Counseling Center Services - Summer 2013

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 STLCOP student. 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

 STLCOP counselors are located in the Success Center inside the lower level of the Residence Hall. Most sessions last about 50 minutes. The counselors' available times will be posted at the beginning of each semester.  

You can go directly to the office during the hours listed below or you can call or email one or more of the counselors to set up an appointment. When calling or e-mailing for an appointment, please let the counselor know your open days and times. They will respond and try to match their open times with yours. If you have a particular counselor preference, this might increase the time you have to wait for your first appointment.

While we prefer that you handle consultation, 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.

It is essential that you arrive promptly for your appointment. If you are more than 15 minutes late for your appointment, you will likely be asked to reschedule.

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 voice mail 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.

STLCOP Counselors and Contact Information:

Michelle Hastings

Michelle Hastings, Ph.D.
Michelle completed her doctoral internship at the University of Texas-Austin Counseling and Mental Health Center and earned her Ph.D. in counseling psychology from the University of Missouri (Columbia). Michelle has always been passionate about working with college students because it offers a developmentally unique time of exploration in the lives of individuals. As a generalist, Michelle works with a variety of challenges you may be experiencing and specializes in identity issues, grief and loss, LGBT population, spiritual and religious issues, bipolar disorder, and multicultural issues.

Michelle's email: michelle.hastings@stlcop.edu
Michelle’s phone: 314.446.8338

Location: Lower Level of the Residence Hall, Room 2143 and Student Success Center Hallway, Room 2126

At-A-Glance Important Phone Numbers:

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: 314.446.8381
Life Crisis Hotline: 314.647.4357
Emergency, Police: 911

Summer 2013 Office Hours

DAY

COUNSELOR

TIME

MONDAY

Michelle

8:30AM to 5:00PM

TUESDAY

Michelle

8:30AM-5:00PM

WEDNESDAY

Michelle

8:30AM-5:00PM

THURSDAY

Michelle

8:30AM-5:00PM

FRIDAY

Michelle

8:30AM-5:00PM

Students in Crisis

If you are in crisis, such as having thoughts of suicide, during regular business hours, please contact any of the Success Center counselors, Michelle Hastings, Rebecca Jones, or another student affairs staff member directly in person, via e-mail, or phone immediately. If you are unable to reach a student affairs staff member please contact STLCOP Security at 314.446.8381.

If you are in crisis after hours please call STLCOP Security at 314.446.8381. 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

In addition to the services offered by the counselors at STLCOP, you have the option to contact the Saint Louis University Psychological Services Center to make an appointment to see a counselor by calling 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 SLU are open to all STLCOP students. Some additional services might require you to pay a portion of the cost (i.e. testing, assessments).

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, Michelle Hastings. You can also obtain services through Saint Louis University Psychological Services Center.

Presentation Requests

Our counseling staff offers presentations to STLCOP classes and student organizations on a variety of issues involving mental health. To request a presentation, please contact 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 STLCOP 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

STLCOP 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

For more information about STLCOP’s counseling services, contact Michelle Hastings, campus psychologist at 314.446.8338 or michelle.hastings@stlcop.edu