University Counseling utilizes an individual care model that helps us meet students where they are in their process. Informed by Cornish's Stepped Care Model, we try to deliver services starting with the most effective yet least resource-intensive interventions first and stepping up to the next level of care based on evidence of required need.
Let's Talk is a free, confidential program providing W&L students access to university counselors on a quick, drop-in basis. Speaking with someone in a private setting can help you access support, provide perspective on an issue, explore resources and options, and perhaps get a feel for what counseling might be like. It is not appropriate for students who need ongoing help. Likewise, if you are in crisis, please call the University Counseling Center at 540-458-8590 (during normal business hours) or contact the Student Health Center at 540-458-8401 (after business hours).
Beginning the week of 9/11/23, sessions will be available on Tuesdays at Lewis 414 from 4:00PM-5:00PM, and Wednesdays at Elrod 221 from 11:00AM-12:30PM. No appointment is necessary, and there is no paperwork to complete! Visits are first-come, first-served, and the wait time for the Let's Talk consultation is usually very brief.
TELUS Health (formerly known as Student Support Program/SSP) is a FREE confidential online counseling service offering mental health support and wellbeing resources for ALL Washington and Lee students via text, phone, or video 24/7. TELUS Health complements W&L's existing counseling services. Talking to an experienced professional at the right time can make a positive difference. TELUS Health is here to help you succeed.
Washingtonian Society: Student Recovery Support Group and BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color) Support Groups
Washingtonian Support Group — This is a support network for students who have had problems with alcohol or substance use, who want to connect with others in a similar situation and want help with change. Complete sobriety is not required. This social support group helps students find friendship and support for their desire for change. The group meets weekly for a meal and social time with the aim of fostering connection, friendship, and support for students with alcohol and substance issues.
BIPOC Support Group — "Through Our Voices" Support Group is led in Elrod Commons on a biweekly basis on Mondays at 6:00pm by Dr. Tamara Watkins. This support group fosters empowerment and provides a space where you will receive and offer peer support. Speak of your experiences and engagement opportunities. If you have questions, please contact Dean Futrell or Mariah Scott for more information.
University Counseling operates out of a brief therapy model. Our providers, including professional counselors, psychologists, social workers, residents, and graduate-level interns, determine a course of treatment that best meets individual student needs while allowing the most students to access our services. With that in mind, below are some concerns commonly addressed in the Counseling Center followed by a list of concerns that fall outside our scope of practice.
Concerns Commonly Addressed Within a Brief Therapy Model
- Personal issues: Stress, anxiety, depression, grief, anger, loneliness, low self esteem
- Relationship issues: Romantic relationship difficulties, roommate problems, family issues
- Developmental issues: Identity development (sexual, racial/ethnic, religious, gender, etc.), adjustment to college, life transitions
- Academic concerns: Perfectionism, performance anxiety, low motivation, career indecision
- Other issues: Effects of trauma, sexual assault, abuse, body image, healthy lifestyle choices
When a student's needs are more chronic or complex in nature or require a more intensive level of care than we can offer, we endeavor to link students with the best possible care available elsewhere.
Concerns Commonly Addressed Through Referrals to Other Providers or Resources
- Need for more regular appointments than a brief therapy clinic can provide
- Need for intensive outpatient or inpatient treatment
- Problems requiring a type of specialization or expertise not represented among our staff
- Concerns requiring frequent consultation after hours that cannot be stabilized through short term crisis intervention
- Requests for comprehensive assessments (e.g., learning disorders, AD/HD, ESA, etc.)
- Forensic or other mandated evaluations or treatments
- Active eating disorders requiring extensive medical monitoring and intervention
Urgent Drop-In Counseling Appointments
We have urgent counseling sessions available every weekday at 3:00PM when classes are in session. Just call ahead (540-458-8590) if you have an urgent need and we will reserve that time for you. Urgent sessions must give priority to students presenting with more serious issues, including:
- Current or recent thoughts of harm to self or others
- Concerned about the safety of another person
- Experienced a recent trauma
- Experiencing hallucinations, delusions, disorganized thinking and/or behavior
- Have been unable to sleep for two or more days, along with a decreased need for sleep
Psychiatric Medication Evaluation/Management
The Counseling Center offers appointments with a psychiatric provider for evaluation and medication management. Both services are provided free of charge.
A psychiatric evaluation involves several components, including:
- Assessment of current symptoms, current concerns, and functioning
- Medical history, psychological history, personal history, and treatment history
If the student is prescribed medication, medication management includes:
- Meeting with the student on a regular basis for follow up care and monitoring
- Renewing prescriptions as needed
- (Medications themselves are at the expense of the student and/or their insurance)
For controlled, stimulant medication for diagnosed ADHD/ADD by an outside psychiatric evaluation (not provided at the Counseling Center), please refer to the Counseling Center's guidelines.
Our psychiatric provider works closely with our counselors to coordinate care for the best possible treatment for our students. There may be instances where coordination of care is needed with providers outside Washington and Lee University. In those instances, we request signed written permission from the student to allow us to consult with those providers.