Student Counseling Service

 

At times, everyone feels stressed, angry, depressed, anxious, or confused. Sometimes our interpersonal skills prevent us from expressing ourselves adequately. Sometimes, our values and goals conflict. If your student experiences these feelings - or if they are confused, suffering from low self-esteem, unable to sleep, or sleeping too much - maybe it's time to talk to a counselor. Don't be stuck in private despair. Encourage them to reach out to the Student Counseling Service »

What services are available?

The mental health professionals at Miami’s Student Counseling Service are available to students at the Oxford campus for help with a range of counseling and clinical services. Currently, these services are provided virtually, through telebehavioral health.

  • Initial Consultation: When your student first requests clinical services, they’ll complete a brief 20-30 minute consultation session to determine which services best fit their needs.
  • Individual Counseling: Individual counseling sessions address a wide-range of concerns, including depression, anxiety, relationship and family problems, eating concerns, cultural difference concerns, interpersonal violence, etc.
  • Group Counseling: Groups vary each semester and may include interpersonal problems, alcohol and substance abuse recovery support, family issues, etc.
  • Mental Health Workshops: Weekly workshops cover a wide variety of mental health topics including resiliency skills, sleep hygiene, perfectionism, and mindfulness.
  • Crisis Intervention: Urgent psychological help and triage is available.
  • HOPE Line: The H.O.P.E. (Help Over the Phone Everywhere) Line is available 24/7 for students to call for immediate support, crisis intervention, and stabilization from a licensed mental health counselor.
  • Outreach Programs: We offer mental health programming and education across campus.
  • Self-Help Resources: Search our online self-help library for materials related to psychological well-being.
  • Referrals for Psychiatric Service: Medication evaluation and treatment are available at Student Health Services and other local offices.

Adjusting to campus life

The transition from high school to college may bring a mix of excitement and anxiety as your student says goodbye to familiar patterns, and welcomes new connections and possibilities.

Challenges

Some of your student's new experiences as a first-year student can bring both anticipation and anxiety. These may include living with roommates, new relationships, new - and more challenging - academic expectations, more personal freedom (and more personal responsibility), and new organizational and social engagements. The Student Counseling Service is ready to support your student in their transition.

Stressors: While the early months of university life are engaging and exciting, your student will likely run into some stressful situations as well. Some of the more common sources of this stress are:

  • Handling disappointments, like not getting into preferred classes and organizations, or getting that first disappointing grade.
  • Balancing more personal freedom with obligations—staying on track with classes, assignments, jobs, social connections, volunteer activities, and still finding time for themself.
  • Staying mindful, taking care of themself, exercising, eating well, and sleeping—all the excitements and challenges of university life can make this a hard priority to maintain.
  • Feeling different: Meeting peers from very different backgrounds and cultures; having different values or goals; fears about comparing financial resources; concerns about body image and personal attractiveness.

What to do? Tips to give your student:

  • Give it time. Remember that most students will have a period of adjustment during which they will feel anxious and uncertain, even if they don’t show those feelings. Your student should allow time to develop new routines and settle in.
  • Make self-care a priority. Establish good routines for eating and exercise and maintain good sleep and hygiene. Take time to laugh and relax with friends. Your student should avoid using alcohol or drugs to help them cope.
  • Get involved, make connections, and maintain the kinds of social ties that help your student feel good about themself.
  • Stay on top of academic expectations: go to classes, study regularly, and keep up with assignments, starting from the first week.
  • Talk it over. Residence Life staff are there to help. Your student can talk with roommates, new friends, or faculty members. If your student's concerns seem “beyond the norm,” counselors at the Student Counseling Service are available to help as well.

Group counseling

For many concerns, group therapy is an extremely rich, intense, and powerful road to personal growth. Research and experience show that group therapy can be, in most cases, as effective as individual therapy, and even more effective and/or desirable than individual therapy for addressing certain concerns (i.e., social anxiety, substance abuse, eating disorders, etc.). In group therapy, your student has access to two trained therapists and up to eight other "therapists" (other group members) who provide feedback. Groups can be helpful in reminding your student that they are not alone, and provide a safe and helpful space to discuss and practice new approaches. Group counseling at the Student Counseling Service is always free. Read more about frequently offered groups on the Student Counseling Service website »

Dog therapy

Students petting a dog.

A primary goal of SCS is to promote positive mental health and well-being among Miami University students and our dog therapy program is one way we meet this goal. Interacting with animals is a proven way to decrease stress and feel a sense of connection and acceptance.

What is Dog Therapy?

Therapy dogs provide comfort and companionship to increase emotional well-being, promote healing, and improve the quality of life for those who interact with the therapy dog.

At SCS, our amazing TDI-certified (Therapy Dogs International) therapy dogs provide a calm, centering experience in a stressful week or semester. When in-person services resume, dog therapy is offered weekly at SCS, with special programs during midterms and final exams. Your student's residence hall or student organization can also request a visit for their campus program. Meeting with a therapy dog offers a chance for hugs, pets, and lots of non-verbal sharing! Learn more about dog therapy on the Student Counseling Service website »

Frequently asked questions

How does my student make an appointment with the Student Counseling Service (SCS)?

Just call the SCS at 513-529-4634 Monday through Friday during open hours. We are located at 195 Health Services Center, 421 South Campus Avenue.

Are the services at the SCS confidential?

All services at the SCS are confidential, and are separate from your academic record at the University. We will share this information only at your request, with your signed permission, or in an emergency situation, to assure your safety and the safety of others, according to the law.

Does my student have to pay to see a counselor at the SCS?

The SCS is committed to providing affordable services and being sure no student is ever turned away due to financial issues. Our fees may also be reduced or waived; your student should ask their counselor for more information.

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