Frequently Asked Questions
What do I do if there is a mental health emergency?
When students or staff of the University have an immediate mental health concern for themselves or another person, they can contact our office at 208-282-2130. Our staff is available for emergencies and consultations from 8:00 to 5:00 M-F during the regular school year. During the summer, we are open from 7:30 to 4:00 M-F. After normal working hours, emergency response is initiated by contacting Campus Security at 282-2515 or 911. Counseling staff also coordinate and assist with follow-up to such emergencies.
Is counseling confidential?
The University Counseling & Testing Service's counseling records are separate from other university records and are defined as confidential medical records by both state and federal law. As a general rule we do not share information about clients with anyone outside the counseling services staff. There are, however, a few exceptions to the rule such as: client requests in writing that we share information; legal situations that may involve cases of child/elder abuse or neglect; subpoenas to release information; or situations where the client is a danger to self or others. Please feel free to ask your therapist for more information about confidentiality and its limits.
How many sessions am I eligible for?
University Counseling & Testing Service offers short term therapeutic services to address a specific area of concern which is determined during the initial interview. We do not have a specific limit to the number of sessions.
Is my spouse or partner eligible for services?
Your spouse or partner is eligible to join you for couple's counseling services as long as at least one of you are registered as a student.
Will my counseling records be part of my academic records?
All records are confidential and are not part of the academic record.
How do I know if I need counseling?
There is no single answer to this question. In general, most people can handle most of life's problems on their own or with the help of family or friends. There are times, however, when we "get stuck" or can't figure out the solution on our own. When people develop problems of sufficient severity, professional assistance is needed. Also, many times college students find they are a long distance from their friends/family...they don't have their usual support network to turn to. These are times when counseling may be helpful. Here is a list of some signs that counseling might be needed. (This is not a comprehensive list but contains some of the more common signs):
Feeling "down in the dumps" most days
Having a hard time paying attention or concentrating
Feeling lonely - nobody understands you
Feeling hopeless- no hope for the future
Engaging in self-destructive behavior
Feeling stressed-out with school or having academic problems
Thoughts of harming yourself or someone else
Crying often and over things that you might not usually get upset about
Fatigue or sleep problems
Binge eating or drinking
Not enjoying usual activities
Feeling nervous or jittery
Feeling out of control
Irritability, not getting along with people
Does it mean that I am "crazy" if I need counseling?
No. Counseling is designed to help people acquire more effective skills for dealing with university and life's challenges. People seek counseling for a wide range of problems. Some people come to improve decision making skills, whereas others come because they feel overwhelmed by the stressors in their lives. No matter what the reason, we all need help at times. Help may come from a good friend, a faculty member, family, religious support person, or a professional counselor.
What can I expect from my first visit?
To make an initial appointment with one of our counselors, drop-in to University Counseling & Testing during business hours. You will receive initial paperwork to fill-out and return and a counselor will review the paperwork and help you schedule an initial session ("intake assessment"). During the initial session, you will be asked about what brings you to the counseling center and any relevant history. During this session you and your counselor will determine what kind of counseling will be most appropriate for you (e.g., individual therapy, couple's therapy, group therapy, referral, etc). If it is determined that you would benefit from our services, you will either continue to meet with the counselor who did your intake assessment or you will be assigned to a different counselor. Call us at 282-2130 for more information.
Where should I go to get counseling if I am not a student?
You need to be enrolled in a class to be eligible to receive counseling (partners are sometimes seen with the student as part of couples counseling). If you do not qualify for counseling you may call us for referrals at 282-2130.
What if I want more information?
Don't hesitate to call University Counseling & Testing Service at 282-2130 and ask to speak to a counselor for more information.