Counseling Center Services - Spring 2015
College life can be very challenging and is often stressful. Students experience those challenges in a number of different ways. Many students feel anxious, scared, depressed, confused, or overwhelmed at some point during their college experience and need help dealing with feelings and problems that seem beyond their control.
For many college students, help can be found through counseling. Counseling is a process where you can talk to an objective listener who can help you identify more effective strategies to cope with difficult situations and to achieve your goals.
Students often feel anxious about seeking counseling. You might worry that it is a sign of weakness or an indication that there is something seriously wrong. However, you don't have to be in crisis or have a serious mental illness to benefit from counseling. Most people who seek counseling are struggling with normal life events that we all experience one time or another in our lives. In fact, we believe that knowing when to ask for help is a sign of personal wisdom and courage.
Individual counseling is a collaborative effort between you and your counselor. We want to provide an open, supportive, and confidential environment for you to address the issues that are concerning you and to help foster your growth in body, mind and spirit.
Here are some common concerns that bring students to counseling:
- Symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression
- Chronic illness
- College adjustment issues such as homesickness, academic problems, or test anxiety
- Interpersonal difficulties, including family problems, romantic relationship concerns
- Challenges with assertiveness and self-confidence
- Bereavement and grief related to a major loss (such as death or parental divorce)
- Questions/exploration about identity, self-image, sexuality, gender
- Religious or spiritual issues
- Concerns about body image, food, eating, or weight
- Experience with sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking, abuse, or other trauma
- Thoughts of suicide, death, or hurting others
- Harmful behaviors like drug or alcohol abuse or self-harm (cutting, burning, etc.)
Counseling services are available for any students currently enrolled as a student at St. Louis College of Pharmacy. Services are confidential, free of charge, and are completely separate from your academic record.
Any information you share during your session will be treated with the strictest confidentiality as allowed by law. In accordance with ethical and legal standards, this information will not be disclosed to anyone without your written consent, except in very specific circumstances as required by law.
Setting Up An Appointment
Counselors are located in the Student Success Center inside the lower level of the Residence Hall. The counselors' available times will be posted at the beginning of each semester.
All initial appointments are arranged with Dr. Hastings. You will complete paperwork and briefly discuss what is bringing you to counseling. Based on your needs and your schedule, you will be paired with one of our counselors that will be a good fit for you or be provided with a referral for other college services or resources in the St. Louis area. Appointments can be flexible and arranged for once a week, twice a week, once a month, 30-minutes, 15-minute check-ins or one hour all depending upon your personal needs.
While we prefer that you handle appointment scheduling and discussion of counseling issues via phone or in person, we also understand that you are very busy students and e-mail might be the most convenient way to contact us. Please know that we take your time and confidentiality very seriously and therefore consider it imperative that you understand the limitations of our use of e-mail technology. E-mail accounts may not be checked daily, on weekends, or during holidays. Also, note that e-mail is not a secure form of communication; therefore, confidentiality cannot be guaranteed. Please use at your discretion.
What if I Have to Cancel My Appointment?
Please contact your counselor as soon as possible when you become aware that you cannot come to your appointment so that we can open up your time slot for another student. You may choose to contact the Counseling Center staff via phone or e-mail about such matters as rescheduling or canceling an appointment. You can leave a message on the voicemail if you are calling outside of business hours. Please keep in mind that staff may not check their e-mail regularly or may inadvertently miss your e-mail message altogether. Also, email is subject to interception and is not considered reliably confidential.
Counselors and Contact Information
Michelle Hastings, M.Ed., Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist
Dr. Hastings completed her doctoral internship at the University of Texas in Austin Counseling and Mental Health Center and earned her Ph.D. in counseling psychology from the University of Missouri in Columbia. She is a licensed psychologist and health service provider in the state of Missouri. Dr. Hastings has always been passionate about working with college students because it is a developmentally unique time of exploration in the lives of individuals. As a generalist, Dr. Hastings works with a variety of challenges you may be experiencing and specializes in identity and attachment issues, grief and loss, the LGB population, spiritual and religious issues, bipolar disorder, and multicultural issues. In addition to counseling, Dr. Hastings is also an adjunct assistant professor for the University of Missouri in Columbia where she teaches classes on diversity issues at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Michelle's email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Michelle's phone: 314.446.8338
Office location: Lower level of the Residence Hall, Room 2143
Kateryna Barnes, B.A., M.A.C. Candidate
Kateryna Barnes earned her B.A. in psychology from Erskine College and is currently completing her M.A. in counseling from Covenant Theological Seminary and will graduate in May 2015. Kateryna has enjoyed working with and mentoring College students as a varsity men's and women's tennis coach for the past several years at STLCOP, while earning her degree. She is especially interested in working with this age demographic becuase of its unique transitional developmental stage, during which a variety of mental health concerns may arise. Additionally, through personal and professional experiences, Kateryna has developed an eagerness for promoting mental health awareness on college campuses. Kateryna's zeal for understanding and pursuing emotional health and how it is embedded in the social context of people's development, undergirds her counseling work. By focusing on the interpersonal style and emotional intelligence, Kateryna helps guide individuals toward holistic healing and growth. A native of Ukraine, Kateryna is particularly passionate about working with multicultural issues and promoting diversity.
