Counseling

The UMB Student Counseling Center (SCC) offers counseling services to currently enrolled students. During the fall 2022 semester, counseling services are provided primarily through same-day appointments. Students can meet with a counselor for a confidential, solution-focused, 30–45-minute appointment. Students request online on the day that they want to meet with a counselor after completing brief electronic forms. Same-day appointments are available either virtually or in-person. In-person appointments may be limited based on availability of SCC counselors.

Prior to meeting with the SCC therapist, students should prioritize what is most important to discuss in this appointment. The counselor will focus on a primary goal and offer strategies, support, and recommendations. Please see further details under Scheduling Services: What to Expect.

At the end of the appointment, students and the SCC counselor will discuss next steps. These steps may include referral to the SCC Referral Assistance Services, utilizing additional same-day appointments as needed in the future, or referral to other UMB departments/resources either on- or off-campus. The SCC will be offering limited, scheduled short-term counseling during the fall 2022 semester due to a staff shortage.

If a student's mental health needs are greater than what the SCC can provide, they may receive supportive/stabilizing counseling services while a SCC Referral Specialist assists the student in finding appropriate and affordable community resources.

Scheduling Services: What to Expect

When you are ready to access our services, please use our online scheduling system to request a same-day appointment. Same-day appointments are available Monday through Thursday from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm (last appointment at 4:00pm). On Fridays, same-day appointments will be available from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. No same-day appointments will be available for Thursdays at 11:00 am due to a scheduled staff meeting.

You should request the same-day appointment on the day that you are available to meet. The online scheduling request system will be active at 7 am Monday-Thursday and 6 am on Fridays. You will need to request the appointment at least 2 hours before you would like to meet. You will be asked to complete brief electronic forms (10 minutes) before you can view appointment availability for that day.

Same-day appointments are available either virtually or in-person. In-person appointments will be available on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays as well as virtual appointments. Students who request an in-person appointment may be asked to meet virtually if no counselor is available for in-person services. The SCC has a private space that you can request to use to participate in virtual appointments if you do not have a private location. Only virtual appointments will be available on Wednesdays as the SCC staff will be working remotely this day. The SCC private location is not available for use on Wednesday as the SCC office will be locked.

After students request a virtual same-day appointment, they will receive a Zoom invitation from the SCC counselor prior to their appointment. The SCC uses Zoom, a HIPAA-compliant platform, for virtual appointments. Due to Maryland state laws for telehealth services, students are required to be in Maryland, have privacy for the duration of the appointment, and provide a phone number as a back up if the Zoom meeting is disconnected. After students request an in-person appointment, they will receive a meeting request from the SCC counselor. All in-person services require that both the student and SCC provider wear masks.

If you have an urgent situation and cannot find an available time to meet that day, please call the front desk (410-328-8404) and request to speak with the counselor on coverage. If you call after hours or weekends, you can also utilize the SCC 24-hour crisis phone service by calling the main number and selecting option 7 to speak with a crisis counselor.

You can utilize the same day appointment system as frequently as needed. If you might benefit from a different type of service or scheduled appointments, the SCC counselor will discuss these options with you and help provide resources.

Same-day appointments will be offered by different SCC counselors to increase availability of services and maximize SCC resources. If you would like to meet with a specific counselor again, you can request that counselor’s same-day appointment availability. However, if that counselor is not available on the requested day, you may need to meet with a different counselor for the appointment. Counselors review students’ records of previous appointments to provide the best care for you.

Scope of Services
UMB SCC’s scope of services model was developed based on EAB: Establishing a Sustainable Scope of Service, Guidance for Campus Mental Health Services. Their overview of national collegiate mental health trends and recommendations inspired UMB SCC to define a sustainable scope of services based on UMB’s mission and resources on and off campus.

Primary Goal

The UMB Student Counseling Center’s (SCC) primary goals are to provide high quality, timely access to confidential short-term mental health services and referral assistance to all currently enrolled UMB students.

The UMB SCC has three essential roles for advancing the educational mission of the University of Maryland, Baltimore community:

a. Providing a range of short-term mental health services designed to help students manage immediate problems and achieve their academic and personal goals.

b. Educating the campus community about the mental health and developmental needs of graduate and professional students through campus wide interventions, including outreach programming and consultation.

c. Responding to the psychological effects of crisis impacting individual students and assisting the campus community in maintaining a safe and supportive educational environment.

Eligibility

Services provided are free and confidential. All currently enrolled UMB students are welcome to contact the student counseling center to request services. The goal of the phone triage is to discuss the student’s concerns and for a clinical staff member to determine if their needs fall within SCC’s scope of services.

The decision about whether or not the needs of the student fall within the scope of services will be made during or after an initial consultation meeting with a counselor or, if needed, after consultation with the treatment team, the Executive Director, and/or the Clinical Director. The professional judgment of SCC mental health providers will govern the determination in a particular case.

Our individual services are based on a Brief Intervention Model (above) and isdesigned to help students manage immediate concerns. These services are ideal for issues that have arisen recently or that are expected to resolve, not ongoing.

