COVID-19 Updates and Changes
The University of Scranton Counseling Center
COVID-19 Planning – Updated as of March 31, 2020
Effective Tuesday, March 17, the University campus will closed until further notice. The University will continue operations remotely with classes beginning on March 30. Given the campus closure, the Counseling Center is responding to these changes by updating the provision of our services over this time.
Counseling Center operations effective 3/18/2020:
- The Counseling Center will provide mental health services remotely for the purpose of routine follow-ups, support, consultation, or assistance. Existing scheduled appointments will now be conducted by telephone and video-conferencing via the Zoom platform.
- If you wish to keep your scheduled appointment time, please know that your counselor will be emailing you to confirm this appointment.
- At this follow-up, you or your counselor may decide to continue ongoing sessions or recommend counseling services in your locality for ongoing support and counseling; efforts will then be made to assist in this referral.
- However, if you do not wish to be contacted by email or phone, please email your counselor or contact the Counseling Center to alert us of your preference or concerns.
- For any student seeking counseling for the first time or who have been absent from counseling this academic year, we are available to provide brief support, consultation, or assistance in finding resources in your area.
- All Counseling Groups will be suspended. Participants with questions may reach out to the Counseling Center or to their group facilitator regarding any plans to resume once students return to campus.
- The Counseling Center after-hours consultative service will remain available, and can still be accessed by calling University Police at 570-941-7777.
- If there is an emergency for any student on or away from the campus, they should immediately call 9-1-1 OR go to the nearest hospital emergency department OR contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
- Medication/Psychiatric Appointments - If you have been scheduled for any medication/psychiatry appointments with Tracy Jayne, PA-C here at the Counseling Center, we will be contacting you with further information.You may also contact Tracy at her office at (570) 346-3686 ext. 116 with any medication concerns.
- You may contact theCounseling Center at (570) 941-7620 Monday-Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm.
PLEASE NOTE! that this is an evolving situation! As we develop our responses based on any changes or find any additional resources for students, they will continue to be posted on our Counseling Center webpage.
Please check back to this page for more information about how our services and availability may change in response to the situation.
Managing Concerns and Emotions about COVID-19
News reports about the coronavirus, together with concerns that the virus could become more widespread, is raising a number of concerns and making some people worry. Learn more about taking care of your mental health in the face of uncertainty at this link:
- Seek accurate information and limit exposure to social media and news reports that provide no new information or inaccurate information. Here are some reliable sources of information:
- Keep things in perspective. Take a deep breath and stay focused on what the situation actually is, rather than the worst-case-scenario. It can be helpful to shift your focus to things within your control rather than things outside your control.
- Acknowledge reactions. Allow yourself time to reflect on what you are feeling and how you may be reacting to any fears and uncertainties.
- Maintain your normal day-to-day activities and keep connected. Resist withdrawing and isolating yourself. Maintaining social networks while understanding the strong recommendations for social distancing can foster a sense of normality and provide valuable outlets for sharing feelings and relieving stress. Feel free to share useful information you find on governmental websites with your friends and family. It will help them deal with their own worry. If your day-to-day activities are disrupted by college closings, attempt to create structure in your day by: scheduling a normal bedtime and wake up time; structuring your time with hobbies, homework, reading, etc.; scheduling regular phone/video contact with friends and family.
- Follow the prevention and protection tips given by medical professionals, such as the University’s Student Health Services, national medical authorities, and your own medical doctor.
- Practice calming rituals. Stay grounded in the present moment, which can help you maintain an internal sense of stability and balance when outside events feel threatening.
- Seek supports & use campus resources. Reach out to friends and family. Be aware of campus or department updates as the situation evolves. If you or someone you know has high distress that does not seem to be lessening, talk about it with others, or contact the Counseling Center at 570-941-7620. Your campus community is here to help!
- Avoid stigmatizing or generalizing. Remember to keep in mind the kindness and empathy with which we strive to treat one another at all times as we address this challenge together. Be aware if your behavior or attitudes change towards others from another country, and avoid stigmatizing anyone who is sick as potentially having the Coronavirus. Often when there is uncertainty, our thoughts can become less compassionate and more fear-based.
RECOGNIZING DISTRESS - A SELF-CHECK LIST
- Increased worry, fear, and feelings of being overwhelmed
- Depressive symptoms that persist and/or intensify
- Inability to focus or concentrate accompanied by decreased academic or work performance or performance of other daily activities
- Sleep difficulties
- Excessive crying
- Isolating or withdrawing from others, fear of going into public situations
- Unhealthy coping (e.g., increased alcohol or drug use, engaging in risky/impulsive behaviors)
- A feeling of hopelessness and/or a paralyzing fear about the future
- Sudden anger or irritability, or noticeable changes in personality
It’s not unusual to experience some — or even several — of the types of distress listed above during times of uncertainly and stress. If you notice these signs in yourself, reach out to family and friends for support, and engage in healthy coping strategies such as:
- Exercising regularly
- Eating well
- Getting adequate sleep
- Practicing yoga or meditation
- Practicing a mindfulness activity
- Taking time for yourself
- Engaging in a hobby or other fun activity
The Counseling Center is available to any student of the University community for free and confidential services. We provide individual and group counseling, situations, assessments and crisis intervention for students. The Counseling Center provides after-hours crisis consultations during the academic year. We are available to staff and faculty to assist with any concern.
The Counseling Center has implemented a new system for new students or students who may be returning after a prolonged absence.
If you are interested in counseling services, you are welcome to walk in to the Counseling Center at any time between 10:00am and 1:30pm, Monday through Thursday. When you arrive, you will be asked to complete several forms, some asking you to provide personal information. After you complete these forms, a counselor will review your information and meet with you for approximately a half hour to assess your current difficulties and reasons for seeking counseling services. The counselor will provide you with options and recommendations based on your needs.
This appointment may take up to an hour, so please reserve enough time to complete your first appointment here at the Counseling Center
If you have any questions, please contact us at 570-941-7620. If this is an emergency, please utilize University Police at 570-941-7777 or 911.
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***The Counseling Center does not provide online or remote counseling services at this time. However, the Counseling Center staff can direct online students towards a variety of supportive services within the student's locality or assist in utilizing common national online support sites based on their presenting concerns***