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The counseling process

Student Counseling Services recommends that you call the center at 309-794-7357, or walk into the center at Founders 206, or email Cheri Mizaur to schedule an appointment.

All services listed are free to enrolled Augustana College students.

If you are in immediate crisis, please call Public Safety at 309-794-7711. 

First step

First, counselors strongly recommend that you complete the Counseling Center Assessment of Psychological Symptoms screening tool.

This gives you with a snapshot of your areas of concern. It is private and confidential. The snapshot is helpful when you use it to choose services on campus. See Navigating services on campus.

Using the screening tool and navigating services on campus, you should match your areas of concern with treatment recommendations, and pick the best resources.

You also can schedule a consultation with an Augustana therapist to go over your screening results.

Choosing resources

Think about the resources available to you in terms of intensity and self-management. Try services that have a low degree of intensity and a high degree of self-management first, then moving to more intense services if the previous ones are ineffective. 

Think about the resources available to you in terms of intensity and self-management. Try services that have a low degree of intensity and a high degree of self-management first.

Below is a list of increasingly intense services. Feel free to use multiple resources at once. 

Self-care

Peer support

TAO

Well-Being Labs

• Therapeutic consultation

• Group therapy

• Individual therapy (Student Counseling Services or Students.Care)

The Shrink Space

Off-campus referral

Whenever you need immediate mental health support, use TalkNow through Students.Care or a mental health hotline.

Crisis counseling

Emergency counseling sessions are offered to students who require immediate stabilization or support due to an active crisis. These sessions are 30 minutes and solution-focused in nature. 

Emergency sessions are available on a first-come, first-served basis from 11 a.m.-noon and 3-4 p.m. each academic day.

Walk-in counseling sessions

During Week 1, midterms, and final exams, no prior appointment is necessary; simply email or call to get in that day. 

In-person or virtual counseling?

Research has demonstrated effectiveness is similar in most cases. Both in-person and virtual counseling service are offered to students who are physically in Illinois or Iowa at the moment of their session. In-person counseling for students on campus is recommended.

For mental health emergencies or personal crises, in-person counseling is strongly recommended, as counselors can provide a CCAPS assessment to the student and monitor progress. 

Augustana College provides six free remote counseling sessions through Students.Care. These are appointments with a licensed non-Augustana College professional. Virtual counseling appointments are scheduled in advance with a diverse network of clinicians.

If you want to have more options in choosing a therapist, including non-English speaking counseling, Students.Care is recommended. You can use Students.Care anywhere in the United States. You also can use Students.Care and Student Counseling Services simultaneously.

Wait list

When you have to wait for a counseling session on campus, try using different self-help resources or TAO activities in the interim.

If you need help as soon as possible, schedule a remote counseling session through Students.Care.

If you need immediate support, you also can use TalkNow through Students.Care. TalkNow provides immediate 24/7 support.

Having counseling sessions with different therapists can provide you with different perspectives, and it allows you to meet different therapists until you find one who connects with you. Feel free to schedule appointments with the different therapists within Student Counseling Services as well.

Trying different therapists is highly recommended if you do not connect with your first therapist.

Therapy Assistance Online (TAO) 

TAO is a self-help tool for students who want to improve their mental health and well-being.

TAO includes more than 150 brief, effective, educational sessions. The sessions cover more than 50 common topics and skills related to mental health, wellness, and substance use issues. 

TAO offers interactive sessions, mindfulness exercises and practice tools.

Student Counseling Services has created different targeted self-help programs through TAO for common college life event concerns.

To sign up, just use your @augustana.edu email in the sign-up section. TAO uses a virtual assistant to suggest content for your needs. To use the assistant, just answer the questions on the right-hand side of the screen. If you are having trouble, you can type “help” or “suggest activity.”

TalkNow

TalkNow provides 24/7 access to mental health support wherever you are. It can be used for any kind of emotional support, including critical situations. The average wait time is 5 minutes.

TalkNow is accessed through Students.Care  or by downloading the TimelyMD app through the App store or Google Play. When signing up, you must use your @augustana.edu email address. TalkNow can be used internationally as well as long as you have a U.S. phone number or a US VPN.

Well-being labs

Well-being labs provide students with knowledge and skills from a variety of different disciplines intended to improve overall well-being. (Fall 2020 schedule)

Well-being labs are a collaboration between Student Counseling Services, the director of student well-being and resiliency, and the Learning Commons. Throughout the labs, you will reflect on how to cultivate habits of well-being and how to make positive changes that will help you thrive.

Labs are not process-oriented, so you are not compelled to share personal experiences or work through your current life stressors (as in in group counseling).
 
Labs last 60 to 90 minutes, and are typically one to three sessions long.

Mental health consultations

Upon request, you can meet with a Student Counseling Services therapist to go over your screening results and determine what mental health services best fit your needs. You also can schedule a consultation to discuss your concerns without a screening.

Arrive 10-15 minutes before your consultation. All consultations will give you recommendations on treatment options and effective interventions.

Consultations typically last 30-45 minutes.

Student Well-Being and Resiliency

Farrah Roberts is Augustana’s director of student well-being and resiliency. Email her or call 309-794-2684 to schedule an appointment.

Group counseling

Group counseling is recommended because of the power of immediate peer feedback in a safe, therapeutic environment, moderated by trained therapists. You should try to attend group counseling for a minimum of six sessions a semester in order to receive the most benefit.  

Brief individual counseling

Brief individual counseling provides solutions and interventions focused on helping you adjust to life’s stressors, maintain positive therapeutic gains, or encourage healthy coping strategies. The course of treatment is one to six sessions

Students.Care (telecounseling)

Students.Care provides free virtual counseling appointments with a licensed professional. Virtual counseling appointments are scheduled in advance with a network of clinicians. You can schedule six counseling sessions annually with the ability to schedule up to three sessions at a time. There is an option for non-English counseling as well.

The average wait time for counseling appointments is one to seven days, depending on whether you choose specific ethnographic information or the first-available clinician. This service is available anywhere in the U.S.

Students.Care is accessed through Students.Care  or by downloading the TimelyMD app through the App store or Google Play. When signing up, you must use your @augustana.edu email address.

The Shrink Space and referral to local services 

If you present with a mental health need that requires outside services, either as a supplement to Student Counseling Services or as a primary provider, you will be referred to treatment in the Quad-Cities. Student Counseling Services will work with you to secure a long-term therapist in the community if needed.

Student Counseling Services partners with The Shrink Space to provide you with more choice in the referral process. The Shrink Space helps you book an appointment directly with a local therapist.

Augustana counselors will discuss those options with you. See also Community therapist referral options for students.

Augustana College provides free transportation options to medical and mental health appointments.

Academic accommodations

Student Counseling Services cannot provide evaluations for academic accommodations, due to the nature of the practice and the resources available. Counselors can provide a list of community resources to facilitate the process.

You also may contact Kam Williams, director of disability services, to determine what services are available to you.