If you’re having mental health difficulties, remember that you can find help at the UTD Student Counseling Center, or SCC.
What is the SCC?
The SCC is a mental health clinic that serves enrolled UTD students year-round and free of charge. It is located in SSB 4.600 in the Student Services Building.
How can I reach out for help?
You begin by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 972-883-2575. The SCC should reply to your UTD email within one business day, requesting that you fill out online paperwork for an initial evaluation meeting. If you are younger than 18, the SCC will send you a minor consent form, which you will need to ask your parent or guardian to sign, or explain why you should be seen without parent permission. Once all paperwork is filled out and returned, the SCC will reach out to you as soon as possible to schedule your initial evaluation meeting. In this meeting, you and your therapist will discuss your reason for seeking help and decide on a counseling service.
What if I’m in a crisis situation and need help immediately?
For crises occurring on weekends or outside the SCC’s business hours, you can call UTD’s crisis hotline, UTD-Talk, for professional support. The phone number for UTD-Talk is 972-UTD-TALK or 972-883-8255, and it’s available 24/7.
The SCC’s open hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday, except for Thursdays, 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The SCC offers the following services:
- Individual Counseling: These are one-on-one sessions where counselors support and advise on students’ personal, emotional or behavioral goals. Students are allowed six free sessions per academic year.
- Comet Chat: This is an informal 15-minute consultation with an SCC staff member for students interested in getting more information about counseling, concerned for a friend, interested in campus resources or not interested in counseling but seeking a brief consultation. Students can book a Comet Chat appointment online.
- Couple Counseling: Also known as family counseling, couple counseling helps students and their partners or families resolve relationship conflicts and improve relational skills. Only one member of the party needs to be an enrolled UTD student, and couples don’t have to be married. Students are allowed eight free sessions per academic year.
- Group Counseling: This type of counseling aids in a student’s personal, behavioral or emotional goals through peer support. Co-facilitators are present to encourage participation and provide feedback. Availability changes by semester, but in recent years, the SCC has offered groups for personal growth, healthy relationships and dialectical behavioral therapy.
- Workshops: These sessions help students learn about and discuss common mental health difficulties. Advanced workshops are three-week series that teach students about the background information, symptoms and strategies for handling a specific mental health concern. You can view past workshops in the Workshop Library or the SCC’s YouTube channel.
- Psychiatric Services: Psychiatric services are available for SCC clients to diagnose and treat mental health disorders. The SCC may make referrals for psychiatrists in the community if a student’s counselor determines that they need long-term psychiatric assistance or psychotropic medication.
- LGBT+ Services: The SCC offers affirming individual, group, couple and psychiatric services for LGBT+ students in addition to specialized services for transgender and non-binary students seeking gender-affirming treatments and documents. You can locate a detailed guide on obtaining gender-affirming treatments and documents on the SCC website.
- My Student Support Program: My SSP is a free 24/7 remote counseling app geared towards international and out-of-state students. My SSP counselors can be reached through mobile chat, video or telephone and can speak multiple languages.
- Sexual Assault Recovery: In addition to counseling, the SCC offers immediate consultations for students who have been assaulted recently or within the last two weeks. Student confidentiality is preserved as SCC staff are exempt from mandatory sexual assault reporting. Details on reporting sexual assault and assault resources are available on the SCC website.
- Center for Students in Recovery: Services for students recovering from addiction or compulsive behaviors include individual support with a professional, recovery meetings, sober social activities, a supportive community of peers and volunteer and service opportunities.
How many services can I do at once? Will they be in-person or online?
For fall 2023 and beyond, the SCC will likely allow you to do one type of counseling at a time due to a higher demand for in-person services. However, you can couple your counseling with consultations, educational programs and the My SSP app if you desire. For those starting early in summer 2023, you can do multiple types of counseling, free of charge. You will need to reach out to the SCC separately for each semester you need counseling.
My counseling isn’t helping. What should I do?
If you’re doing group therapy and feel that you need more support, feel free to bring up your concern to a co-facilitator so they can accommodate you better. If you feel that you aren’t connecting with your individual therapist, don’t shy away from asking for a different counselor. It may seem daunting to bring up a personal connection issue, but rest assured that your counselor won’t get offended. They care about getting you the support you need, even if that support doesn’t come from them.
I’m worried about my friend or classmate. How can I help them?
To support a companion struggling with their mental health, you can encourage them to schedule an appointment with the SCC or walk with them to show solidarity. If you are worried about a friend or classmate’s immediate safety, call 911 or UTDPD. If you’re worried about a student that isn’t in a crisis situation but is exhibiting disruptive or harmful symptoms, you can contact the Dean of Students or fill out the Behavior Assessment and Intervention Team referral form to express concern.
Don’t ever feel like your struggles aren’t worthy enough to reach out the SCC. Whether you’re experiencing testing anxiety, pandemic-related loneliness, intense trauma or any multitude of dilemmas, you are valid and deserve support, and the SCC is here to help.