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Frequently asked questions about the Counseling & Testing Center

What services does the Counseling & Testing Center (CTC) provide?

We provide client-centered mental health services to our UWL campus community.  Our skilled staff members provide services to students that include individual and group counseling, crisis counseling, consultations, workshops, and various assessment. Services to the faculty and staff include consultation, service through joint committee membership, and outreach. Both the campus and larger regional community benefit from a wide variety of testing services (i.e., national, graduate, employment).

What is a triage appointment?

A triage appointment is a short, 20 minute appointment and is typically the first interaction when seeking services. The counselor will talk with you about what is bringing you into our Center, and make a recommendation on what services would be most beneficial. This may include group counseling, academic skills assistance, individual counseling, or other campus resources. Please know that if individual counseling is recommended the clinician with whom you meet for triage may or may not be the one you would continue to work with. We'll match you with the person whose skills and expertise best fit your needs. 

Summer Triage will be drop-in, in person from Monday through Friday from 12-4 pm in the CTC office at 2106 Centennial Hall. These appointments are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Students who are not in the La Crosse area this summer or need morning appointments should call the CTC office at 608-785-8073 for other availability and instructions. 

What is Urgent Care?

The Counseling & Testing Center has daily Urgent Care hours for students experiencing a mental health crisis. Examples of a crisis include: suicidal thoughts, thoughts or urges to harm another person, or a recent traumatic event.  A clinician is on-call for crisis appointments Monday through Friday from 12-4 p.m. These appointments are available to students on a first-come basis, and you can access them by coming into our Center located at 2106 Centennial Hall or calling 608-785-8073. If our clinicians determine that your current situation is not emergent we may ask you to schedule in our first available triage appointment, which is typically within 1-3 days.

What if I am in crisis when the CTC is not open?

If you are in need of help when our office is not open, there are a number of other resources available to you, 24 hours a day. These include:

We hope that you consider reaching out to these resources as well as any supports that you have in your life, such as family members, friends, residence life staff, or a faith community. Remember that there is hope and that you started looking for help by coming here!

I just got out of a hospital or other inpatient facility (for instance, for an addiction or an eating disorder), and they say I need ongoing outpatient treatment. Can I come to the CTC for that?

Congratulations on completing that phase of your treatment. We would be happy to meet with you to see if our services or a referral to a provider in the community would be most helpful. The clinicians at the CTC may not be able to provide all your treatment needs, as ongoing outpatient treatment for issues such as an addiction or eating disorder goes beyond the level of services the CTC can provide.  CTC clinicians will work with students to help bridge services and seek an appropriate level of care.

Is the CTC open during JTerm, Spring Break, or summer?

The Counseling & Testing Center is open year-round from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. Counseling services availability may be limited during academic breaks such as J-Term/Winter, Spring Break, and Summer. Other planned closures (such as all-staff training) will be posted in advance at our office, on our main website, and on the CTC's Instagram. Emergency closures or changes to services will also be posted, and students or examinees with scheduled appointments will be contacted with instructions.

I've heard there's a limit of 10 counseling visits for students at the CTC. Why can't students come to as many sessions as they want?

We don't have an official limit of sessions that students are eligible for, because we think that the length of treatment should be a recommendation from an individual student's counselor.  We also strive to see as many students as quickly as possible each year.  In order to maintain access for the broadest range of students over the course of the academic year, we use a brief, solution-focused counseling model at CTC, which is consistent with most college counseling centers. 

In the 2021-2022 academic year, more than 75% of the students we saw for individual treatment had less than 6 sessions.  If a student is looking for treatment that might occur more frequently or for a longer time period than is typical for individual counseling at CTC, they might consider group counseling for a consistent weekly treatment contact, or talk with us about community referral options. 

I think I should talk to a counselor at some point, but I don't want to use up all my sessions in case I need them even more later. Should I wait to come in?

