but not limited to workshops, presentations, and forums on a variety of topics related to mental health and wellbeing.
Consultation for Faculty/Staff
Clinicians are available to provide guidance and consultation with college faculty and staff who have concerns about a student or situation involving students. Consultation can take place over the phone, Zoom, or in-person. Clinicians can help faculty and staff develop action plans for navigating difficult classroom/student situations. Clinicians cannot provide faculty or staff members with any identifying or specific student information unless written permission is given by the student.
Prevention and awareness trainings are key to educating the community on warning signs of mental health struggles and appropriate ways of supporting those in need. The Department of Mental Health and Counseling Services has developed a gatekeeper training for college faculty and staff in addition to facilitating an evidenced based peer training for students. When appropriate, the DMHCS will coordinate with outside resources to facilitate training for the college community.
The Department of Mental Health and Counseling Services staff can and will participate in college and community efforts and advocacy initiatives that align with their mission when appropriate.
Students can be referred to or connected with Mental Health & Counseling Services in a number of ways including but not limited to:
- Faculty/Staff Referral Form
- Appointment Request Form
- In-person, phone, or e-mail
- Referral from CARE Team
- Referral from Title IX Coordinator
The Department of Mental Health and Counseling Services does not provide psychiatric or diagnostic services.
Concerns that might require referral to longer-term care include but are not limited to:
- Chronic suicidality and/or recent history of multiple suicide attempts
- Serious addiction/substance misuse
- Eating Disorders (requiring medical or psychiatric services)
- Psychotic symptoms (requiring medical or psychiatric services)
- Need for psychiatric medication or medication management
Other reasons why we may deny services and/or refer individuals to community resources include but are not limited to:
- Poor compliance or lack of engagement with counseling services and recommendations
- Consistent missing of appointments without notice
- Harassing, inappropriate, dangerous, or threatening behaviors
- Mandated or required treatment, including but not limited to:
- Counseling ordered through legal proceedings, such as substance abuse treatment, alcohol education, anger management, parenting education, or domestic violence treatment
- Counseling required by employers, government agencies, academic departments, or classes
- Comprehensive psychological evaluation of any type, including but not limited to:
- Neuropsychological evaluations
- Forensic assessments
- Custody evaluations
- Assessment and documentation for service or support animals
- Fitness-for-duty evaluations
- Pre-surgical mental health evaluations