Health and Counseling Services

Division of Student Services

Counseling FAQs

How do I make an appointment for counseling?
Come to the Health and Counseling Center anytime Tuesdays 9 a.m.–7 p.m., and Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. or call 503/517-7349. At that time we’ll arrange a time for a brief telephone consultation with a clinician who will gather some information about the issues that you wish to address in counseling and schedule you to meet with a clinician skilled in that area. Under most circumstances that telephone consultation will be scheduled on the same day or by the next business day.

What hours is the Health and Counseling Center open?
The Health and Counseling Center is open Tuesday 9 a.m.–7 p.m., and Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

Do I have to pay for counseling?
No. Counseling services are free of charge for students.

Can the Health and Counseling Center prescribe psychiatric medications?
Yes, the Health and Counseling Center has a number of Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners and consulting psychiatrists who can prescribe. You would first meet with a prescribing clinician for a medication evaluation to see if medications are the right option for you.

What happens during my first appointment?
Your counselor will talk with you about what is bringing you in and will have some general questions about your background. There are some standard questions we ask everyone and the majority of the session will be spent talking about what has been going on for you lately and what has been troubling you.

What do I do if something has come up and I need to be seen by a counselor that day?
Walk-in appointments are available from 3 to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. These appointments are same day services for students who have had an urgent issue arise and need to be seen immediately. These appointments are brief and pragmatic. They involve identifying the problem and determining how can it be managed most effectively, with a focus on immediate support and coping.

What happens if I have a mental health crisis when the Health and Counseling Center is closed?
For urgent after hours needs, the HCC contracts with ProtoCall, a call service staffed by specially trained mental health professionals to assist with urgent psychological or psychiatric questions or concerns. ProtoCall is available whenever the HCC is closed and can be contacted directly at 866/432-1224. For emergency assistance, please call 911.

Do you have a waitlist?
We do not have a waitlist. We strive to see students as soon as possible. If your need is urgent, please indicate this when you schedule your appointment. We offer walk-in appointments every weekday at 3 p.m. for urgent or crisis situations. We do become busier at certain times of the semester, particularly in November and April, but even at those times of year we should be able to find you an appointment within a few days.

Is the Health and Counseling Center open during the break? What if I need a refill for my prescription?
Counseling services are not available during the long winter and summer breaks when the dorms are closed. However, we are open for walk-in appointments between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. during the fall and spring breaks. Your counselor or psychiatric provider will work with you about obtaining services over the winter and summer breaks and how to maintain continuity of medications, if required.

How can I obtain mental health services off campus?
If you would prefer to obtain services off campus, you are welcome to get information about referrals from the Health and Counseling Center. We maintain an up-to-date list of private practitioners in the community who are able to work with Reed students, many of whom have particular specialty areas of practice and who accept the Reed Student Health Insurance.

Does the Health and Counseling Center provide psychological testing services?
The Health and Counseling Center does not provide psychological testing services currently but we are able to refer students to providers in the community. Testing for learning disabilities is covered by the Aetna student insurance and there are low-cost options available in the community as well.

What should I do if I’m worried about the mental health of a friend?
It can be hard to have a friend who is having problems and not be sure how to help. You can always encourage your friend to make an appointment at the Health and Counseling Center. However, you can’t force a friend who is refusing assistance or support to seek help. You can try to offer friendly support by

  • letting your friend know, in a private setting, that you are worried about him/her
  • offering to accompany your friend to an appointment at the Health and Counseling Center
  • talking to your HA or RD about your concerns

You can also make an appointment for yourself at the Health and Counseling Center to speak confidentially about your friend and receive support. However, if you are concerned about an immediate risk to the safety of a friend, please contact Community Safety at 503/771-1112 or dial 911.

What kind of problems can the Health and Counseling Center help with and do I need a diagnosis?
Students seek counseling for many different reasons, including academic stress, relationship issues, and homesickness as well as issues such as depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems. While all of our counselors are highly trained in the treatment of psychological disorders, we work with a range of problems and needs.

What about confidentiality?
Confidentiality is an issue that we take very seriously. The Health and Counseling Center, the ethical principles that guide our counseling professionals, and Oregon law are all in agreement about the importance of the confidential interactions between you and your counselor. Your counselor and/or psychiatric provider will not speak about you to your parents, your friends, your professors, or anyone else without your explicit written permission. Your confidentiality is so protected that we will not even indicate whether you have been seen in the Health and Counseling Center. However, in rare and serious situations we may be legally and ethically mandated to break confidentiality. If there is a risk of serious harm or death to you or someone else, or if a court orders information to be provided, then we may need to break confidentiality. For more information, see our Confidentiality page.

Where can I find more information about maintaining my emotional health?
An excellent resource for students is a website called Transition Year, with information about how to maintain emotional health through the transition to college and beyond.