September 20, 2018

U of L Counseling Center is a “phenomenal” service with a wait

By Angela Ely —

Point of clarification: Counseling Center Director Aesha Uqdah said the center has reduced their initial assessment waitlist to around 20 names since the beginning of the semester. She said the appointment list was closed to avoid giving students the impression that they would be contacted soon after leaving their information, when students must often wait weeks for an opening.

The Counseling Center offers callers a chance to leave their contact information, and will send details about when appointment times may open up, and other community resources. Uqdah said so far, around 50 students have chosen this option.

“This situation is not ideal, but is temporary,” Uqdah said.

“We are committed to working hard to assist students who are in need of psychological support and are also continuing to provide resources and referral sources on and off campus.”

The U of L Counseling Center houses nine licensed therapists and seven graduate students. They also have five licensed psychologists, including director Aesha Uqdah, and five licensed counselors who have studied social work, counseling, marriage and family and art therapy. For the past three years, students have visited the center on the corner of 3rd Street and Central Avenue for mental health resources.

Right now, the Counseling Center isn’t taking any appointments, with a waitlist of almost one hundred people. They’re not accepting names for the appointment waitlist, but staff at the center will take callers’ information and follow up with information about local resources.

But what if someone can’t wait?

Uqdah said students can drop in anytime during Counseling Center hours. The center’s walk-in hours for urgent consultation/crisis intervention are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

If a mental health emergency happens on the weekend or outside of their weekday hours, the Counseling Center advises students to contact ULifeline (call at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741), a 24/7 crisis hotline for college students.

In extreme emergencies, the Counseling Center advises students to call 911 or ULPD. Students can also call the psychiatric emergency room at the University of Louisville Hospital at 502-562-3120 in cases of acute crisis.

The Counseling Center offers individual counseling, couples counseling, psychological testing and group counseling, which offers groups like Understanding Self and Others through Expressive Art and Anxiety Management. For a full list of group sessions, visit the the Campus Counseling Center’s webpage.

Group counseling requires a call to the Counseling Center or an email to the group adviser to sign up, but all other services at the Counseling Center require appointments to be made by phone or in person.

Sophomore Becca Wells started going to the Counseling Center in August, and said her experiences with have been “phenomenal.”

“I can say with 100 percent confidence I would not be alive if I had not taken the big leap of getting help. I highly recommend people use the resources we have on-campus as much as possible,” Wells said.

In the meantime, if you can wait to be put on the waitlist, the Counseling Center can take your information and email you some resources like, affordable Kentuckiana therapy, mental health apps and others. As of now, the Counseling Center says their busiest time of the year is all year, so you might be waiting a while.


Graphic by Shayla Kerr / The Louisville Cardinal

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