Counseling Center Services - Summer 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.)



Eligibility

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

The Counseling Center is 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.  

We prefer that you handle appointment scheduling and discussion of counseling issues via phone or in person, however, 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

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: michelle.hastings@stlcop.edu

Michelle's phone: 314.446.8338

Office location: Lower level of the Residence Hall, Room 2143

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.

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. This will ensure that you receive the low rate of $10 per session. Additional services, such as assessments for ADHD, can be done at the PSC for an additional fee. 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. SLU Student Health 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. If you do not have transportation, campus security can provide a ride to and from campus.

ADD, ADHD, Learning Disabilities, and Psychological Assessments

If you would like to have an assessment for a learning disability, ADD, or ADHD, or LD components, you can be seen at St. Louis University Psychological Services Clinic (PSC). 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. There is a charge for these services.

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 for $10 per session.

Diversity

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.

Presentation Requests

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 michelle.hastings@stlcop.edu.