Kateryna's email: email@example.com
Kateryna's phone: 314.446.8353
Office location: Lower level of the Residence Hall, Room 2141
Imman Musa, BA
Imman earned her bachelor's degree in psychology from Saint Louis University and is currently working on her Ph.D in clinical psychology at Saint Louis University. She is passionate about working with college students and has particular interests in issues related to identity, acculturation, depression, and anxiety.
Imman's email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Imman's phone: 314.44.68353
Office location: Lower level of the Residence Hall, Room 2141
Joanne Perry, MA
Joanne earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Pepperdine University and is currently in her third year of the clinical psychology doctoral program at Saint Louis University. She is committed to working with students experiencing a variety of mental health concerns including depression, anxiety, relationship difficulties, academic or athletic performance concerns, and stressful transitions. Joanne is dedicated to helping students sort through and navigate their difficulties in order to achieve a healthier, happier life.
Joanne's email: email@example.com
Joanne's phone: 314.446.8353
Office location: Lower level of the Residence Hall, Room 2141
At-A-Glance Important Phone Numbers
Dr. Michelle Hastings, Campus Psychologist: 314.446.8338
Rebecca Jones, Director of Academic Support: 314.446.8352
Residence Hall Front Desk: 314.446.8335
Campus Security: 314.446.SAFE (7233)
Life Crisis Hotline: 314.647.4357
Emergency, Police: 911
Students in Crisis
If you are in crisis, such as having thoughts of suicide, or if you are a faculty or staff member that is concerned about a student during regular business hours, please contact Dr. Michelle Hastings, one of the other counselors, Rebecca Jones, Director of Academic Support, or another student affairs staff member directly in person, via e-mail, or phone immediately. If you are unable to reach a counselor or student affairs staff member please contact STLCOP Security at 314.446.SAFE (7233).
If you are in crisis or if you are a faculty or staff member that is concerned about a student after hours, please call Campus Security at 314.446.SAFE (7233). Security is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If no one on campus is available to help, or if you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone here, you can contact the Life Crisis Hotline at 314.647.4357. In the case of a life threatening emergency dial 911.
Student Assistance Program
St. Louis College of Pharmacy students now have an additional benefit of a Student Assistance Program called "Balance Works." These benefits include 24/7/365 confidential assistance for counseling, financial and legal consultations, and your own personal assistant.
Counseling services will connect you to a licensed mental health professional over the phone who will then do a brief triage and determine the best resources for you depending on the routine, urgent, or emergency response necessary. They will find you a local counselor that you can see at no charge within 2-5 days for short-term therapy (usually 6 sessions or less, per situation/issue). These services are completely confidential and transportable. This means that if you are on rotation in another part of the country, you can still use this benefit.
Legal consultations and referrals will connect you to a legal consultant over the phone who will evaluate your circumstances and confirm appropriateness and availability of a lawyer. Students can obtain consultation for any legal issue, with the exception of those involving disputes or actions between an employee/dependent and their employer for business issues. Students receive a 30-minute consultation for free with a local attorney. If it is a more complex issue, you can hire a referred attorney at a discounted rate (10% off their flat rate, 25% off their hourly rate).
Financial consultations and referrals will connect you to a qualified financial counselor and/or educator who can assist with financial issues such as student loans, buying a house, or debt consolidation. This consultation is usually 30-minutes, per issue. If additional assistance is required, you will have the opportunity to meet with a Certified Financial Planner at a discounted rate.
Personal Assistant Services (PA's) are work/life experts that act as a virtual concierge to complete personal tasks and projects, compile research (not for academic purposes), and provide referrals. Examples of how this service can be used: finding child care, planning a vacation, coordinating an event, researching relocation information (ideal for those who may be doing a rotation in another part of the country), locating dining and entertainment, finding the perfect gift, and comparing online shopping prices. This service if often underutilized so we encourage students to use it so they can save time and money.
For more information about the Student Assistance Program, you can log on to http://www.mybalanceworks.com and enter your IDs. St. Louis College of Pharmacy member ID is 10277016 and the Group ID is 8909. You can also call 1.800.327.2255. These services are for students only. For staff and faculty, please refer to your Employee Assistance Program or Human Resources.
