Welcome to Counseling Services

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We are so glad you’re here!

The therapists of Counseling Services provide treatment to all enrolled Central Ohio Technical College students. Services provided include individual therapy, group therapy (on an as needed basis), education/consultation, on-campus referrals, and off-campus referrals within the community. All of these services are free and confidential.

If you are an enrolled COTC student, you can schedule an appointment one of three ways:

  1. Call the Office of Student Life front desk at 740.364.9578 to request an initial appointment.
  2. Email a therapist at depriest.17@osu.edu, hughett.12@osu.edu or harris.137@osu.edu.
  3. Complete this form to request an appointment – Counseling Services Appointment Request Form

If a student is interested in counseling through our office, the student will be forwarded to complete our intake paperwork. Once that paperwork is completed, the student will be scheduled with a therapist for a one-hour intake assessment. Every effort is made to try to schedule the student ASAP, but please know that our schedules tend to fill quickly, especially at certain times during the semester. After the intake assessment is completed, the student will either be referred for short-term counseling through Counseling Services, referred to on-campus resources and/or referred to off-campus resources. The therapist will assist the student with the referral process. If the student is deemed appropriate to receive counseling through Counseling Services, please know that we offer a limited amount of sessions (typically 10 per academic year) for students.

We look forward to hearing from you!

If you are in immediate danger of harming yourself or others, please call 911 or go to the closest Emergency Department. For local resources, call 211 or text your zip code to 898.211.

Forms

Clickable Mindwise online free behavioral health screen

Our counselors are committed to serving diverse students.

Our counselors are required to maintain their State of Ohio license by completing at least 30 hours of continuing education bi-annually. In order to better meet our students’ needs, our counselors are committed to continue learning about the needs of our students.  While gaining education about diverse topics is ever evolving, here are some of the trainings our counselors have completed during 2020:

  • Multiple webinars focused on student mental health during the pandemic
  • 6-week series focusing on providing culturally competent services to our Muslim students and families
  • What does it mean to be Anti-Racist?
  • The Color of Trauma: Validating Experiences, Accepting Differences, and Acknowledging Mistakes
  • Supporting International Student Mental Health during Changing Times
  • The Ethics of Being an LGBTQ+ Ally
  • Creating Welcoming and Inclusive environment for LGBTQI students
  • Addressing Racial Bias in Social Work Practice
  • Affirmative Therapy for Transgender/Gender Diverse Youth & Adolescents
  • Military Culture & Working with Military Families
  • Alcohol and Substance Use Disorders within the Military Population
  • Addressing Suicide with Military-Connected Families
  • Ethical Considerations for working with Military Members and Veterans
  • 2020 CIRC Conference “Continuing to create a community of belonging”

Our counselors are dedicated to ensuring that a student’s mental health needs are being met. They treat all students, staff and faculty with courteous and respectful communication.

Who is eligible for counseling?

Counseling services are free to currently enrolled students at Central Ohio Technical College. College Credit Plus Students are not eligible for this service and should refer to their sponsoring high school for assistance.

Why students often seek counseling?

  • Academic stressors
  • Adjusting to college
  • Anxiety and stress management
  • Family conflicts or turmoil
  • Feeling down or depressed
  • Feeling stressed out or overwhelmed
  • Focusing or inattention concerns
  • Grief and Loss
  • Organizational issues
  • Perfectionism
  • Relationship concerns
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Resource referrals
  • Sexual Orientation/Identification
  • Sleep problems
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Time management issues

What can I expect in counseling?

Counseling Services is interested in your personal, academic, and intellectual growth.  Some students meet with their counselor on a weekly basis, some on a bi-weekly basis, and others at varying intervals.

In these 45-minute to one-hour counseling appointments, you and your therapist talk about what is causing you distress currently and explore ways to understand and alleviate these concerns. If you are 15 minutes or more late for your appointment, you will be asked to reschedule.

Initially you will attend a one-hour intake assessment with the therapist; this appointment must be held face-to-face (whether virtually or in person). You may or may not receive a mental health diagnosis at that time. The therapist will further explain your diagnosis and answer any questions you may have about your diagnosis. Then, you will be scheduled for either weekly or bi-weekly 45-minute to one-hour counseling appointments with a therapist. Together, you will decide on strategies to address your concerns. You may also be referred to other on-campus resources, or you may receive a referral to a clinician outside of Counseling Services.

Our services are provided on a voluntary basis (students choose to come to counseling), and you need not be referred by anyone to participate in the counseling process.

Need help now?

While Counseling Services does not offer crisis management services, we can assist you to get the help you need to ensure your safety.

If you are in immediate danger of harming yourself or others, please call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Room. For local resources, call 211 or text your zip code to 898-211.

National Resources:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – Call 800.273.8255
  • Crisis Text Line – Text “START” to 741-741
  • BIPOC Resources/The Steve Fund – Text “STEVE” to 741-741
  • Ohio CareLine – Call 800.720.9616
  • Trans Lifeline – Call 877.565.8860
  • Trevor Lifeline (LGBTQI Individuals) – Call 866.488.7386
  • Veterans Crisis Hotline: 800.273.8255, press 1

What if I don’t know if Counseling Services is right for me?

