UNO Counseling Services attempts to meet the needs of UNO students in regard to their individual personal development. Every student who comes to the university faces decisions and makes changes. With these changes occasionally come social or emotional concerns that generate conflicts and questions which make it difficult to function to one's full potential. Concerns about interpersonal relationships, depression, anxiety, feelings of inadequacy, loneliness, sexual identity and orientation, academics, career choice, and mental illness are difficulties that any individual may encounter. The primary function of Counseling Services is to assist students with these difficulties in a professional, unbiased, objective way to promote personal growth in self-awareness, self-management, self-confidence, and interpersonal skills.
In addition to its focus on the individual student, Counseling Services provides consultation and educational support for academic departments and student services within the University and offers specialized professional training for graduate students in counseling and other behavioral health professions. Counseling Services' collaborative relationship with behavioral health graduate programs in colleges and universities throughout the local and regional area supports the University's mission and goals to further community partnerships in education, as well as support opportunities for career and community growth.
Counseling Services professional staff are experienced in the assessment and treatment of mental health concerns common among university students. Graduate students from regional universities enrolled in various behavioral disciplines also provide services through Counseling Services under the supervision of the licensed professional staff.
COUNSELING SERVICES STAFF
All counseling services are confidential to the limits provided by law, and no information can be released to anyone within or outside of the University without a client's written consent. The staff adheres to the ethical guidelines of the professional associations to which they belong.
Provision of Services to Minor Students
Written consent from the legal guardians of enrolled minor students wishing to seek treatment at UNO Counseling Services must be obtained prior to the start of treatment. If a guardian is unable to come to UNOCS in person to provide this written permission, an original notarized guardian signature on the UNOCS Minor Consent form will be accepted. In addition, both minor students and their guardians should be aware that any material obtained from a minor client may be shared with that student's parents or guardians until that student turns 18. Once the student turns 18, attendance and treatment information are private and such requests for information will no longer be honored. Please note that UNO Counseling Services is unable to provide services to minor students who are not U.S. citizens. Please also note that if a minor student is suicidal or homicidal, UNO Counseling Services will see any student seeking such emergency help regardless of age, and will provide assistance on an emergency basis in finding appropriate mental health resources.
Scope of Services
The UNO Counseling Services’ primary purpose is to improve students’ ability to learn and strengthen their overall success both academically and socially during their college career. The Counseling Services staff believes that good mental health is the cornerstone of personal, academic, and career success. Therefore, our vision is to deliver quality mental health services that will facilitate personal growth and wellbeing in order to promote student engagement and overall academic success.
The UNO Counseling Services strives to create an environment that fosters student growth, development, and psychological well-being through education, awareness programs, and direct clinical services. The number of sessions is determined by clinical need, as defined by the clinician but is short term in nature. For those individuals who need more than brief individual therapy, our staff can help coordinate referrals to outside resources when longer-term or more intense individual therapy is required.
All currently enrolled students seeking services will receive an initial appointment for assessment. The initial assessment is sometimes extended to additional appointments to determine the appropriateness of UNOCS services. There is no charge for the assessment. After the assessment is concluded, a decision will be made about whether or not the needs of the student fall within the role and scope of the UNOCS and recommendations will be provided. The counselor will either recommend services within UNOCS, or provide community referrals and assist students in obtaining the appropriate services to meet their needs. There is no charge for individual or group counseling at UNO Counseling Services.
Services provided include:
- Facilitation of student adjustment and personal growth through counseling as they make decisions and assume responsibility for life on a college campus.
- Assisting students in the development of new strategies to resolve problems and to develop more effective behaviors to cope with life stresses.
- Provision of preventative and educational programs in areas which impact students’ mental health, such as interpersonal communication skills, self-esteem, and relationship issues.
- Provision of career testing, interpretation, and counseling to assist the student in identifying potential careers that would be a good match for their personal styles, values, and interests.
- Assisting students with more intensive psychological concerns through supportive counseling, maintenance or referral.
- Provision of consultation, support and training to faculty and staff who may encounter students in psychological distress.
Students whose mental health needs cannot be accommodated within a short-term counseling model are provided with referrals to community resources. Similarly, students whose needs require a particular type of expertise that is not found in UNOCS are also referred to outside resources that can better address their mental health needs. UNO Counseling Services provides referral services either after the initial assessment or as these factors become more apparent during the course of services. The Counselor can provide sliding scale referral options, help the student identify mental health providers that accept their insurance, and assist the student in getting connected with these outside resources. The Counselor will offer additional assistance in finding resources as necessary.
Examples of situations for which brief therapy is contraindicated and would be inappropriate to treat at UNOCS include:
- Students who need medical detoxification
- Indication that short-term therapy may be detrimental or non-beneficial
- Students who are unable to identify a focus of counseling and/or take ownership and responsibility for identified concerns
- Students who come to UNOCS primarily because of external pressures, e.g., faculty, staff, parents, but who provide insufficient evidence of internal motivation necessary for successful counseling
- Students who are unable or unwilling to provide the necessary information to thoroughly assess symptoms
- Treatment noncompliance, including repeated missed sessions
- Students exhibiting inappropriate, harassing, menacing, threatening or violent behaviors toward UNOCS staff
- Students presenting with concerns that fall outside staff expertise and/or UNOCS' mission, including but not limited to court ordered, forensically oriented or mandated treatment
- A desire to be seen more than once a week or for long-term therapy
- Students with a need for more on-going treatment as indicated by:
- History of treatment that is beyond the resources of the UNOCS and evidence that the need for the previous level of care continues or is likely to be needed from time to time
- History of multiple hospitalizations
- Chronic suicidality and/or self-injury behaviors; history of repeated suicide attempts
- Students whose behavior is indicative of progressive deterioration requiring intensive intervention
- Manifestations of psychotic symptoms without willingness to remain on medication for stabilization of symptoms
- Students who need specialized services not available through UNOCS as indicated by:
- Presence of significant drug and/or alcohol problems such substance dependence, primary substance abuse, and/or past failed treatments
- Presence of significant or long-standing eating disorder, lack of prior treatment for it, or the presence of eating disorders that may pose a medical danger
- Request for psychological evaluation for attention deficit disorder, employment clearance, or any other reason
- Request for services to fulfill students' court-mandated assessment or treatment requirements
Students are asked to cancel any appointments 24 hours in advance of missing an appointment.