Off-Campus Counseling and Medication Management Options
In addition to the services offered by the counselors at St. Louis College of Pharmacy, you have the option to contact the Saint Louis University Psychological Services Center (PSC). To make an appointment to see a counselor at the PSC please call 314.977.2278. When you call, let them know that you are enrolled at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy. Free, unlimited, general counseling sessions with counselors at the PSC are open to all St. Louis College of Pharmacy students. Some additional services might require you to pay a portion of the cost (i.e. assessments). The PSC is located on the SLU campus in Morrissey Hall, Suite 1200, located at 3700 Lindell Boulevard.
If you would like to have a psychiatric evaluation or a pharmacological consultation, another counselor or psychologist for therapy, or a general practitioner for any other health concerns, you can see providers at SLU Student Health and Counseling Center using your own personal insurance. SLU Student Health Center and Counseling Center is located on the ground floor of Marchetti Towers East, 3518 Laclede Avenue and the phone number to make an appointment is 314.977.7192.
ADD, ADHD, Learning Disabilities, and Psychological Assessments
If you would like to have an assessment for a learning disability, ADD, or ADHD, you can be seen at St. Louis University Psychological Services Clinic (PSC). The assessment fee is $150. If you would like to have an assesment that does not include ADD, ADHD, or LD components, the assessment fee is $80. The PSC is located on the SLU Campus in Morrissey Hall, Suite 1200, located at 3700 Lindell Boulevard. The phone number to make an appointment is 314.977.2278. When you call, let them know that you are enrolled as a student at St. Louis College of Pharmacy.
Policy for Seeing a Counselor Over the Summer
Students can continue to use our free counseling services over the summer with our full-time psychologist, Dr. Michelle Hastings. You can also obtain services through Saint Louis University Psychological Services Center at no charge.
The Counseling Center is dedicated to creating an open and welcoming environment that is safe for everyone we serve and with whom we interact. We celebrate the diversity of our campus and our community and strive for multicultural competency and inclusion in all of our work.
Our counseling staff offers presentations to classes and student organizations on a variety of issues involving mental health and diversity issues. To request a presentation, please contact Dr. Michelle Hastings, campus psychologist, at least two weeks before the desired presentation date and we will try our best to accommodate your needs. Some topics that might be of interest: a brief overview and Q-A session about counseling services, stress management, grief and loss in practice.
Groups and Classes
Support groups can be another alternative to individual counseling. The power of being in a group can lead to feeling less isolated and the chance to learn from peer interaction. You might be hesitant to be part of a group but most students find it to be a very positive and satisfying experience. New groups will form each semester. Please contact our office for a list of groups and to discuss joining. Topics of interest include disordered eating, perfectionism, and anxiety.
Identifying Signs of Student Distress
Faculty, staff, residence hall personnel, and students often encounter distressed students and can play a crucial role in identifying those who could benefit from counseling services. Students who exhibit a combination of these symptoms or behaviors over a sustained period of time should be of particular concern, and it may be beneficial to refer them to counseling:
- sudden deterioration in academic work, frequent absences or tardiness, inappropriate or disruptive classroom behavior, papers with themes of distress
- dependency, for example, the student makes excessive appointments to see you
- listlessness, lack of energy, falling asleep in class
- coming to class intoxicated or high
- references to death or suicide; expressions of hopelessness
- physical changes, especially sudden weight loss or deteriorating personal hygiene
- withdrawal, isolation from others
- inability to make decisions despite your attempts to clarify and encourage
- excessive somatic complaints
- high irritability, angry outbursts
- bizarre or strange behavior, such as unexplained crying, hearing voices, disorganized thinking, blatantly inappropriate comments or questions in class
- over-reaction to criticism or mistakes
- visible signs of depression or anxiety
Suicide Prevention Programs
Pharmacy students and professionals have the unique position to work with patients who may be at risk for suicide. Many patients may suffer from mental health disorders, such as Major Depressive Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, or drug abuse or addiction disorders. Education, research, and training in suicide prevention for pharmacists is imperative so that they are aware of the warning signs that high-risk patients may exhibit. Their work environments, such as chain pharmacies, independent pharmacies, nursing homes, hospitals, and other environments where pharmaceutical care is provided, put pharmacists in a strategic position in suicide prevention. For more information on this hot topic please go to http://www.pharmacistspreventingsuicide.com. In addition, Ask-Listen-Refer is a state-wide initiative that provides a brief online suicide prevention training program for campuses across the state of Missouri. This program provides information about identifying those at risk, warning signs you may see, protective factors, how to respond, and local resources available. Please go to http://www.asklistenrefer.org/stlcop
For more information about counseling services, contact Dr. Michelle Hastings, campus psychologist at 314.446.8338 or firstname.lastname@example.org.