Consultations & Referrals


The Counseling & Testing Center provides consulting services upon request and dependent upon current work load demands. Consultation can take many forms, such as:

  • Consultation with faculty, advisors, or residence hall staff about ways to address particular student problems, and referring students to campus services
  • Consultation with student leaders and organizations regarding team building, group dynamics, leadership training, and effective communication; 
  • Consultation with departments and supervisors who are experiencing personnel problems and need professional advice on intervention strategies.


When you become aware that a student is having personal or family problems, it is often useful to ask  "Are you talking with anyone?" If you think that this person would benefit from a referral for counseling, and the individual is not currently getting counseling, it is usually best to express your concern and recommendation directly to the person. It is also generally better to suggest counseling and allow the student to make his or her own decision.  

If this person needs help immediately, you may need to call the Counseling & Testing Center to help schedule an appointment. If you call on behalf of a student, identify yourself and explain to the receptionist that you are helping a student make an appointment; then allow the student to speak to the receptionist to arrange an appointment time. 

  • Client confidentiality does not allow us to provide you with information about a student whom you have referred to us; but it is almost always appropriate for you to check back with the person, to see whether he or she has followed through on your recommendation. This communicates your continued interest and concern. 
  • Please remember that if you are concerned about a student and you are not sure how to proceed, call us.  We can help you determine an appropriate course of action.


The Counseling & Testing Center (CTC) offers brief therapy and other mental health treatment to students on a limited basis in order to offer support and access to all UWL and Western students. If you need long-term, emergency, or specialized treatment, CTC may suggest an outside community provider to better meet your needs. Some students choose to pursue treatment in the community instead of at CTC. You may be able to use your insurance for counseling and psychiatry in the community and our Case Manager can assist you in getting connected to care outside of CTC. 

To make sure that you get connected, CTC Case Manager can provide support while you establish care with a community provider. Once connected, they will follow up to see if your needs have been met, or if you need additional access to mental health services in the community. 

The CTC Case Manager can help you navigate insurance plans to understand your coverage and benefits for a particular mental health service or provider. If you don’t have insurance coverage in the area, they may be able to help you obtain local coverage or identify low-cost/sliding fee scale providers.

Some students with or without insurance prefer to establish care on their own. If this is the case, additional information about finding community providers is available below.  See La Crosse Area Counseling Referrals if you are looking for local services.  Also, you may want to check out this health insurance glossary for understanding the often confusing language of health insurance.

Tips for contacting and understanding your health insurance provider expanding section
  • Have your insurance card ready. On the back of the card is a customer service phone number or assistance with benefit or referral information.
  • You will be asked for your Member ID and/or Group ID. If you don't have your Member ID, most companies can look you up by your account by name, date of birth, and/or social security number.
  • Tell the insurance representative that you are looking for Behavioral Health or Mental Health. They may transfer you or provide you with a more accurate phone number to call.You may need to contact one number to verify benefit information and another for mental health referrals. Ask the following questions about your benefits:
    •  Are mental health services covered by my insurance?
    • Is there a copay and what is it?
    • Is there a deductible, and how much of the deductible has already been met this year?
  • For counseling or psychiatry, tell them you want outpatient mental health services. If you are looking for more intensive services like a hospitalization, tell them you need inpatient care.
  • Most insurance companies will email you a list of providers in your area, talk you through the options for different providers, or direct you to their website to look on your own. Be sure to let them know the zip code of the areas that you want them to look under and any transportation limitations.
  • If you are looking for services in the La Crosse area and your insurance company tells you that you are not covered in this area, tell them that you are a full-time college student in La Crosse.  They may be able to offer you a local referral option.
Tips for searching health insurance websites expanding section
  • Search your insurance company online.
  • If applicable, click on Members or Member Services.
  • Fill in demographic information such as county (La Crosse), city (La Crosse), state (Wisconsin), zip code (54601 for La Crosse).
  • Identify the type of provider that you would like to see. For counseling, choose Behavioral Health, Mental Health, Counseling, Clinical Social Work, or Psychology. For medication management, you would choose Psychiatry within Mental Health or Behavioral Health. If these are not options, please look under Specialty Providers.
  • Keep in mind that online resources may not be reliable as the customer service provider on the 800 number. If you have a question, don't be afraid to call and ask!