Curry Hall has added an exciting addition to the library and business offices – the Office of Counseling Services (OCS). The 2020 fall semester has witnessed a significant transition regarding an important part of our community. The Hilltop Monitor talked with Dr. Tricia Hager, licensed psychologist, health service provider and director of counseling services at Jewell, to find out why the need for this move was necessary.
“The Office of Counseling Services relocated to an office space that allows all staff members to be in a centralized location. Curry Hall had the available space to make this happen,” said Hager.
Curry Hall, which originated as a multi-level library, has since been condensed into a basement level library and floor level offices. Previously unused space now functions more effectively for OCS than the former location in the Yates-Gill Union.
“The Office of Counseling Services is currently functioning via telehealth to keep everyone safe during the pandemic,” said Hager.
Due to COVID-19, OCS decided that appointments would be telehealth appointments, conducted via FaceTime or Zoom, to protect everyone’s best interest. This move is intended to keep both the staff and students safer through less face-to-face interaction.
“The move has been a positive one for staff and will be for students once we are able to resume in-person services when it is safe to do so,” Hager said.
The campus has been at a consistent threat level B, according to Operation Safe Campus, for most of the semester. This is encouraging, though it is still unpredictable how long it will be until in-person appointments can resume.
In the meantime, students can schedule a telehealth appointment. The OCS is offering telehealth appointments via Zoom for Healthcare (a HIPAA-compliant platform). Students who wish to schedule an appointment can do so by emailing Dr. Hager at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (816) 415-5946. After students have scheduled an appointment, they are provided a link to the session.
“Students enter into a waiting room prior to their appointment (as you would in our office) and are admitted to the therapist’s session at their scheduled appointment time. It works very similar to how it has when students come in to our office for appointments, just in a virtual format,” said Hager.
“COVID-19 has shifted the way we deliver our services to students as we have moved to a telehealth platform to keep everyone safe. This is the only change that COVID-19 has made.
We are still offering all of the same services that we have which include individual appointments, Let’s Talk, and Cardinal Connect,” continued Hagar.
Dr. Hager also encouraged students to use Let’s Talk, which is offered Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays at 10 a.m. and Wednesdays and Thursdays at 1 p.m.
Let’s Talk is a confidential, drop-in time you can speak individually with a therapist. The program runs for 45 minutes each day. It is a great way for students to get into the office quickly and be assisted with immediate needs. These appointments are one-on-one with a therapist and have the same confidentiality as an individual appointment. When you enter into Zoom, you are admitted into a waiting room and then a private breakout room to speak individually with a therapist. Information can be found on Presence.
Cardinal Connect is also offered every Thursday from 4:00-4:45 p.m. This is a time to connect with therapists in the office and fellow peers at Jewell to gain support in this difficult time. Information for this can be found in Presence.
Mental health is important, and talking with a therapist has helped many college students deal with stress and overwhelming schedules. If you feel you need to have a chat with one of Jewell’s best listeners, don’t be afraid to contact the office of counseling services, now located in Curry Hall.