VCU University Counseling Services

At UCS we aim to provide comprehensive evaluation and consultation for students on best options for their mental health care. This can include any of the following: case management, referral services to a community provider, brief individual and couples therapy, group therapy, consultation, and resiliency workshops.

All enrolled students have the opportunity to meet with a clinician to assess the specific needs of the student and how to best meet those needs. The clinician will take into consideration if the needs of the student fall within the scope of clinical services that can be provided at UCS.

UCS provides short-term mental health services to enrolled students. When a student’s needs require a different level of care, UCS works with students to transition care to community providers.

Transition of care may occur when:

  • Students need or request to be seen weekly or more than once a week for individual therapy.
  • Student need or request uninterrupted therapy from semester to semester.
  • Students need or request long-term treatment.
  • Students have concerns that will not be appropriately addressed in a short-term model of therapy.
  • Students have a significant history of mental health concerns, treatment, and/or psychiatric hospitalizations.
  • Students with active eating disorders that may require medical monitoring.
  • Students need or request services not offered at UCS:

               Intensive outpatient, inpatient treatment, or specialty services
               Substance abuse treatment or detoxification
               Mandated therapy
               Documentation for an Emotional Support or Comfort Animal
               Psychological assessment or evaluation
               Frequent consultation after-hours that cannot be stabilized with short-term crisis interventions

If a student is currently seeing a professional for therapy, and can continue to work with them, we often encourage the student to continue care with their current provider. Students who are already receiving ongoing therapy with another mental health provider are not eligible for services at UCS.

Also, at any time during counseling if a counselor determines that the student would be better served by a referral outside the agency, a recommendation and referral will be provided immediately.

How to make an initial appointment

Getting connected to UCS is easy. All you need to do is come to either of our two offices (MPC and MCV) and ask for a RAM (Referral & Assessment Meeting) appointment.

You will be asked to fill out about 10 minutes of paperwork. You will most likely meet with a UCS clinician for a same day consultation. These meetings are designed to assess student’s mental health needs and to provide information and treatment recommendations.  

Also note that during busy periods you may have to wait to see an an available counselor, but every effort will be made to meet with you in a timely manner. Please plan accordingly.  

Referral and Case Management Services

Case management services are available for all VCU students or individuals transitioning out of the VCU community. 

We offer assistance linking individuals with providers in the community for the following services:

• Individual therapy

• Couple's therapy

• Group therapy

• Support groups

• Psychiatric services

• Inpatient treatment programs

• Detoxification programs

• Reproductive health services

• Medical/dental services

• Obtaining basic needs (housing, food, etc.)

When making referrals we take into consideration a student's access to health insurance, transportation, financial situation, and clinical need.

Assistance is also provided in linking students with services in their hometown or moving destination to ensure continuity of care over the summer break or following graduation/exiting VCU.

Therapy Services

We provide therapy services for a wide array of groups including individuals, groups and couples.

Crisis Services

Walk-in crisis counseling services are available weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If you are experiencing a mental health emergency/crisis during operating hours please come in person to UCS and request to speak to a counselor. Crisis appointments are not a regular therapy session and are intended to be brief (most sessions last 15-20 minutes) and solution focused interventions addressing the crisis at hand. If it is after office hours students may contact VCU police at (804) 828-1234 and ask to speak to a counselor.

Professional Training

University Counseling Services utilizes an apprenticeship model for training. The core elements of this model entail mentoring and a developmental approach to prepare psychologists who are generalists for professional practice as entry-level psychologists with intermediate to advanced skills.

Consultation and Outreach

University Counseling Services staff is available by telephone or by walk-in appointment to offer consultation to students, staff, and faculty to discuss students who are experiencing difficulties. Our staff is also available to provide workshops and presentations to the campus community during the academic year at no charge.

International Students

Studying in a foreign country is exciting but can also be a stressful experience. VCU Counseling Services provides a variety of services related to emotional and mental well-being, and teaches learning skills to facilitate VCU students’ academic and personal goals.