The Counseling Center and COVID-19
The Counseling Center is working to adapt services to meet your needs during this difficult and unusual time. To protect the health of students and staff, we will no longer provide in-person services at the Counseling Center after Friday, March 20, 2020. This will remain in effect until in-person classes resume on campus. However, we will continue to offer support services for both current clients and for students who have had no prior contact with the Counseling Center.
- Beginning Monday, March 30, 2020, phone consultations with a Counseling Center therapist will be available to students during the Center’s business hours (M-F, 8 a.m.- 4 p.m.). This service will continue for students throughout the remainder of the school year.
- Beginning Monday, March 30, 2020, scheduled phone meetings are available for current clients to talk with their Counseling Center providers. This is in addition to ongoing available Phone Consultations.
Accessing Counseling Center Services:
- All Students: Phone support services/appointments are available Monday-Friday from 8:00 am-4:00 pm using the Let’s Talk format. Let’s Talk is a free and confidential 20-30 minute phone consultation with one of our counselors designed to offer immediate support. You will receive a call from a counselor within one business day of requesting a consult. Call 607-753-4728 to schedule your phone consult. “Let’s Talk” is a drop-in service that offers informal, confidential consultation with a counselor. Get help problem-solving and learn about other resources that may be helpful.
- Current Clients: (A current client is any student who has seen a counselor, or our psychiatric nurse practitioner, since January 1, 2020). Phone support services/appointments are available with your counselor. Psychiatric follow-ups or check-ins are available to established clients who have already met with our current psychiatric nurse practitioner. To schedule a session, please call our number and leave a message on our voicemail. You may also email your counselor directly to schedule with them. Our staff will call you back and/or provide you with email information on next steps.
COVID-19 and Your Mental Health
Over the last couple of months, we have seen the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) slowly move closer to home. This has dominated our headlines and the information feels difficult to escape. Counseling Services staff want to assure you that it is normal to experience worry in the face of uncertainty.
Additionally, we ask members of our community to reflect on their behaviors associated with these circumstances. Xenophobic jokes and remarks can inflict real harm and stigmatize different groups represented in our community. Please remember to be kind, caring and compassionate community members that contribute to the collective mental health of this campus.
Visit SUNY Cortland's COVID-19 page for more information. Read our tips on managing the stress of living with COVID-19 (PDF).
Mental Health Crisis and Emergency Resources
- NY State Office of Mental Health has created an Emotional Support Line at 1-844-863-9314 which provides free and confidential support, helping callers experiencing increased anxiety due to the coronavirus emergency. The Help Line is staffed by volunteers, including mental health professionals, who have received training in crisis counseling. Check the Emotional Support Line for more information and resources.
- If you are in immediate danger, please call 911 or if you are on campus, then UPD at (607) 753-2111.
- Local students may utilize the Mobile Crisis Team (607) 756‐3771 after hours. If you are located outside of Cortland and are having a mental health emergency, the National Suicide Hotline (1-800-273-8255 [TALK]) will connect you to your local mental health crisis unit.
- Text Got5U to 741741 to reach a crisis counselor on the Crisis Text Line. The Crisis Counselor is a trained volunteer, not a professional. They can provide support, but not medical advice.
Additional Resources for Managing the Stress of Covid-19
During this trying, and unique time we are in, it is crucial to practice self-care to promote overall wellness and prevent the cumulative effects of stress. Below are some resources to aid in thinking about and implementing self-care strategies and routines:
Mental health resources
With growing concerns related to our physical health, it is important to pay attention to our mental health as well. During this time of change and uncertainty, it is normal to experience an increase in stress and anxiety. Below are a few resources to help recognize and understand the impacts of stress and anxiety, and some strategies to aid in coping during this time:
Managing your social life and relationships
During these times of social distancing, you may feel lonely and your relationships might have taken a hit. Here are some tips that can help you to address these concerns:
Addressing your family and relationship connections while stuck at home
Relationship dynamics can get especially challenging during these stressful times. Here are some suggestions on how to address those dynamics healthfully.
Resources for the LGBTQ+ community
Being at home and away from your support group can be challenging. Here are links that can be helpful:
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion During Covid-19
Grief and Loss
Given the magnitude of this pandemic, many of us will know someone who falls ill or we may become ill ourselves. We also will experience the changes that physical distancing engender, including loss of routine, missed or postponed special events, or just plain socializing with family and friends. These resources can help explain our reactions to loss, and help us come to terms with grief and loss during this time.
- Understanding the grief process can help you make sense of some of your or your social circle’s varied reactions to the virus.
- Grieving the loss of a loved one from Covid-19 can be complicated by the physical distance we are asked to experience for the sake of health and safety. This is one author’s reflection on this process.
- Finding meaning through grief during this pandemic is explored in this interview with David Kessler, a renowned writer and speaker on grief and loss. He discusses the stages of grief as well as the healing power of allowing yourself to experience the emotions engendered by loss.
The staff at the SUNY Cortland Counseling Center provide a safe and confidential place for you to explore your concerns and find your personal path to self awareness.
The Counseling Center
- provides free and confidential short-term therapeutic services to facilitate student’s personal, social and educational adjustment.
- recognizes that adjustment to college life can be stressful and challenging, while also being an opportunity for learning and growth.
- assists students by providing psychoeducational and developmentally focused programming and support services for students.
- serves as a consultative resource for the SUNY Cortland community.
Parents/Guardians and Families
Parents and family members, if you are concerned about the emotional or psychological well being of your child, please contact the SUNY Cortland Counseling Center. Although we cannot discuss confidential material with you we can talk about your concerns and describe services that are available to your child.
Scope of Services
Because of limited resources, coupled with our desire to serve as many students possible, the Counseling Center has adopted a brief treatment model. We are committed to maintaining our ability to provide students with high quality, appropriate counseling services. At the same time, we are also committed to providing services within the limits of our expertise, which is required by professional ethics.
As generalist therapists, we are similar to primary care physicians; that is, we are able to address a wide variety of concerns within our office, but there are some concerns which may require treatment services that we are unable to offer.
Some of the concerns that are commonly addressed through referral to services outside of the Counseling Center include:
- A desire or need to be seen more than once a week or for long-term therapy as indicated by:
- History of multiple hospitalizations
- Chronic thoughts of suicide, frequent self-injury behaviors, or history of repeated suicide attempts
- Clear indications of a need for more intensive services
- Indication that short-term therapy may be detrimental or non-beneficial
- Evidence or risk of progressive deterioration in mental or emotional functioning that requires intensive intervention
- Exhibiting psychotic symptoms without willingness to follow treatment recommendations
- Inability or unwillingness to provide the necessary information to thoroughly assess symptoms
- A need for specialized services not available through the Counseling Center as indicated by:
- Presence of significant drug or alcohol problems such as substance dependence and/or past failed treatments;
- Need for drug testing
- Presence of significant or long-standing eating disorder symptoms with no period of remission or that may pose a medical danger
- Request for formal psychological assessment (e.g., ADHD testing)
- Request for psychological evaluation for the purpose of employment clearance or other nonacademic purpose
- Request for services to fulfill students' court-mandated assessment or treatment requirements
The general guidelines listed above are only intended to serve as a guide to assist treatment decisions. Cases are evaluated individually and the professional judgment of the mental health provider(s) will determine the treatment decision in a particular situation.
Even in cases where a student’s ongoing needs necessitate a referral to community resources, the Counseling Center can often assist the student in managing the presenting concerns and provide support until the student is able to connect to the appropriate community resources.