Student Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make an appointment?

We are currently offering all of our services remotely via Zoom PHI, a HIPAA-compliant video platform, to protect the health and privacy of students and staff. Please call with questions rather than physically coming to the Counseling Center.

The Counseling Center schedules first-time appointments on a same-day basis. You can schedule a first appointment by calling us at 217-333-3704. We’re open between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The earlier in the day you call, the more likely it is that you will get an appointment. If appointments have already filled for the day when you call, you can speak with a triage counselor who will listen to what’s going on and help you figure out the best solutions for you at that moment. View Making the Initial Appointment for more information.

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.

Where are you 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.

During Fall 2020, we will offer appointments via Zoom PHI to protect the health and privacy of students and staff. Please call with questions rather than physically coming to the Counseling Center.

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

All students registered at University of Illinois are eligible for services. All registered students pay a mandatory health service fee which covers the cost of services at the Counseling Center. There are no additional charges for any of the clinical services offered at the Counseling Center.

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 abuse, 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. Many students find that one of the Counseling Center’s brochures  is also helpful.

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 some 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.

What types of counseling services do you provide?

The Counseling Center has a diverse professional staff that works from a variety of theoretical perspectives. We provide individual, couples’ and group counseling focused on a range of common concerns shared by students. We also provide specialized assessments for attention deficit hyperactivity disorders and learning disorders, alcohol and other drug concerns, eating disturbances, suicidal behavior, and test anxiety.

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 s/he will then talk with you about what types of services the Counseling Center has available that would be most helpful to you.

Who will see my Counseling Center records?

All Counseling Center records are confidential in accordance with Illinois mental health law. Your records stay at the Counseling Center and can only be released to a third party with your written consent except under specific circumstances outlined in our confidentiality policy. The Counseling Center record will not become a part of your academic record.

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. The majority of the Center’s staff are licensed within their profession – all non-licensed clinicians are supervised by licensed staff members.

Do you prescribe medication?

Some students find that medication, often in conjunction with counseling, can be useful in addressing their mental health concerns. Since the counselors at this center do not prescribe medication, 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 has the ability to 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 service fee. Appointments at other locations may be covered in part by student health insurance. Many of the most commonly prescribed psychotropic medications filled at the McKinley Pharmacy require a small copayment; the exact cost may vary depending on the medication. There are some medications that are not available.

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

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.