Opening More Doors with UCM Counseling Services

More Available for Students’ Mental Health Support


Photo by Rachel Becker

  Students at the University of Central Missouri have access to many new opportunities to attend counseling. The UCM Counseling Center has updated walk-in hours for same-day sessions and the UCM Counseling Master’s Program Clinic is now open to student appointments.

  “Really, it’s a good opportunity for students to take advantage of services that are not going to cost them anything,” Nancy Forth, department Chair of Counseling and Educational Leadership, said. “If students don’t know where to go, they could really find themselves in a place of having a lot of mental health issues.” 

  The clinic first opened in 2000 for students in the master’s program to get needed internship hours. This is the first semester it will be open to all students.

  “When people get to the end of the program, they have an internship they have to take, they have to see clients,” Forth said. “So, rather than them finding something externally, we find that there’s a need for students on campus.” 

  Appointments for the free program can be scheduled by emailing Forth at [email protected] or contacting her office. Sessions at the Warrensburg and Lee’s Summit campuses are open for individuals and groups of no more than eight. 

  “We all have stuff, because we’re human, we’re not perfect,” Forth said. “We all struggle with something now and again. Sometimes people think ‘oh, I must be weak, that’s why I need counseling.’ Well, to reach out and say ‘something’s not right,’ that’s a strength.”

  The Counseling Center continues to offer students a service to care for their mental health. The center recently updated walk-in hours for same-day initial appointments.

  “Those are times where students who have not been here before can come in and be seen,” Jeanne Woon, Director of the Counseling Center, said. “We have been adjusting our model, just trying to make this more accessible for students.”

  The center is open to walk-ins from 1 to 3:30 p.m. on Mondays and from 9 to 11 a.m and 1 to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. According to Woon, these initial appointments are focused on making recommendations for care based on essential needs and information.

  “We are here to provide a space for students to talk about the concerns they may have, like when they have stress or anxiety,” Woon said. “There are some key exceptions, since we work under professional guidelines, but we offer them confidentiality. And it’s free.”

  According to Woon, the new walk-in model is to encourage students who are in need to come in, without the additional stress of finding time to make an appointment.

  The Counseling Center is located in Humphreys 131. Students can call 660-543-4060 to schedule a session or check on wait time for walk-ins. 

  “I think students will use it more if they don’t have an appointment, because I don’t think students are great at scheduling things like that,” Senior Lindi Moulin said. “I think it’s very important, but it’s hard to find time. Sometimes I prioritize work over mental health, and I feel like that’s pretty common to do.”

  The center also provides the 24-hour UCM Crisis Support Hotline for urgent situations at 660-543-8008. If an emergency is life-threatening, students are encouraged to call 911.