Counseling

The UMB Student Counseling Center (SCC) offers counseling services to currently enrolled students based on a Brief Intervention Model. The Brief Intervention Model is a three-step treatment model that includes assessment, treatment, and review of progress (see figure under "Scope of Services" below). 

When a student requests counseling services, they are scheduled with a counselor who will conduct a phone triage (15-30 minutes) to determine immediate needs and assess risk. Depending on needs, a student may meet with a counselor as soon as appropriately necessary for an Initial Assessment session (40-50 minutes) which can be done in-person or virtually. The purpose of this session is to further evaluate immediate needs and begin to develop a personalized treatment plan. Students who receive individual counseling services at the SCC participate in customized session frequency, ongoing symptom measurement, and work on specific goals. Regular progress review allows clinical staff to detect and act on non-improvement, stepping down when a less-appropriate treatment becomes appropriate and discontinuing counseling when no treatment becomes appropriate.

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

Scheduling Services: What to Expect

1) You may call or stop by the office during regular business hours (8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.) to schedule a "Phone Triage" with an SCC counselor. If you are experiencing acute stress and are unable to wait until your assigned time, please notify our administrative staff or ask to speak with our clinician on coverage.

2) A counselor will speak with you over the phone or in person for 15 to 30 minutes and will collect preliminary information about you and your current concerns. Information you provide during this brief discussion will:
          a.  Help us understand the nature and urgency of your concerns.
          b.  Begin to identify the most appropriate next steps.
                    
Your first meeting at the SCC is the "Initial Assessment," which is not a counseling session. Its purpose is for your counselor to gather information about you so that the SCC clinical team may decide upon the level of care that best fits your needs. If the team determines that the SCC is an appropriate setting for your treatment, you in collaboration with your counselor will develop a treatment plan and begin to work on the issues that brought you to counseling at your next session. Your primary counselor is usually the counselor who meets with you during your "Initial Assesment."

3) Same-day Appointments can be scheduled online Monday-Friday, at 2 p.m., Same-day appointments open each monring at 7:30 a.m., and can be scheduled up to 1 hour before the 2 p.m. meeting time. Same-Day Appointments are intended to provide support for an immediate issue but do not replace the Initial Assessment or Phone triage. Students seeking ongoing services will need to schedule Phone Triage and Initial Assessment appointments. No psychiatry and medication management services are provided during same-day appointments. 

Students are encouraged to call the SCC (410-328-8404) if their needs are urgent and they do not see same day availiblilty. Schedule a same day appointment. 

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 in 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 a 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 are designed 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 them manage immediate concerns.

Model


The SCC provides a 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 waitlist.

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 was 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.