The SCC’s Brief Intervention Model reallocates counseling resources in a manner that is beneficial to all UMB students, reduces their wait time and helps themmanage immediate concerns.

Model

SCC’s Brief Intervention Services Model ( Above)

The SCC provides confidential brief, short-term mental health services based on a Brief Intervention Model. Clinical staff will meet with students to provide support and stabilization while continuing to assess individual needs and set therapeutic goals. The number and frequency of sessions will be determined on a case by case basis. Individual needs that cannot be accommodated within our Brief Intervention Model of Services will be referred to off-campus resources for care. Such referrals might occur immediately following a consultation, after further assessment of need has taken place, or after some treatment has been delivered.

SCC's Scope of Services

Common concerns that may be addressed using the SCC’s Brief Intervention Model may include:

  • Mild to moderate mental health concerns such as anxiety and depression
  • Adjustment and developmental concerns
  • Interpersonal concerns (e.g., with family, friends, roommates, romantic partnerships)
  • Self-esteem concerns
  • Concerns related to the transition to graduate and professional new life circumstances
  • Identity development related to various dimensions of identity (sexual, racial/ethnic, religious, gender, etc.)
  • Academic concerns: Performance anxiety, perfectionism, under or over achievement, and low motivation
  • Trauma or Interpersonal Violence: Assessment, stabilization and early intervention within a brief therapy model.
  • Grief and loss
  • LGBTQ+ concerns
  • Cultural concerns: Impact of oppression, power, and/or privilege
  • Other concerns, which may include: disability, body image, healthy lifestyle choices, setting healthy boundaries

NOTE: During periods of high demand for service, our providers may no longer have openings. However, in an effort to avoid wait lists or a delay in care, we may help students to connect with community providers rather than place them on a substantial wait list.

Services offered by the SCC

Common concerns that may not be addressed using the SCC’s Brief Intervention Model may include:

  • A need or request for ongoing weekly sessions or more services
  • A history of long-standing and/or significant depression, mood disorder, or anxiety concerns
  • A need or request for frequent consultation after hours that cannot be stabilized with short-term crisis intervention
  • A need or request for services that is beyond the clinical expertise of the Counseling Center’s staff
  • Presence of one or more of the following, such that the best treatment would be an intensive outpatient program (IOP) or higher level of care:
    • Alcohol and/or other substance use problems as the primary issue with possible need for medical detox and/or medical stabilization
    • Active or long standing disorder eating symptoms requiring medical monitoring
  • Chronic thoughts of suicide, frequent self-injury behaviors, history of repeated suicide attempts, recent or multiple psychiatric hospitalizations
  • Evidence or risk of progressive deterioration in mental or emotional functioning
  • An inability to comply with treatment recommendations
  • Requests for ongoing counseling when already participating in treatment with another mental health provider
  • A need or request for treatment over multiple, consecutive semesters or academic years
  • Requests for medication evaluations and/or management when not participating in the SCC brief intervention counseling services model

Services Not Provided by the UMB SCC

  • Mandated mental health evaluation or counseling
  • Family or couples counseling
  • Psychological assessments, predicting performance evaluations or forensic evaluations (e.g., employment security assessment, litigation or legal adjudications)
  • Court appearances/testimony/evaluations or court-ordered assessment and treatment
  • Counseling services solely to gain clinical experience
  • Psychological evaluations for the purpose of determining disability status or to make recommendations for students who have been diagnosed with a disability (Disability)
  • Documentation/authorization for emotional support animals (ESA)

Off-Campus Referral Process

When off-campus mental health services are recommended or preferred by students, during or after the initial appointment or as these factors become apparent during the course of treatment, your counselor or the SCC’s Referral Assistance Coordinator (RAC) will help to identify several referral options selected specifically for your personal situation (Referrals). The SCC can help with accessing health insurance benefits and navigating transportation options. For example, if a student does not have a car, finding an off campus provider that is located close to the UM Shuttle route may be taken into consideration. Local counseling options include some providers within walking distance to campus and some that provide telemental health, low or sliding scale fee services.

UMB SCC’s scope of services model developed based on EAB: Establishing a Sustainable Scope of Service. Guidance for Campus Mental Health Services. (2018)

Couples and Family Counseling Services

The Student Counseling Center staff are general practitioners of individual counseling and not trained to provide couples or family counseling.  If you are looking  couple’s or family counseling, we can assist with an off campus referral to providers who are trained to meet your needs.

Use of Alcohol and Recreational Drugs

Use of alcohol or recreational drugs will interfere with the therapeutic benefit of your counseling and, in some cases, can cause worsening of symptoms. Please speak to your counselor about any substances you are using. If your use of substances is regular and habitual without the ability to reduce or stop use, your counselor may refer you to a substance use program for an evaluation and/or more specialized treatment if necessary. The SCC can help refer you to substance use treatment centers or other resources to support sobriety (e.g., UMB Scholars for Recovery).

Concurrent Treatment with a Psychiatrist

There could be times when your counselor asks you to meet with a psychiatrist for a medication evaluation. In these cases, following through with the psychiatrist's recommendations is an essential or required element of your treatment. Based on those recommendations, the treatment team may modify your treatment plan.