COVID-19 Safety Information

Counseling Center

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, if available, as well as to provide additional crisis resources. 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.

See below for additional after-hours resources.

The Counseling Center

Our center provides free and confidential mental health assistance for enrolled SUNY Cortland students.

The recent past has been filled with unanticipated life challenges involving both the COVID-19 pandemic and national and global racial climate unrest and conflict. You may be grieving the loss of loved ones or struggling with the effects of racial trauma, stemming from both historical and current deeply embedded systematic racism. In addition, world events may also be weighing heavily on you. We recognize that many feel fatigued, burdened and traumatized by these circumstances. 

We are here to listen, support and respond to you.

In addition to therapeutic services, we offer the following:

Groups/Workshops Healing racial trauma resources COVID-19 and mental health resources

Services

The Counseling Center:

  • Provides free and confidential short-term therapeutic services to facilitate students’ 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.

To schedule an appointment, please call our office at 607-753-4728 during business hours (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m.). You can also stop in to make an appointment. 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. For more information on accessing services, please listen to our podcast Connect to the Counseling Center, developed in concert with our Health Promotion office.

The Counseling Center, as a mental health facility, will operate using health care setting guidelines. Telehealth appointments will continue to be encouraged as a way to mitigate risk, since they reduce office density as well as potential Covid exposure. 

  • Telehealth/video sessions
    • Students having difficulty identifying a private location from which to engage in video counseling may contact the counseling center to discuss available options for securing a private location for your appointment.
  • In-person sessions
    • Masks continue to be required within health care settings. Any arranged in-person sessions will occur with the use of  masks by both the client and clinician. Please note that masks may act as a barrier in facilitating effective communication during the delivery of services. In-person sessions will be arranged on case-by-case basis in consideration of a student’s therapeutic needs.

If you want further assistance or have more questions regarding making an appointment, please call 607-753-4728. Please note that due to staffing issues, on occasion the door to the Counseling Center may be locked when we do not have administrative staff to provide coverage, and all other staff are in session. In those instances, please check the door for instructions on how to get connected. Our office in Van Hoesen, room B-1 may be staffed and able to assist you with making an appointment, either via phone or in-person.

Scope of services

Because of limited resources, coupled with our desire to serve as many students as 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.

Consultation and appointment processes

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.

After your appointment is scheduled

You will be contacted on the morning of your scheduled 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.

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. 
  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and  provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress. They also have prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved one. If you prefer you can text 1-800-273-8255 or you can also chat through contacting them online.
  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline also has Ayuda en Espanol.
  • 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 at 315-251-0800 after hours (Weekdays 5 pm to midnight; Weekends/holidays 6 am -12 am). 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.
  • Togetherall is a free and anonymous online peer support community available 24/7 to all SUNY Cortland students looking for mental health support and a sense of connection. Moderated by professionals to keep you safe, Togetherall is here for you. For more information, check out this quick look inside Togetherall. You can register here with Togetherall.
  • 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. Text HOLA to 741741 or text to 442-AYUDAME in WhatsApp to be connected to a trained Crisis Counselor in Spanish. 
  • 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.

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.