CPS Redesigns Drop-In Model to Meet Student Need

August 26, 2019

Counseling and Psychological Services, part of Columbia Health, has operated a robust drop-in program for over a decade. The service has grown to include 10 offices in the undergraduate residence halls, academic buildings across campus, as well the 5th floor of Lerner Hall, offering an additional 2,000 hours of counseling an academic year.  

Drop-in offices were originally intended to provide an alternate path to counseling: for students seeking help but questioned if counseling was the right for them or for those who needed more immediate support before a scheduled appointment. 

Usage of counseling has grown over the last decade and with it, traffic to the drop-in offices. Based on usage of these satellite offices, CPS has redesigned the model of its drop-in services. Starting this fall, the drop-in model will offer two paths: Problem-Solving and Urgent Mental Health Concerns. 

Problem-Solving drop-in is an opportunity for students to talk with a mental health professional about a specific situation that is causing psychological or emotional stress. This is a brief visit with a CPS provider who will work with the student to understand the situation and help develop a plan to address the problem. Problem-Solving drop-in sessions are intended to be a one-time discussion and may include connecting students to other campus resources that can help along the way. 

Among the typical problems discussed in these sessions are relationship problems, adjustment to campus life, career indecision, acculturation, or anxiety about academics. Problem-Solving sessions will take place at the residence hall and academic offices. Locations and hours are listed online.  

Urgent Mental Health Concerns drop-in is for students who are experiencing a high level of distress and need to speak with a clinician more immediately. These sessions will be facilitated at the Lerner 5 office. This drop-in service is available Monday—Thursday from 6—9PM starting September 3. Check-in closes at 8:30PM. 

This redesign offers a more customized approach based on student needs, with multiple paths to care through Problem-Solving drop-in, Urgent Mental Health Concerns drop-in, individual counseling, or support groups.    

As with all CPS services, drop-in is available to students who have paid the Columbia Health and Related Services Fee

CPS continues to evaluate student need and service usage to optimize its program. Last academic year, CPS facilitated over 35,000 individual counseling visits among its other robust service offerings, as part of its ongoing commitment to and support of the student community’s health and well-being.