It is very common for students to be apprehensive about starting counseling services:  they might not know what happens in counseling, would the counselor understand my cultural beliefs, what if the counselor doesn’t look like me, or is the counselor a safe space to explore identity issues. Students who are uncertain if they can benefit from our services can schedule a phone consultation by calling The Office of Student Life at 740.364.9578. Our counselors will gladly discuss if Counseling Services is the best fit for you. We are currently building a diverse provider referral database and we are committed to linking students to alternate referrals when the student does not feel the campus counselors would be a good fit for them.

What if I am a parent or loved one of a student I am concerned about?

Being a college student can be both an exciting and stressful time. There can be a lot of obstacles to navigate as students learn to balance academic priorities and other responsibilities. It is understandable to be concerned about your student and wondering how they will adjust to college life. While our counselors are unable to share information specific to your student, they can consult with you and offer additional information and clarification about mental health resources available to your student.

If you have concerns and would like to discuss available and helpful options for your student, you can call the Student Life Office at 740.364.9578 and request to speak with an available counselor.

Please be aware that students must contact our office on their own in order to schedule with a counselor. Faculty, staff, families, friends or loved ones are not able to schedule on the behalf of students.

By law, we are not allowed to disclose any health-protected information about any of our clients without a client’s written consent except if a client is an immediate threat to themselves or the community. Please talk to your student regarding whether you have permission to their health information before asking us about their treatment with us.

What if I am a faculty or staff member, and I am concerned about a student?

As a faculty or staff member, some students may feel comfortable sharing more personal information about themselves with you. Your response can be a critical factor in determining whether the student accesses available mental health resources. It is important to know what to look for and how to reach out for consultation if you are concerned about a student.

Here are some possible signs of distress:

Academic
  • Excessive procrastination
  • Change in performance
  • Repeated requests for special consideration or accommodations
  • Excessive absence or tardiness
  • Excessively anxious when called upon in class
  • Unusual or change interaction patterns
  • Inability to stay awake in class
  • Disruptive or threatening behavior
  • Written work with reference to self-harm or content that appears bizarre
Behavioral Concerns
  • Change in appearance and hygiene
  • Dramatic weight gain or loss
  • Swollen or red eyes
  • Uncharacteristic changes in mood
  • Impaired speech
  • Inappropriate or exaggerated emotional reactions
  • Smell of alcohol/marijuana, or evidence of excessive alcohol/drug use
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Disrupted sleep or appetite

If you have concerns for a student, call the Student Life office at 740.364.9578 to consult with a counselor or to discuss how to make a referral. When our representative answers, please say that you are a faculty or staff member and would like a call back from a counselor. As always, if you are aware of immediate risk of harm to a student or anyone else, call 911.

  • Please be aware that students must contact our office on their own in order to schedule with a counselor. Faculty, staff, families, friends or loved ones are not able to schedule on the behalf of students. You may contact us while the student is present, however we will need to speak directly to the student.

What should I do after referring a student?

  • Follow up. It can be helpful to arrange a time to speak with the student again after making a referral. This helps to communicate your concern and interest.
  • Maintain. Continue to provide clear and consistent boundaries and expectation with the student in your staff or faculty role.

Can I get an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) letter?  

Emotional Support Animals are pets that help their caregiver deal with everyday life while they are struggling with a mental health condition, such as depression, anxiety, PTSD or certain phobias. These animals are not formally trained to help their caregivers meet their emotional needs. According to the American Disabilities Act (ADA), ESAs are not considered services animals and they do not have the same rights. Service animals can accompany their owners anywhere in a public setting according to the ADA. On the other hand, ESAs need advanced approval as an accommodation. For example, ESAs may be permitted as a travel companion on planes or live with their owner in a housing unit if an ESA letter is provided by a qualified professional (primary care physician, licensed mental health professional such as a therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist). 

Additionally, students who reside in a housing unit may ask our therapists to write an ESA letter in order to have an animal stay with them under the Fair Housing Act. Our therapists will not write letters for ESAs for housing, travel accommodations or course accommodations unless clinically necessary for students who are actively participating in on-campus counseling services. Ultimately, the decision to write an ESA letter for a student is up to each individual therapist’s clinical discretion. However, our therapists are happy to connect the students with a community-based provider to help determine disability status and need for an ESA or Service Animal if needed.  

What are some additional community-based resources?

The listed community resources are provided for informational purposes only and are not “approved” or “endorsed” by Central Ohio Technical College.

Addiction Resources:
SAMHSA National Helpline

Career Resources:

Food Resources:

Housing/Shelter Resources:

Legal Resources:

Local Department of Job & Family Services Websites:

Medical Support:

Other Resources:

Transportation Services:

Veterans Services: