Counseling Services

IMPORTANT NOTICE:

As of March 16, Counseling Services staff are meeting with students via telephone and video conferencing only; we are no longer meeting with students in person.   This practice, known as  "telemental health" or "telehealth" service, is part of our effort to reduce the spread of the novel corona virus, and we will resume in-person sessions when the university resumes normal operations.  If you would like to schedule an appointment call 478 445 5331, email our office manager, or if you already have a relationship with a counselor, email your counselor directly.

Students are also encouraged to access self-help resources through our free online library of engaging, interactive programs for support with anxiety, depression, insomnia, communication and more. Sign up or sign in here with your Bobcats email

If you are concerned about the wellbeing of any GC student for any reason, you can contact the CARE Team.  Anyone at risk for acting on thoughts of harming themselves or others, should seek help immediately by calling 911, the Georgia Crisis and Access Line at 1 800 715-4225 (for assistance with mental health or substance abuse issues) or the National Suicide Hotline 1 800 273-TALK (8255). 

 

 

Mission Statement:  

"The mission of Georgia College Counseling Services is to enhance student success and promote a safe and healthy academic environment by attending to the psychological, emotional, and developmental wellbeing of students. We encourage personal responsibility, respect human dignity, and value the differences among people."

Counseling Services is a supportive and accepting environment for students of all belief systems and identities.    


Counseling Services provides voluntary, confidential and free professional counseling to enrolled students for a wide range of issues, including:

Personal Issues: A whole array of individual concerns, such as relationship issues, anxiety, depression, trauma, adjustment to college and health problems.

Academic Skills: Time management, study skills, test-taking, test anxiety

We also provide:

Psychiatric Services:  Short term medication management.

Alcohol and Other Drug Education: Learning more about alcohol and other drugs, screening and referral for treatment if needed

Referral:  Assistance in locating additional sources of help, both on and off campus, including times when issues are beyond our scope of practice

Consultation: We consult with students, faculty, staff and concerned family members about problems students might be having. While we cannot discuss any specific client's information, we are happy to suggest ways of addressing certain kinds of behavior or help facilitate a referral to our office or to some other service.  

 

    Concerns about anyone on campus who may present a risk to self or others (docx)

If you are are at immediate risk of harming yourself or someone else go to the Emergency Room of any hospital, call 911 or contact contact Public Safety at 478-445-4400. 

*If you call Counseling Services about an emergency situation during office hours (M-F 8 AM-5 PM), tell us it is an emergency, and someone will see you immediately for a safety assessment
*If you experience an emergency outside of normal office hours, go to the Emergency Room of any hospital, call 911 or contact contact Public Safety at 478-445-4400.

Do not use email to communicate during an emergency. 


If you are experiencing a crisis, you may also call the

Georgia Crisis and Access Line at 1 800 715-4225 (for assistance with mental health or substance abuse issues) or the

National Suicide Hotline 24 hours per day 1 800 273-TALK (8255)



When to Call Counseling Services

  • A student is depressed, extremely anxious or psychotic
  • A student has difficulty controlling emotions and/or behavior, and has not responded positively to your attempts to problem solve
  • A student’s weight and eating behavior is a concern
  • A student’s substance use is a concern
  • A student appears to be in an abusive relationship
  • A student is experiencing grief or loss
  • Whenever you are concerned about a student


The Georgia College CARE Team (Crisis Assessment, Response and Education) is a resource for anyone at Georgia College who is concerned that an individual on campus may pose a potential threat to him/herself or others (doc). The individual may be a student, staff or faculty member, or a visitor.  Call 445-7475 (445-RISK) to report concerns. A person is available to answer the phone 24 hours per day.

The CARE Team is not the appropriate place to direct concerns about a present or imminent emergency - those concerns should go directly to GC Public Safety at 445-4400.

If you are in distress and think that you may harm yourself or someone else go to the Emergency Room of any hospital, call 911 or contact contact Public Safety at 478-445-4400.

During office hours, you may come to Counseling Services or call us at 478-445-5331.  If you think that you may be in danger of harming yourself or someone else, tell us it is an emergency, and someone will see you immediately for a safety assessment. 

Limits of Confidentiality: Under normal circumstances, information disclosed in counseling is strictly confidential. However in emergencies, it is sometimes necessary to disclose information for the protection of those involved.  While we try to honor the student's wishes whenever we can, we will disclose information regardless of the student's preference if we believe that doing so is necessary to prevent harm.

Students Are Not Suspended For Merely Expressing Suicidal Thoughts

What goes on in personal counseling?

The exact nature of the counseling experience will vary according to factors such as the nature of the issues a student brings in to counseling and the personality and training of the counselor. In general, counseling involves identifying and building upon an individual's strengths in order to work through a challenge or difficulty. Counseling often involves gaining new insights into oneself, but it may also involve learning new strategies and techniques for coping. Many students find their needs are met after one session with a counselor or that they may benefit from a workshop or group that teaches specific skills. Workshops are usually a 1 hour commitment while groups might meet for 1 hour for about 4-8 sessions.  Individual counseling may be recommended in certain cases and your counselor will work with you to determine the best path. Those sessions are typically 45 to 50 minutes depending on what is needed. Often the work a person does between counseling sessions is a critical part of the success of counseling.

What kinds of issues might a student deal with in personal counseling?

A wide range of issues could be addressed in personal counseling. Many students find it helpful to seek counseling regarding homesickness, adjustment to college, roommate conflicts, or other relationship difficulties. Other examples of issues that a student might bring to personal counseling include coping with grief and loss, adjusting to life after divorce, and recovery after a trauma. Personal counseling also helps individuals work through or better manage depression or anxiety and to learn more effective stress management.

Is there a limit to the number of sessions of personal counseling a student may have?

Counseling Services offers short term counseling.  The majority of students are seen for five sessions or fewer, but students may receive up to 12 individual counseling appointments per academic year.  Group counseling, workshops and psychiatric appointments are not included in this 12 session limit.  At times, a student may be facing a difficulty that requires a much longer course of treatment. In such cases, Counseling Services will help secure referrals to clinicians in the community and will offer support until the connection between student and outside therapist is made. For example, we routinely refer students whose primary issues are Substance Abuse or severe Eating Disorders to off-campus providers, because treatment for these issues tends to be long term and highly specialized. While there are local treatment options for Substance Abuse, there are no residential Eating Disorder treatment facilities in the local area. 

Is counseling confidential?

Yes, with a few exceptions that are described below, counseling is confidential.  The confidential nature of counseling means that your counselor cannot share information about you with your parents, professors, roommates, or other college staff. If you would like for your counselor to communicate with anyone, we will do so with your written permission.  Exceptions to confidentiality include the following:  

  • If we believe that you pose a life-threatening risk to yourself or someone else, we may share information as necessary to prevent any harm from occurring.  In the event of imminent risk to self or others, voluntary or involuntary hospitalization may also be necessary.  
  • We are legally required to report information about the current abuse or neglect of a minor, an elderly person or a person with a disability.
  • In order to provide you with the best care, staff members may consult with or receive supervision from other professional colleagues within Counseling Services.
  • If you are involved in a legal action and a judge determines that clinical information will provide evidence bearing significantly on the case, the counselor may be mandated to release your records. A counselor may also be required to disclose confidential information as part of a defense against civil, criminal, or disciplinary action.
  • For purposes of evaluating our services, gathering valuable research information and designing future programs, the counseling services staff may utilize your clinical information. Your anonymity will be maintained by utilizing a client identification number unique to counseling services and by using aggregated data that prevents the exposure of personally identifiable information. 
  • If you are under the age of 18, your parents or legal guardian(s) must provide consent for us to provide services to you. If you are under 18, your parents or legal guardian(s) may request access to your records and may authorize their release to other parties.

Students often find it difficult to adjust to the rigors of the college curriculum.  Many report that they did not find it necessary to apply themselves in high school to perform adequately.  Additionally they recognize that parents and teachers often played a large role in helping them stay organized and managing their time.  Consequently, they may have never developed effective study habits and their academic performance is college suffers.  Students without effective strategies for studying and time management often feel overwhelmed  and anxious about tests and other demands.

For students who want or need assistance developing academic skills, we offer guidance in

  • Time Management
  • Controlling Test Anxiety
  • Efficient Study Techniques


Academic Skills Resources

Click on the links below for text or audio versions of resources offered to enhance study skills.  In addition to these titles, we have several other pamphlets and books available in the Counseling Services office. 

Text Versions

Preparing for Examinations (doc)      

Objective Examinations (doc)                       

Essay Examinations (doc)                                         

Reading for Comprehension (doc)

Learning Math (doc)

Successful Note Taking (doc)

Test Anxiety Quiz (doc)

Coping With Finals (doc)

Calculating GPA (doc)

Weekly Schedule (doc)

Audio Files

Preparing for Exams (mp3)

Objective Examinations (mp3)

Essay Exams  (mp3) 

Reading for comprehension (mp3)

Learning Math (mp3)

Successful Notetaking (wav) 

Tutoring

Tutoring for specific subjects is offered through the Learning Center.  

Learning Disabilities

Academic accommodations for students with disabilities are addressed through Disability Services

As of March 16, Counseling Services staff are meeting with students via telephone and video conferencing only.  We will resume in-person sessions when the university resumes normal operations.  

Existing clients:  For students who have an established relationship with a Georgia College counselor, we ask that you call 478-445-5331 or email your counselor to make a follow-up appointment. We see students by appointment, Monday Through Friday 8AM-5PM.  

New clients:  As we are still working out how to make our data entry systems available to students through telehealth services, we are experiencing delays in our ability to see students seeking to begin counseling with us for the first time.  We anticipate being able to see new students in the very near future.  

Students who wish to meet with a counselor via telemental health services must complete and return the "Information, Authorization and Consent to Telemental Health Services" form.  

If you call Counseling Services about a crisis situation during our office hours, tell us it is a crisis, and someone will see you immediately for a safety assessment. No appointment is necessary.  Examples of a crisis include thoughts of harming yourself or others, a recent traumatic experience or a recent loss. 

To make an appointment:

Call:  You can reach us at (478) 445 5331.

Email:  ​If you are making a follow-up appointment, you can email your request for an appointment to eveyln.palm@gcsu.edu or email a counselor directly (click here to see our counselors).  To protect your privacy, please refrain from including sensitive information in emails.   

Optum Support Line - To support students who may be experiencing anxiety or stress following the recent developments around COVID-19, United Healthcare Student Resources is offering an Emotional-Support Help Line, through Optum, providing access to specially trained mental health specialists.  ​Optum’s toll-free help line number, 866-342-6892, will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for as long as necessary. The service is free of charge to all students.

 

To seek treatment with a mental health professional off campus:

 

To seek online, video or phone based treatment with a mental health professional off campus

 

To connect with Peer Support Programs, Clubs, Groups and Organizations:  These sources of peer support are not mental health treatment and are not led by licensed mental health professionals.  These peer supports are not intended to replace mental health treatment but are a source of support for managing stress and promoting wellness.  Except where indicated, the following peer support programs, clubs and groups do not charge participants.    

Campus Based/Student Led organizations for the promotion and support of well-being and mental health.   These sources of peer support are not mental health treatment and are not led by mental health professionals.

