Parent Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make an appointment for my son or daughter?

We are currently offering all of our services remotely via Zoom PHI, a HIPAA-compliant video platform, to protect the health and privacy of students and staff. Please call with questions rather than physically coming to the Counseling Center.

Students need to call and make their own appointments. The Counseling Center schedules first-time appointments on a same-day basis. Please have your student call us at 217-333-3704. We’re open between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The earlier in the day calls are made, the more likely your student will get an appointment. If appointments have already filled for the day when they call, they can ask to speak with a triage counselor who will listen to what’s going on and help them figure out the best solutions for them at that moment. View Making the Initial Appointment for more information.

Can I access my son or daughter’s Counseling Center records?

All Counseling Center records are confidential in accordance with Illinois mental health law. Student records can only be released to a third party with a student’s  written consent except under specific circumstances outlined in our confidentiality policy. Counseling Center records will not be a part of a student’s academic record.

What are some reasons students come to the Counseling Center?

Students come to the Counseling Center for a wide variety of reasons. Many of the students who come into the Center are experiencing academic difficulties, including time management issues, concentration problems, lack of motivation, or questions about study skills. Some students are having trouble adjusting to college life or are having conflict with a roommate or their parents. Many of our clients have a specific concern related to depression, anxiety, alcohol or substance abuse, eating concerns, or a similar clinical issue. Our counselors can help students understand troubling feelings and behaviors and help them feel better. Many students find that one of the Counseling Center’s brochures is also helpful.

Who is eligible for your services? Is there a cost for your services?

All students registered at University of Illinois are eligible for services. All registered students pay a mandatory health service fee that covers the cost of services at the Counseling Center. There are no additional charges for any of the clinical services offered at the Counseling Center. 

How many sessions does the Counseling Center offer?

The Counseling Center provides time-limited individual counseling focused on helping students develop solutions to issues affecting their academic work and personal lives. Many students find that their issues can be resolved after only a couple of sessions. The Counseling Center has an extensive group therapy program and some of these groups are a longer-term treatment option. If it’s determined that longer-term, individual counseling would be helpful, counselors can assist with referrals to resources in the community.

What types of counseling services do you provide?

The Counseling Center has a diverse professional staff that works from a variety of theoretical perspectives. We provide individual, couples’ and group counseling focused on a range of common concerns shared by students. We also provide specialized assessments for attention deficit hyperactivity disorders and learning disorders, alcohol and other drug concerns, eating disturbances, suicidal behavior, and test anxiety.

What can my student expect if he/she comes to the Counseling Center?

You will be asked to complete several confidential forms that will provide your counselor with information regarding why you have scheduled an appointment and what types of concerns you want to address in your appointment. You will meet with your counselor for about 45 minutes and s/he will then talk with you about what types of services the Counseling Center has available that would be most helpful to you.

Who are your counselors?

The Counseling Center has a diverse staff of mental health professionals, including counseling and clinical psychologists, social workers, doctoral interns, and practicum students. The majority of the Center’s staff are licensed within their profession – all non-licensed clinicians are supervised by licensed staff members.

Do you prescribe medication?

Some students find that medication, often in conjunction with counseling, can be useful in addressing their mental health concerns. Since the counselors at this center do not prescribe medication, we collaborate with physicians at McKinley Health Center and in the community. If you think your son or daughter should be evaluated for medication, the first step is for him or her to discuss this with a mental health counselor (either at the Counseling Center or McKinley Mental Health Unit). The counselor may then refer the student to a psychiatrist, primary care physician, or nurse practitioner who has the ability to prescribe medication. They will evaluate the appropriateness of medications in treating symptoms and consult with the student about their recommendations. A medication evaluation and any follow-up appointments at McKinley Health Center are covered by the health service fee. Appointments at other locations may be covered in part by student health insurance. Many of the most commonly prescribed psychotropic medications filled at the McKinley Pharmacy require a small copayment; the exact cost may vary depending on the medication. There are some medications that are not available.