Spring 2021 Guide and COVID-19 information

Counseling Center

The Counseling Center



Welcome to spring 2021 at SUNY Cortland.

For many of you, the recent past has been a period filled with unanticipated life challenges involving both the COVID-19 pandemic and national and global racial climate unrest.  Some of you may be grieving the loss of loved ones to the disease, while additionally others are struggling with the effects of racial trauma, stemming from both historical and current deeply embedded systematic racism.  We recognize that many feel fatigued, burdened, and traumatized by these circumstances. 

We are here to listen, support, and respond to you while respecting and affirming our college’s commitment to diversity. Please visit our Counseling and Wellness Services website for more information about our department's commitment to anti-racism.

In the event of a crisis

During business hours

Call the office 607-753-4728
in the event of a mental health emergency.

The receptionist will work to connect you to a counselor, as well as to provide additional crisis resources. Please be sure to state your name and phone number clearly if you are asked to leave a message.

After hours/weekends

Call 911 or UPD 607-753-2111
if you are in immediate danger.

Additional after hours mental health crisis and emergency resources

  • If you are in immediate danger, please call 911 or if you are on campus, then UPD at 607-753-2111
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The SUNY Albany Middle Earth Hotline functions as a peer assistance agency, especially after hours when other campus support services are closed.  It is open to all enrolled SUNY students, and students do not have to be in crisis to use their services.  Trained student volunteers staff the hotline. An online self-help resource, the Middle Earth Café, is also available. For the hotline, call 518-442-5777.  The Hotline is open from noon to midnight Monday through Thursday and 24 hours a day Friday through Sunday on weekends during the academic year.

How to Access Counseling Center Services

During the Covid-19 pandemic period, Counseling Center services will be provided by phone or video tele-counseling only.  To schedule an appointment, please call our office line at 607-753-4728 during business hours (M-F 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.).   Our Counseling Center staff are ready and willing to support you, whether you return to campus, live in Cortland, or remain at home or another location to complete your fall semester. 

Groups and Other Ways to Connect 

The Counseling Center is offering some virtual groups this semester on a variety of topics--just call our office at 607-753-4728 to get connected.  We also have partnered with Health Promotion to offer weekly Virtual Meet-ups for students.  In addition, if you are seeking support groups off campus, we have information on those resources as well.

Mind and Body Compassion Group

This virtual psychoeducation discussion-based group is designed to help you increase understanding of yourself through the lens of the mind-body connection, enhance self-compassion through a mindfulness-based approach, and foster connections with others who have shared goals.  Takes place Thursdays at 4:30-5:30 p.m.; call us for more information.

Mindfulness Meditation Group for Beginners

Learn how to be more fully present and engaged in the moment, which can help reduce your daily stress and anxiety as well as improve your overall health. For more information, please contact:  Robyn.forster@cortland.edu or  Kathryn.gallup@cortland.edu

Virtual Meet Ups

Come meet other students on WebEx through structured conversations. Meetings occur Mondays.  Meet new folks, invite friends to connect, and use the space to share experiences, thoughts and feelings. Look for our announcements in the spring.

Resiliency Workshop

Personalize the meaning of the term “resilience." Learn productive ways to handle difficult situations, reduce vulnerability to stress, and enhance your sense of control. For more information, please contact Roueida.ghadban@cortland.edu and Ester.edelman@cortland.edu from the Counseling Center. Time and dates TBD.

Virtual Support Groups

Advocates is now offering several virtual support groups via Zoom. These include mental health support groups as well as social and recreational groups.

Consultations--not sure what you need?

All students, staff, faculty and families are welcome to talk with a counselor to consult about a concern, question, referral or to help determine need for service.

Phone support services/appointments are available Monday-Friday during business hours 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 support. 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.

What Happens After An Appointment is Scheduled

Once your appointment is scheduled, you will be contacted on the morning of your appointment by email with a reminder and with a secure link to our paperwork.  This paperwork must be completed the day of your appointment, and will be reviewed with your counselor.  If you have any problems with this process, please contact our receptionist at 607-753-4728, and she will assist you.

Counseling appointments can be via telephone or Webex, and if you have a preference you should let the receptionist know when you schedule.  Once you have an appointment, you and your counselor can determine the timing of any additional appointments as well as the modality used.

Information for 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.

COVID-19 and Mental Health Resources

Over the last couple of months, COVID-19 has dominated our headlines and the information feels difficult to escape. Counseling Center 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 who contribute to the collective mental health of this campus. 

Visit SUNY Cortland's COVID-19 page and Restart page for more information. Read our tips on managing the stress of living with COVID-19 (PDF).

Additional resources for managing the stress of COVID-19

Self-care resources

During this trying and unique time, 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:

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 engenders, 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.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion During COVID-19

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.

Managing your social life and relationships

During these times of physical 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:

Resources for the LGBTQ+ community

Being at home and away from your support group can be challenging. Here are links that can be helpful:

  • Information on LGBTQ students’ experiences when campuses are closed, and how they are coping.
  • The Trevor Project: “We are here for you, 24/7, regardless of what’s happening in the world” 866-488-7386
  • The mission of the Cortland LGBTQ Center is to create a visible and empowered community through education, advocacy, resource enhancement, and linkages to essential services for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer-identified people, as well as their families and other supportive community members.

The staff at the SUNY Cortland Counseling Center provides 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.

Our 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 that 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 non-academic 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.


Free, confidential counseling and psychiatric services for registered SUNY Cortland students.

  • Relationship Concerns
  • Feeling Lonely/Isolated
  • Difficult Roommate
  • Alcohol/Drug Concerns
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Sexual and Gender Identity
  • Grief/Loss
  • Family Issues
  • Eating Disorders

Contact Us

Van Hoesen Hall, Room B-44
Phone: 607-753-4728
Fax: 607-753-2367 

8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Core Hours (M-F, Fall 2020-Spring 2021):
8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Summer hours:
8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Closed for lunch from noon-1 p.m.

Kierstin Luschwitz, Administrative Assistant 1

Rose Ryan, Office Assistant 1