Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19)
All individual and group counseling services will be offered virtually through a secure telehealth platform. There are no in-person services available.
News about the spread of COVID-19 is quickly evolving, and the Counseling Center and college are following it closely. The health of the campus community is the college’s number one priority and the Counseling Center will continue to make all decisions with safety as the top concern.
Acknowledging, understanding, and actively taking steps to address the emotions and mental health challenges the pandemic may be producing is an important step in coping with any potential psychological impacts. Major changes in your daily schedule and social interactions (like working or taking classes from home) can feel isolating and may increase feelings of distress. The Counseling Center has provided some updates to services as well as some resources you may find useful during this time.
Counseling Center staff can meet with students who are currently enrolled in classes. The center is only able to meet with students who are physically located in the state of Utah. If you are in need of referrals, email Erin Gibson (egibson@westminstercollege) for resources in your area.
Established Student Clients
If you met with a counselor in the center during the Spring 2020 or Summer 2020 semesters, and you are currently enrolled in classes, email your counselor to see if you are eligible for telehealth services.
New Individual Counseling Clients
If you are interested in individual counseling, email the center (CCfrontdesk@westminstercollege.edu) to get set up for an intake appointment.
If you are interested in group counseling, email the center (CCfrontdesk@westminstercollege.edu) to inquire about joining groups.
Crisis Counseling Services
The center will continue to provide crisis counseling services daily during specified times during regular business hours, Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
- If you are under self-quarantine or self-isolation due to COVID-19 or are located outside the state of Utah and you would like access to online counseling services, you can access teletherapy sessions (services that do cost money per session) through the following online providers:
- If you are local and would like to access a live therapist in the community you can find therapists through Psychology Today’s website.
- If you are experiencing a mental health crisis you can visit or call the following:
- Tara Brach’s YouTube channel has many videos uploaded that may be of interest during this time.
See the information provided by the Jed Foundation for further community support services:
It’s completely expected and appropriate to experience fear during situations like these. It’s also important to know how to manage overwhelming anxiety and keep perspective as the situation unfolds. Here are some resources and tips that may be helpful:
- The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has guidance on managing mental health and coping during COVID-19 for children and caregivers, as well as guidance for higher education administrators.
- The Child Mind Institute has published a resource on how to talk to young people about COVID-19.
- The Hope Center has outlined resources for supporting college students during this crisis.
- The American College Health Association has created a guide to help college health staff and campus administrators address COVID-19 on campus.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) has information on travel, media resources, and other research on COVID-19.
- Anxiety and Depression Association of America Psychologist Jelena Kecmanovic provides some science-based strategies and tips for coping with COVID-19 anxiety.
We know this situation is challenging. In addition to utilizing these resources, JED’s self-care experts recommend getting adequate sleep, eating well, and engaging in exercise, among other tips for practicing good self-care.
Taking Care of Your Body
Engage in Routine Exercise
You don’t need a gym to get exercise. Some easy ways to get exercise include:
- Free yoga videos on YouTube and other websites
- Going outside and getting fresh air by walking, running, riding your bike, or hiking (while being sure to follow social distancing guidelines)
Get Good Sleep
- Consider investing in a white noise machine or exploring free white noise apps for your electronic devices.
- Go to bed and get up at the same time each day.
- Take time to cook healthy food that you enjoy and increase your water intake.
- Be mindful of increased drug and alcohol consumption being used to cope with stress and boredom.
Build a Routine
Try to maintain consistency in your life as if you were going to work and/or school like you normally would. Some things that may help with this include:
- Writing out your schedule on a board or paper and displaying it prominently
- Going to bed at the same time each night and setting an alarm to get up at the same time each morning, trying to follow the usual routine you did while learning or working on campus
- Creating a diversified list of activities and scheduling in intentional down time to reflect
- Taking breaks from screens to refrain from being online all day
Address Fears and Doubts
- Practice letting go of the things you cannot change.
- Accept your emotions and reach out to trusted people for support.
- Take a break from social media and the news about COVID-19.
Reflect and Engage in Resiliency Activities
University of Utah Health has provided pointers from Amanda McNab, LSCW, a clinical staff development educator at University of Utah Health and Crisis and Diversion Services, on how you can cope with mental health during the pandemic.
Greater Good magazine, published by the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, has many articles curated to help you during this time. The Greater Good Science Center also has a YouTube channel , expressive writing exercise , and self-compassion practice you may want to explore.
The Counseling Center firmly believes in the importance of attention to the “whole person” in the educational process. The center aims to assist students in clarifying and accomplishing personal and academic goals, offering:
- Brief counseling and referral services for individuals who may be experiencing psychological or emotional difficulties
- Programming focused on the developmental needs of college students to help them maximize the benefits of their academic environment and experiences
- Consultation with faculty, staff, and parents regarding mental health concerns of students
Counseling services are available to currently registered students, and referral services are available to faculty and staff. There is no charge for individual or group counseling.
The Counseling Center is located on the lower level of the Shaw Student Center. Contact 801.832.2465 for more information or to schedule an appointment.
Individual and group counseling is available to registered students. Depression, anxiety, stress, relationship issues, and academic concerns are some of the common reasons for seeking counseling services. Referrals to off-campus clinicians/agencies will be provided when appropriate.
The Counseling Center staff utilizes a brief, client-centered, solution-focused approach to counseling. This approach emphasizes a focus on strengths and the establishment of specific treatment goals. Counselors work with students to develop effective problem-solving and healthy coping skills.
Counseling services are confidential.
Therapy and Support Groups
Therapy and support groups are available to students who may benefit from sharing experiences, giving and receiving feedback, and experimenting with new interpersonal behaviors in a safe, confidential environment. We offer group counseling depending on student interest—we’ve offered mindfulness and wellness groups in the past. Please contact us for more information on current groups.
Do you struggle with anxiety, depression or relationship issues? The Counseling Center offers a mindfulness group to enhance skills in the areas of:
- Distress tolerance
- Emotion regulation
- Interpersonal effectiveness
- Kindness to self
The Counseling Center offers a wellness support group: a safe, supportive, and nonjudgmental place where participants can give and receive support. This group provides strategies and skills for coping with anxiety, depression, transition, and other difficult life issues.
Crisis intervention counseling is available at the Counseling Center Monday–Friday at designated times during regular business hours, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. During after-hours and on weekends, if you or someone you know is experiencing a psychological crisis or emergency, please call either:
- University Neuropsychiatric Institute 24/7 CrisisLine at 801.587.3000
- Salt Lake Behavioral Health 24/7crisis line at 801.264.6000
- Rape & Sexual Assault 24/7 Crisis and Information Line at 801.467.7273
Or, go to your nearest emergency room.
Substance Abuse Prevention and Education
The Counseling Center offers assessment, early intervention, support, and counseling for those struggling with their own or someone else’s alcohol/drug abuse problem. Referrals to off-campus clinicians/agencies will be recommended when appropriate.
Counseling Center Staff
The Counseling Center staff members maintain their professional mental health licensure in the State of Utah or receive direct clinical supervision by a licensed staff member.