Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19)
All individual and group counseling services will be offered in person or virtually (through a telehealth platform) based on need and access. If you are sick with any sort of illness, make arrangements to meet with your counselor virtually and do not come to the center.
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.
Visit the Counseling Center
Hours: Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Location: Shaw Student Center, lower level L5–L7
During Business Hours
Crisis Intervention/Emergencies: If you or someone you know is experiencing a psychological crisis or emergency, crisis intervention counseling is available at designated times. Call (801.832.2465) or email (CCfrontdesk@westminstercollege.edu) the front desk for more information on making a crisis appointment.
After-Hours and Weekends
Non-emergency Situations: Email the front desk (CCfrontdesk@westminstercollege.edu), and a staff member will get back to you the next business day.
Crisis Intervention/Emergencies: If you or someone you know is experiencing a psychological crisis or emergency, go to your nearest emergency room, use the SafeUT App, or call:
- 24hr Crisis Line (Huntsman Mental Health Institute): 1.800.273.8255
- 24hr Warm Line (Non-Life-Threatening Distress): 801.587.1055
- Rape Recover Center 24/7 Rape/Sexual Assault Crisis and Information Line: 801.467.7273
The SafeUT Crisis Chat and Tip Line is a statewide service available to the Westminster community that provides real-time crisis intervention through live chat and a confidential tip program—right from your smartphone. SafeUT can help anyone with emotional crises, bullying, relationship problems, mental health, or suicide-related issues. Licensed clinicians in the 24/7 CrisisLine call center respond to all incoming chats and calls by providing:
Supportive or crisis counseling
Staff and faculty are welcome to submit a tip if they have a concern about a student’s safety or mental health.
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
Individual and group counseling services are available at no cost to registered students. Referral services are available for faculty and staff. Counseling services are confidential. Common mental health concerns students present with include depression, anxiety, stress, relationship issues, and academic concerns.
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.
Referrals to off-campus clinicians/agencies will be provided when appropriate.
Groups are offered based on student interest. Some groups require a meeting with the facilitator prior to joining to assess if it is a good fit. Contact the center (801.832.2465 or CCfrontdesk@westminstercollege.edu) for more information on groups.
Support groups provide an atmosphere conducive to sharing your concerns with others impacted by similar issues. These groups focus on providing a space for validation, encouragement, and mutual understanding. Support groups do not emphasize dynamics occurring between members, nor do they emphasize change.
Mindful Self Compassion
The Mindful Self Compassion skills-based, 8-week group is designed to help you enjoy greater self-compassion in your life. Research shows that those with healthy self-compassion tend to have greater happiness, life satisfaction, better motivation, better relationships, better physical health, and experience less anxiety and depression. The group is modeled after the work of Kristin Neff, PhD, and Christopher Germer, PhD.
Format: Virtual (Microsoft Teams)
Day and Time: Wednesdays, 2–3:00 p.m.
How to Register: Email Cory Shipp, LCSW, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Building Your Community
The Building Your Community group is a great support group for first-year, sophomore, and transfer students who are newish to campus and looking to connect with others, build friendships, navigate the college transition, develop healthy lifestyle skills, tackle the hard stuff, and build community.
Format: Virtual (Microsoft Teams)
Day and Time: Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.–12 p.m.
How to Register: Email Christian Fritze, CMHC, at email@example.com
Psychotherapy groups assist individuals in shifting their behavior and emphasize dynamics between members.
We Thrive: Womxn Supporting Womxn
What does womxn supporting womxn feel like? We Thrive: Womxn Supporting Womxn is a womxn’s wellness group where you can give and receive support. This group provides a place to foster self-exploration, wellbeing, and community with other femme/woman-identified individuals.
Format: Virtual (Microsoft Teams)
Day and Time: Wednesdays, 2–3:30 p.m.
How to Register: Email Molly Butterworth at firstname.lastname@example.org
Workshops are time-limited or drop-in-based groups focused on specific skill development. Examples of workshops include learning mindfulness skills, wellness workshops, and workshops about coping with anxiety.
Take a Breather!
The Take a Breather! workshop occurs weekly. Participants engage in guided meditation, mindfulness, or breathwork. Exercises are 25-minute sessions (come for one or stay for both).
Format: Virtual (Zoom)
Meeting Times/Dates: Tuesdays, 12–1:00 p.m.
How to Register: Submit a registration form to receive the link for the workshop. Email Erin Gibson, LCSW, at email@example.com if you have any questions about the workshop or issues with the form.
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.
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.
Director of Counseling