Frequently Asked Questions
How confidential is counseling?
At SCS all of our services are confidential and will not become a part of your academic record. No information revealed in counseling, even the fact that you attended, will be shared with anyone unless you provide written permission for your clinician to discuss this with someone specific.
Exceptions to confidentiality:
- If you are likely to harm yourself or others unless protective measures are taken
- If you lack the capacity to care for yourself
- When there is reasonable suspicion of abuse of children, dependent adults or the elderly
- When there is a valid court order for the disclosure of client files.
Mental health providers have a legal responsibility to disclose client information without prior consent in these situations. Fortunately, this is rare and all measures of security possible are taken to ensure your confidentiality. Data stored electronically is encrypted in our software system.
- Confidentiality as a Minor
If you are under the age of 18, please discuss with your clinician how confidentiality applies to you.
How do I refer someone else to go to counseling?
You may notice worrisome changes in a student's behavior and recognize their need for assistance. We suggest that you first speak to the student and express your concerns. Encourage the student to call Student Counseling Services or offer to accompany them to the office to make an appointment. It may help be with the student while the student is making a call for an appointment. You may also call and consult with our clinical staff to gather ideas about referring a reluctant student.
How will I be treated?
Students who are seen for therapy may be experiencing stress, confusion, and emotional pain. Student Counseling Services provides a safe, nonjudgmental environment where you can share your concerns openly and feel validated. We see students for a wide range of issues. SCS values students from all backgrounds and respects students' beliefs, values, and viewpoints. We welcome students of all ethnicities, religious traditions, sexual orientations, gender identities, ages, nationalities, abilities, and socioeconomic classes.
Successful therapy requires teamwork between students and clinicians. We want to work with you to meet your therapy goals and increase your sense of satisfaction, both academically and personally.
Is it for me?
People request counseling for a variety of reasons, ranging from mild, situational issues to more serious and complex problems. Our clinicians are all trained as generalists who can help you with a wide range of issues. Because we provide short-term services, we may discuss other referral options as well. For the past few years, the top four issues students brought to counseling were:
- Relationship Concerns (roommates, romantic partners, etc.)
- Depression and/or Anxiety
- Academic Concerns (study skills, time management, test anxiety)
- Family Issues
What are the first steps for my first appointment?
You may call (662) 325-2091 or come by the SCS office to set up an initial appointment. We do not make appointments or engage in counseling via e-mail or text due to concerns for confidentiality and irregular monitoring of incoming messages.
When you make an appointment, you will be asked to arrive 30 minutes early to complete forms related to your situation. Your initial visit will consist of discussing the concerns that bring you to counseling and developing a treatment plan, which may include referral.
What are the qualifications of the counselor?
Your counselor may be a psychologist, counselor, social worker, or a graduate level psychology or counseling trainee. Trainees will be supervised by licensed staff members. You can meet our staff here and ask for someone specific when you call to make an appointment.
What is the cost for services?
Counseling services are free for eligible students. A fee is charged for psychiatric evaluations and follow-up visits through the Longest Student Health Center. For psychiatric services, you must have a referral from a health center clinician or your SCS counselor.
Who is eligible for counseling?
All currently enrolled MSU students (unless they are benefits-eligible MSU employees) are eligible to receive our services as recommended after their initial assessment with a clinician.