If you think talking with a counselor would help you, please come see us rather than waiting to see if you feel worse. In fact, sometimes the very act of seeking help can help people start feeling better.  Also, the earlier you seek help the less likely you are to have your difficulties interfere with your ability to enjoy your life, engage with others, or meet your responsibilities.

Our clinicians will help generate a treatment plan to best meet your needs and will always assist in bridging services if you are eventually referred to another resource.

How do I get my records from the CTC?

We are happy to release mental health records to other clinical mental health providers. If you plan to transfer your care to another provider, please establish that therapeutic relationship first and then contact us to send records to the new provider. If a client wishes to have medical records (e.g., information about prescription medication) sent to another provider, they should contact the Student Health Center at 608.785.8558.  If students want information about their mental health treatment at CTC for their own records, we will be happy to meet with you to review the record together and/or provide a written summary.

I don't want my parents to know I'm seeing a counselor. Can I trust you not to tell them?

Our counseling services are confidential. If you are 18 or over, the privacy of your mental health records is protected by law, and we will not contact your parents without your permission. However, there are circumstances when our clinicians may suggest that it could be helpful for you to discuss something with your parents, or we may encourage you to let us discuss something with them, but this can only occur with your permission. On rare occasions, if there is reason to believe that you are a significant danger to yourself, a clinician may determine that contacting a family member would help keep you safe.

How much will counseling services at the CTC cost?

There is no charge for enrolled UWL students for mental health or academic skills counseling. The only charges we would ever initiate are for "no-shows" (failure to provide a 24-hour/prior-day cancellation notice or not attend a scheduled appointment) and ADHD assessments. 

I think I have ADHD - can you help me?

The CTC is not currently offering ADHD assessments, though we provide treatment and consultation regarding a number of student concerns that may overlap with an ADHD diagnosis. If you are interested in pursuing a formal assessment, view this list of community providers who may be able to provide ADHD-related assessments. One of our providers can also meet with you to help you learn what to consider when preparing for an assessment and finding the right provider.

If you have already been diagnosed with ADHD and have questions about accommodations, please contact the ACCESS Center located at 124 Wimberly hall or visit the ACCESS Center page

If you have any questions about the services we provide please call us at 608-785-8073 or visit our office at 2106 Centennial Hall. 

Emergency & on-campus resources

Emergency Resources 

  • Off-Campus EMERGENCY: 911
  • On Campus EMERGENCY: 608.789.9999 (UWL Police)
  • UW Mental Health Support 24/7: call/text 888.531.2142
    • UWL Mental Health Crisis and Emotional Support for UWL Students.

On Campus Resources

  • ACCESS Center: 608.785.6900
    • Help with accommodations for students with disabilities
  • Center for Transformative Justice: 608.785.5094
    • Support with belonging on campus and reporting a hate or bias incident.
  • Student Life608.785.8062
    • Resource for students in distress and needing resources, faculty with concern about a student disruption, help with meeting basic needs, and campus CARE team.
  • Student Health Center: 608.785.8558
    • Medical providers available for student health care needs including primary care, mental health, and same-day care. 
  • Violence Prevention: 608.785.5126
    • Confidential support and advocacy for anyone in the campus community who has experienced sexual assault, stalking, violence, abuse, or threats. 


More 24/7 Crisis Resources 

  • La Crosse County Mobile Crisis: 608.784.HELP (4357)
    • Local mental health support and evaluation of risk via phone and/or in person.
  • Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: 988
    • Nationwide mental health support and crisis intervention via phone, text, or chat. Veterans and other service members and their families, press 1 to be connected with specific supports. 
  • Trevor Lifeline: 866.488.7386
    • Crisis and emotional support for LGBTQ+ youth up to age 25.
  • The Steve Fund: Text 'STEVE' to 741741
    • Crisis and emotional support for students of color.
  • Text ‘Hopeline’ to 741741 
    • Nationwide text-based mental health support
  • Great Rivers 211 Helpline: 211 or 800.362.TALK (8255)
    • Local support and help in connecting with resources for meeting basic needs for food, housing, healthcare, childcare, etc.