Frequently Asked Questions


Questions about Counseling Services

How are your services different during the COVID-19 pandemic?

We are excited that for the 2021-2022 academic year, we are able to offer more in-person services. Most of our individual counseling will be offered in-person at the Counseling Center, and masks are required. Our group counseling will continue to be held via Zoom PHI. Outreach will be offered both in-person and online as appropriate.We will still offer telehealth counseling for students who need this option. For students who may be outside the state of Illinois that have paid the Health Service Fee, we offer My SSP, which provides counseling via phone or text to students anywhere in the world. For more information, please visit our COVID-19 Fall 2021 FAQs.

How many sessions does the Counseling Center offer?

The Counseling Center provides time-limited individual counseling focused on helping students develop solutions to issues affecting their academic work and personal lives. Many students find that their issues can be resolved after only a couple of sessions. The Counseling Center has an extensive group therapy program and most of these groups are a longer-term treatment option. If you or your counselor determine that longer-term, individual counseling would be helpful, your counselor will assist with referrals to the community.

Can parents or faculty/staff make appointments for students?

If you’re concerned about a student, you can suggest they make an appointment, but in most cases, it’s up to a student to determine if they want to do so. If you would like to discuss how to approach a student to recommend Counseling Center services, please call us at 217-333-3704. If a student has threatened to harm themselves and suicide is imminent, call 911 immediately. A member of the Counseling Center’s Suicide Prevention Team can be reached from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 217-333-3704. After hours, please contact the Crisis Line at 217-359-4141.

Is there a way to schedule an in-person appointment online?

Yes. We offer online scheduling for initial appointments up to seven days in advance for currently enrolled students. Our online scheduling appointments are available Monday through Friday at 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. If these times do not work for your schedule, please feel free to call the Counseling Center at 217-333-3704. We also offer appointments on a same-day basis, so if all our pre-scheduled appointments are filled, there may be other options.

Who is eligible for your services? Is there a cost for your services?

All students who have paid the Health Service Fee are eligible for services at the Counseling Center. There are no additional charges.

What kind of issues do students use the Counseling Center to get help with?

Students come to the Counseling Center for a wide variety of reasons. Many of the students who come into the Center are experiencing academic difficulties, including time management issues, concentration problems, lack of motivation, or questions about study skills. Some students are having trouble adjusting to college life or are having conflict with a roommate or their parents. Many of our clients have a specific concern related to depression, anxiety, alcohol or substance misuse, eating concerns, or a similar clinical issue. Our counselors can help you understand troubling feelings and behaviors and help you to feel better in general.

What types of counseling services do you provide?

The Counseling Center provides individual and group counseling focused on a range of common concerns shared by students. We also provide specialized assessments for ADHD, alcohol and other drug concerns, and eating disturbances.

What can I expect for my first appointment?

You will first be asked to complete several confidential forms online that will provide your counselor with information regarding why you have scheduled an appointment and what types of concerns you want to address in your appointment. You will meet with your counselor for about 50 minutes and they will then talk with you about what types of services the Counseling Center has available that would be most helpful to you.

What if I don’t feel like my therapist is a good match?

We realize that the client-therapist fit can be very important. We encourage students who feel like they are not getting their needs met to speak with their counselor directly as sometimes this can be a problem easily changed within the current relationship. We acknowledge that this conversation might not feel easy, but we are prepared and open to hearing from you. As our services are time limited, our clinicians can also connect students to group therapy or other longer-term services in the community if those would be preferred. If you have any questions, please feel free to call the Counseling Center at 217-333-3704.

Who will see my Counseling Center records?

Please see our confidentiality policy for specifics about this. 

Where is the Counseling Center located?

The Counseling Center is located on the second floor of the Student Services Building (610 East John Street) on the corner of John Street and Sixth Street.

Who are your counselors?

The Counseling Center has a diverse staff of mental health professionals, including counseling and clinical psychologists, social workers, doctoral interns, and practicum students. Most of the Center’s staff are licensed within their profession—all non-licensed clinicians are supervised by licensed staff members.

Do you prescribe medication?

The Counseling Center does not prescribe medication. However, we collaborate with physicians at McKinley Health Center and in the community. If you are interested in being evaluated for medication, it is necessary for you to first discuss this with a mental health counselor (either at the Counseling Center or McKinley Mental Health Unit). Your counselor may then refer you to a psychiatrist, primary care physician, or nurse practitioner who can prescribe medication.

They will evaluate the appropriateness of medications in treating your symptoms and consult with you about their recommendations. A medication evaluation and any follow-up appointments at McKinley Health Center are covered by the Health Services Fee. Appointments at other locations may be covered in part by student or private health insurance. Some commonly prescribed psychotropic medications filled at the McKinley pharmacy may require a small copayment; the exact cost may vary depending on the medication.

I am a student at the University of Illinois at Springfield or the University of Illinois at Chicago. Can I make an appointment at your Counseling Center?

You'll need to make an appointment with the Counseling Center at your campus. For more information about how to make an appointment at your local campus, please view the websites for the University of Illinois at Springfield Counseling Center or the University of Illinois at Chicago Counseling Center.

 

Questions About Outreach Programming

Can someone from the Counseling Center come speak to my organization or group?

Yes. We offer outreach on a variety of topics ranging from study skills, to avoiding procrastination, to eating disorders and depression. To request an outreach, please complete this form at least two weeks in advance of when you would like the workshop to be held.

I would like to interview a counselor for a class project. How can I set something up?

Because of high demand for clinical services, we've are not able to assist students with class projects. For a more detailed explanation, please visit our interview policy.