Mental health services and support groups available at UW-Whitewater

Mental+health+services+and+support+groups+available+at+UW-Whitewater

Hello Warhawks, 

As the primary providers of mental health care on campus for students, we want to take this opportunity to provide a brief response to the opinion submission from November 30, 2020, titled UW-W Needs Mental Health Support Groups, and provide clarity about the mental health services that UW-Whitewater offers. We are so delighted that people are bringing up the importance of mental health and needs for service on campus. 

There are two places that students can seek mental health services on campus. University Health and Counseling Services (UHCS) is UW-Whitewater’s primary counseling center that provides free, confidential services to all students (https://www.uww.edu/uhcs/counseling-services). UHCS is staffed by licensed professionals who provide individual, couples, and group therapy (more on that below!). They also have the ability to work with walk-in crisis situations during our regular operating hours, and UHCS does not directly provide a 24-hour crisis line that students are able to call at any time (as indicated by the previously printed submission). Rather, after hours, UHCS refers students to the 24-hour crisis line managed by Walworth County to ensure that students can have their mental health needs met even after campus services are closed. 

In addition to UHCS, Winther Counseling Services (WCS) is another free and confidential counseling service offered to students at UW-Whitewater (https://www.uww.edu/coeps/departments/counselored/winther-counseling-services). WCS is unique because it is staffed by graduate students in the Counselor Education department who are working toward completing their degree in counseling. The student counselors at WCS are supervised by faculty in the Counselor Education department who are all licensed professional counselors. UW-Whitewater students who seek services at WCS not only get to benefit from the free services offered, but they also get to provide graduate students with an incredible opportunity to learn. 

What we want the Warhawk community to know in response to the aforementioned opinion submission is that we do in fact offer many different kinds of groups and have been providing them as part of our services for many years! We agree wholeheartedly with the author’s suggestion that groups can be a powerful form of therapy. In fact, many studies show that group treatment is equally effective as individual treatment at times.  

Across both clinics, we offer all kinds of groups. Some are skills based (learning how to manage anxiety or strong emotions better), some are identity based (e.g. LGBTQ, Students of Color), some are specific to certain experiences (e.g. Sexual Assault Survivors; Making Social Connections; Finals Prep), and some are more open ended “process” type groups where you simply “come as you are” to talk about what’s going on in your life. And, we are open to suggestions… if we can find the time, place, and people, we’ll try to make it happen. We would love to fill as many groups as possible – it’s a great use of services. 

Joining a group may seem intimidating for some at first, and there is great power in reaching out and connecting to others. Most often people will end up saying something like “I wasn’t sure at first, and it was so great to hear that I’m not the only one going through this.” Please, if you would like more information about how groups work, or questions about how to start therapy at all, don’t hesitate to call either of our offices and we’re happy to talk with you. Thanks and stay well, Warhawks! 

The Faculty, Staff, and Students of UHCS & Winther Counseling Services 

If you experience an emergency:

  • UHCS is open for crisis appointments from 8 am-4:30 pm, Monday-Friday, on normal business days. WCS is open Monday- Thursday from 9 am – 8:00 pm and does not provide crisis services. If you are in crisis outside of normal hours, you agree to:
    • Call Campus Police at 262-472-4660 to be connected with support services 
    • Go to the nearest emergency room or call 911
  • Additional crisis resources:
    • Local:
    • National:
      • Phone:
        • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (8255)
        • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 
      • Text/chat:
        • Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741
        • IMAlive Crisis Chat: www.imalive.org
        • Lifeline Crisis Chat:  https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/
        • National Domestic Violence Hotline: https://www.thehotline.org/
        • Trevor Lifeline (for LGBTQ young people under 25): 1-866-488-7386 
        • TrevorText (for LGBTQ): Text START to 678-678
  • During COVID, a number of agencies have worked together to offer crisis counselors to address any concerns that were exacerbated by the quarantine/economic impact/etc. Call 2-1-1 to speak with a crisis counselor. Ongoing sessions are also available after your initial contact, for free.
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