  • Active Minds is a student led organization “dedicated to raising mental health awareness among college students, on the peer level” (activeminds.org)
  • To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA) is a student led organization “dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide” (twloha.com).
  • Collegiate Animal Therapy Society.  This student led organization provides the "opportunity to interact with Therapy Pets, thereby providing stress relief in a fun and safe environment" (gcsu.edu/campuslife/student-organizations).
  • Meditation Club.  This student led organization, which is also open to employees, seeks to “provide an open and safe environment for learning various meditation styles and techniques. Centering the thoughts of the mind has proven to be important for sustaining positive mental health” (gcsu.edu/campuslife/student-organizations).
  • Unleashing Positivity (UP) Project.  This goal of this student led organization “is to spread happiness around campus. The club will go into the community and advertise concentrations of positive thinking, emotional support, and anti-bullying within the community” (gcsu.edu/campuslife/student-organizations).

 

Community based, peer led organizations for the promotion and support of mental health:  These sources of peer support are not mental health treatment and are not led by mental health professionals.

  • The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is an advocacy group that provides education, advocacy and support for those with mental illness and their families.  The Baldwin County chapter offers NAMI Connection, a biweekly “recovery support group for people living with mental illness in which people learn from each other’s experiences, share coping strategies, and offer each other encouragement and understanding” (NAMI.org)
  • Alcoholics Anonymous.  Peer led support groups for substance abuse.  https://www.aageorgia.org/8-meetings.html
  • Narcotics Anonymous:  Peer led support groups for substance abuse.  https://www.na.org/meetingsearch
  • Al Anon.  Peer led support group for the families and friends of substance abusers.  https://al-anon.org/

 

Church based pastoral care or lay minister support.  These sources of support are not mental health treatment and are not led by mental health professionals.

  • Stephen’s Ministry is a program of the United Methodist Church that provides lay support for those coping with stressful situations.  In the Milledgeville area, the Stephen’s Ministry is offered through the First United Methodist Church (http://www.milledgevillefumc.org/stephen-ministry).
  • Fresh Hope, provides faith based, online support groups for individuals and families of those with a mental health diagnosis (FreshHopeMeeting.com).
  • Grief Share, is a faith based, structured program to assist individuals struggling with the death of someone in their lives.  The program is offered in at least three Milledgeville churches program (First Baptist Church of Milledgeville, Victory Baptist Church and Lake Oconee Presbyterian Church) at a cost of $15-20 for the 13 week course (https://www.griefshare.org/groups). 
  • Care Ministry - The website of Northridge Christian Church specifies that the church offers a care ministry that pairs individuals with a “life-experience mentor who is willing to walk with you along the journey, providing care, comfort and guidance” (http://northridge.online/care)
  • Celebrate Recovery at Freedom Church “is a Christ-centered, 12 step recovery program for anyone struggling with hurt, pain or addiction of any kind. Celebrate Recovery is a safe place to find community and freedom from the issues that are controlling our life.” https://freedomchurch.net/ministries/celebrate-recovery/

 

Online Self-Help - Theses sources of support are not mental health treatment and are not led by mental heath professionals

  • Therapy Assistance Online (TAO) is a free resource for GC students and employees that provides that provides interactive programs teaching skills for improving mood, communication, sleep. pain management, etc.  (GCSU.edu/counseling/TAO)
  • University System of Georgia Wellness programming (https://oneusgconnect.usg.edu) for University employees

 

Counseling Services is pleased to offer:


TAO is a self-help resource for students, faculty and staff available anytime, anywhere.  Try TAO's online library of engaging, interactive programs to learn life skills and to help you bounce back from disappointments in life. Sign up here with your Bobcats email. 

 

 

Office Hours:  Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  

To make an appointment: call, email or drop in

Contact Us

Counseling Services
Suite 210 Wellness and Recreation Center
134 West Campus Drive
Campus Box 61
Milledgeville, GA 31061
Phone 478-445-5331
Fax 478-445-2962
evelyn.palm@gcsu.edu

Note:  To protect your privacy, please refrain from including sensitive information in emails.   

Mental Health Awareness Video (Featuring Thunder)