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All matriculated, actively enrolled Upstate students are eligible for an initial consultation with SCS. Recommendations about further services are made based upon the student’s clinical needs and may include referral to the community if we judge that this is the best avenue to meet those needs.

SCS does not provide services to students on extended leaves of absence. SCS also does not provide services that are mandated or required by any academic, judicial, or other party. Students who are mandated to receive counseling may contact SCS for referrals to the community.

All SCS services are free to matriculated students; however, students are responsible for the cost of any medications that may be prescribed.

Students in Crisis

In the case of a genuine emergency, students should call 911 or go directly to the nearest emergency room. Students not wishing to be seen at Upstate's emergency room can go to CPEP at St. Joseph's Hospital (301 Prospect Ave., Syracuse, 315-448-6555). CPEP (Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program) is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to anyone with an emotional or psychiatric crisis. Students in crisis may also contact University Public Safety at 464-4000 for assistance.

Other options include:

  • CONTACT (315-251-0600) provides free, anonymous 24-hour telephone counseling, crisis intervention, and referral for ongoing services.
  • Crisis Text Line provides free, anonymous crisis intervention via text https://www.crisistextline.org/

Please note that Student Counseling does not provide 24-hour crisis services. Phone messages left after business hours will not be received until the following business day. Students in crisis during business hours may call 464-3120. Let the secretary know that your need is urgent when you call. We will return your call as soon as possible to determine if follow-up assistance or intervention may be indicated.

For more options in crisis situations:

Individual Counseling

Students interested in services will have an initial consultation with a staff psychologist. Further recommendations will be based on that meeting and may include ongoing counseling through Student Counseling. Counseling can help students address a variety of concerns, including stress management, adjustment difficulties, anxiety and relationship problems. Most students find brief intervention - often six sessions or less - to be sufficient to meet their needs; however, the length of counseling is determined on a case-by-case basis by the student and his/her therapist. Students presenting with significant mental health issues or difficulties that require long-term psychotherapy may be referred to a community provider. In such cases students are responsible for the cost of services.

Sometimes, students ask to work only with a therapist of a particular gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, or ethnicity. Student Counseling seeks to provide an environment in which students feel safe exploring difficult personal issues; however, this safety is based on much more than a therapist’s demographics. We believe that judging a therapy’s potential effectiveness solely by the therapist’s personal characteristics is harmful to both student and therapist. For these reasons, Student Counseling does not practice demographic-based “matching” of students with therapists.  

Couples Counseling

Student Counseling offers treatment to couples, regardless of sexual orientation. At least one member of the couple must be a student at Upstate. Students in need of couples therapy may be referred to a clinic specializing in that service (e.g., the Goldberg Couple and Family Center at Syracuse University) if there is not a therapist available to take the case at the time of referral.

Psychiatric Referral/Treatment

Advanced residents in psychiatry work through Student Counseling to provide consultations and ongoing management of psychotropic medications to students in need of such services. Although this service is free, the cost of the medication is the student's responsibility. Please note that resident availability is limited. When a resident is not available to work with students, Student Counseling will provide referrals to community psychiatrists. In such cases the cost of services will be the student’s responsibility.

Referral for Disability Evaluations

Students seeking academic or other types of accommodations (e.g., emotional support animals) for learning disabilities, ADHD or psychiatric disabilities should be advised that Student Counseling does not provide evaluations or letters to document the presence of disabling disorders and does not make recommendations to the University concerning accommodations. Students in need of such evaluations are invited to call Student Counseling at 464-3120 for referrals to clinicians in the community. Students should contact the Office of Disability Services directly to learn more about the process of obtaining accommodations.