Student mental health support available through drop-in counseling, skills groups, 'Let’s Talk' sessions and more

Emory Report | Oct. 6, 2021

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TimelyCare, a telehealth service that expands medical and mental health support options for students, is one of many resources Emory students can access to bolster their physical and emotional health.

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Staying physically and emotionally healthy is an important part of student academic success and overall well-being. Because of this, students on Emory’s Oxford College and Atlanta campuses can access numerous programs and services to provide support and to teach coping and resilience skills.

One valuable resource for all Emory students is TimelyCare, a telehealth service that expands medical and mental health support options—even for those who reside outside of Georgia. TimelyCare offers the following services to all students on both Emory campuses:

  • 24/7 TalkNowservices (mental health consultation anytime, anywhere; open to U.S. students and those outside the U.S.)
  • Scheduled counselingappointments
  • Scheduled psychiatric appointments
  • On-demand and scheduled medical care
  • Free group sessions with wellness-focused content for students (click the “Sessions” button at the top of the screen). TimelyCare is currently offering yoga and guided meditation sessions four days a week to further support student well-being in a proactive way.

In addition to TimelyCare, services and programs are provided by staff on the Atlanta and Oxford campuses.

Support for Atlanta campus students

Atlanta campus students can access support through Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).

Individual therapy sessions are a cornerstone of CAPS, but it also teaches students about stress management and other topics that impact student mental health.

“While many students are comfortable using traditional talk therapy services (and benefit from them), other students may not be as comfortable with the notion of accessing traditional mental health care,” says Jane Yang, interim co-executive director for CAPS on the Atlanta campus. “As a result, our agency has developed an array of programs to increase accessibility of mental health resources in different modalities. These programs can also help normalize some of the hurdles students may face, such as imposter syndrome or burnout.”

Some programs, such as individual or group therapy sessions, are only available if students become therapy clients at CAPS. Almost all services are being offered by telehealth and are open to all undergraduate, graduate and professional students on the Atlanta campus. And, Yang says, services such as drop-in workshops and skills groups do not require students to initiate therapy before accessing the program. (See below for services available to Oxford students.)

Current resources for Atlanta campus students (in addition to individual in-person therapy appointments) include:

  • Support for students in medical isolation and quarantine: For more information, visit the Student Health Services website.
  • CAPS drop-in workshops: These one-time workshops cover a variety of topics including building social connections; improving relaxation and sleep; tools to tackle anxiety or procrastination; dealing with imposter syndrome; and avoiding burnout. Students must login with their Emory credentials to access the information. Learn more or register for a workshop.
  • Skills groups: These five-session courses include “Stress Clinic” and “Coping with Difficult Thoughts and Feelings.” Students must login with their Emory credentials to access the information. Learn more or register.
  • Let’s talk: This drop-in virtual consultation service is available forall graduate and professional students and for all students living on campus, including Residence Life student staff. Learn more online.
  • Support and therapy groups: International students can find support through a drop-in group specifically for them; students are not required to be therapy clients or be located in Georgia in order to access the international student support group. Other therapy groups offered by CAPS do require that students reside in Georgia and are CAPS clients. Current therapy groups are:
  • Black graduate and professional student interpersonal process
  • BIPOC student interpersonal process
  • Graduate all gender interpersonal process
  • Grief and loss therapy and support group
  • School of Medicine (M2) therapy group
  • Surviving and thriving (trauma survivors therapy and support group)
  • Undergraduate all gender interpersonal process
  • QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) Suicide Prevention Bystander Intervention Training: These session are offered by request (click the Suicide Prevention Training tab). CAPS staff also offer presentations by request and in conjunction with campus partners and student groups.

Although many services supporting student mental health are offered by CAPS, other departments also offer resources that can support mental health through holistic wellness. For example, the Office of Health Promotion and Recreation and Wellness offer wellness coaching; Student Health Services offers nutrition counseling and education; and the Integrated Well-Being Group (a collaboration of departments from the Atlanta and Oxford campuses) created the Take a Break Toolkit, a self-guided resource to support student self-care. 

Support for Oxford campus students

Support services for Oxford College students are coordinated through Counseling and Career Services (CCS). Services are independent of those offered to students on the Atlanta campus, although there could be some shared programs in the future.

“With the pandemic came our awareness of how some programming offered via Zoom could be offered in a cross-campus manner,” says Gary D. Glass, director of CCS. “We are only beginning to envision how this might continue in the future.”

Currently, CCS programs are provided through online platforms. Well-being services include:

  • Support for students in medical isolation and quarantine (in conjunction with Oxford’s coordinator of student support)
  • Consultation regarding concerns or common mental health challenges
  • Individual counseling services for mental health concerns
  • Tele-health psychiatry services for students wanting to start or continue medication management
  • Referrals to local or Atlanta area providers for students needing specialized or extensive services that are beyond the CCS scope of care

CCS also offers support to student organizations that want to contribute to mental health and well-being. For example, CCS staff collaborates with residence hall advisors on programming that might be beneficial to students and works with the Health and Wellness Committee of SGA to train facilitators for discussions about stresses of college life.

Topics address many common challenges in college such as facing academic struggles, navigating imposter syndrome and building a community culture of well-being and respect.

“Because of our small size, we find that partnering with students extends our services in a way that reflects their unique interests while cultivating a supportive campus culture,” Glass says.