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Welcome Back from the Howard University Counseling Service
The University Counseling Service (UCS) is a campus resource to support your mental health.
There are a variety of services to meet the myriad student needs at Howard University.
At UCS, we direct students to services depending upon their needs, availability and, local and state guidelines on teletherapy and the best standard of care. UCS services include one-on-one sessions with a counselor, group therapy sessions, workshops and medication management. In some cases, UCS may refer students to providers and resources in the UCS referral network.
Appointments are scheduled by calling our main line at 202-806-6870 weekdays from 8am to 5pm est. During this initial call, an administrator will ask a few questions before setting up your intake appointment.
To start services, you will meet with a staff member for an initial intake or consultation appointment. This initial interview appointment is used to discuss your needs so UCS can determine the most appropriate services for you. Please plan to spend approximately 45-60 minutes to complete the intake/consultation process at UCS. The appointment is conducted on MS Teams (or phone when required). Your intake interviewer will follow up with you within 1-3 business days after the Tuesday after your intake/ consultation appointment. This after-Tuesday time frame allows the UCS team to review the weekly new cases, and assign them to an appropriate provider.
Individual counseling provides you with the opportunity to work one-on-one with a counselor. Our counselors, in-house and external, provide a safe and nonjudgmental environment for you to address the issues that are most important to you.
Contingent upon capacity, students receive a maximum of eight (8) sessions per academic year. These services may range from short-term individual counseling, group therapy, self-guided interventions, psychiatric care, medication management and other interventions as required.
Consistent attendance is emphasized and required. Cancellations require at least a 24-hour advanced notice. An absence without notice between you and your counselor/therapist will result in termination of services.
The University Counseling Service (UCS) offers a full range of group experiences:
Most of the UCS staff members have advanced certification in group treatment and/or extensive group training. UCS has a history of providing groups as a primary treatment modality for Howard students. We offer both time-limited and long-term psychotherapy groups. We also offer time-limited counseling groups addressing general concerns as well as time-limited counseling groups organized around central themes.
Group counseling helps you to improve your relationships, learn about yourself and others and reduce loneliness. UCS offers several different topics of groups that focus on emotional well-being.
Members and facilitators are bound by confidentiality.
Evaluation and Medication Management
Psychiatric evaluation and ongoing management of psychiatric medication is available to all enrolled students and is provided by a licensed psychiatric physician.
Privacy and Confidentiality
Federal regulations allow UCS to use or disclose protected health information (PHI) from your record in order to provide treatment, obtain payment for services or other professional activities called “health care operations” (e.g., consultations and quality improvement activities).
Your signature gives us permission to use or disclose PHI for these activities. This consent is voluntary, and you may refuse to sign it. However, we are permitted to refuse to provide health care services if this consent is not granted or later revoked.
All information you provide during the intake and any future contacts are done voluntarily. What you choose to share will be kept in strict confidence. External referrals will be made with written authorization. Exceptions to this rule may apply in cases where there is imminent danger to you or others, the consistent threat of imminent harm to self or others and past or present child or adult (elderly person/vulnerable adult) abuse.
This facility provides clinical training for graduate students in the mental health profession. Therapy/counseling sessions, therefore, may be audiotaped and consultation with a senior licensed clinical staff member will be a part of the training process to ensure that you receive the highest quality of care. The provisions of confidentially are binding whether you are seen by a staff member, external resource or trainees.
Questions about privacy and confidentiality?
If you have further questions about privacy and confidentiality, do not hesitate to raise them with your intake interviewer.
Referring Others to UCS
It is an important and sometimes difficult task. Suggested guides to approach someone whom you feel needs help:
Every year many students, faculty, and staff call or come to the University Counseling Service expressing concern for a student, whether that person is a friend, relative, or roommate.
We recommend that you approach the student you are concerned about in a gentle, caring, and non-judgmental manner and specifically state why you are concerned.
Then suggest that they seek out a professional assessment at the University Counseling Service.
Most often, the student will feel relieved that there is help available and will agree to make an appointment.
If you want to offer extra support, you can have the student call UCS from your office or room, and/or you may offer to accompany the student to the UCS lobby for their initial appointment.
If the person you are concerned about refuses to get help immediately (and it is not an emergency situation), remain friendly and open to the possibility that they may want your help in the future.
Some students may feel ambivalent about seeking help from any source, including the University Counseling Service.
A direct response to such ambivalence can sometimes be helpful: "If your problem can not be resolved at the University Counseling Service, they can direct you to the appropriate place."
If you decide to be more explicit about your concern, feel free to contact the University Counseling Service (202 806-6870) to discuss different options of how to handle the crisis. A clinician will help you to assess the situation and assist your friend:
Proposing possible interventions
Find the best way to make a referral, if necessary
Explore resources internal and external to the University
Clarification of what is going on and how you can be more effective
Feel free to consult with us about any concerns you may have. Call (202) 806-6870 to be directed to a triage clinician.
Crisis Line Information
Howard University Crisis Line 202 345-6709
The Howard University Crisis Line (HUCS) is an after-hours phone line rotated by the UCS senior clinicians to assist Howard students with mental health emergencies that may occur when our office is closed. The HUCS Crisis Line number is 202 345-6709. This line is available on weekdays after 5pm, on weekends, and holidays. During our office hours, the crisis line is forwarded to our general line 202-806-6870, where a clinician can be reached.
If you call the crisis line, you can expect the following:
- You will be asked to provide your name and student ID so that we can most effectively assist you. If you decline to do so, we will still work to provide the help that you need.
- If you are not a current Howard student, our clinicians will provide you with other crisis line numbers.
- Our on-call clinician will ask questions to assess your level of safety and help determine if you need emergency services or assistance in remaining safe (e.g., Mobile Crisis intervention, notification of your emergency contact or family member, in-hospital assessment by a psychiatrist).
- If you are safe and you need to consult about an urgent mental health issue, our on-call clinician will provide a supportive consultation that may last up to 30 minutes.
- At the end of your consultation, the on-call clinician may encourage you to contact the University Counseling Service for an intake the next day or as soon as you are available to do so.
- If you are already in therapy with an HUCS therapist, the on-call clinician will likely inform your therapist about your call so that this can be discussed in your treatment, if needed.
- Please note that we are currently equipped to attend to one call at a time. If your call is not answered, please call back 10 minutes later, if possible. You are also encouraged to call or text 988 (number below) or call 911, if needed.
While the HUCS Crisis Line is available to assist with after-hours urgent mental health matters, there are other options available to help meet your needs.
If you are experiencing a life- or-death emergency, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.
If you “just need someone to talk to” OR you have an urgent mental health matter or are feeling suicidal, you can call:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 988 (can call or text)
Emotional Support Animals
The University Counseling Service does not provide letters of support/recommendations for Emotional Support Animals (ESA).
Call Schedule an Appointment
University Counseling Service
202-806-6870 - 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM ET