Welcome to the University Counseling Center!
We are here to ensure that you remain healthy and thriving during your college years and beyond. As the primary mental health service for both undergraduate and graduate students, we employ a multidisciplinary team of psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists, and advanced graduate trainees in various mental health disciplines. We’re committed to promoting your overall health, empowering you to maximize your college experience and realize your fullest potential.
If you are in an emergency situation where danger is imminent and immediate help is required, call 911 or the Pitt Police at 412-624-2121
After-Hours Counseling Phone Numbers:
- General Mental Health Crisis Response: 412-648-7930
- Sexual Assault Response: 412-648-7856
EXCITING NEW ENHANCEMENTS TO OUR SERVICES
Changes have been made to counseling center services recently in order to increase timely access to services, to make services available to more students, and to make sure that students receive the type of care that their needs require:
- Triage appointments were eliminated as a step to receiving counseling services, thus reducing wait times.
- A day-call system was established which enabled immediate access by all students to a counselor, the same day and usually same hour.
- Immediate screenings were instituted which allowed us to assess a student’s needs, the urgency of those needs, and the level of care required, without the delay of waiting for a triage appointment.
- Case management services were doubled (now two full-time staff) to help students find community providers when appropriate to the students’ needs.
- A transition was made from biweekly sessions to weekly sessions to increase the benefit of counseling.
- Students are now able to access up to eight individual counseling sessions in an academic year. An unlimited number of weekly group counseling sessions are available to students. The eight session limit enables us to serve substantially more students who need our help. A session limit tends to increase the focus of one’s efforts and the progress achieved in a short time. Since the average number of counseling sessions actually used by students is four, and 81% use 8 or fewer counseling sessions, relatively few students find the limit to be an issue.
- A scope of practice policy was posted on our website which clarifies which services are offered by the University Counseling Center, and which services are not offered
(Located here: http://www.studentaffairs.pitt.edu/cc/about/).
- Students were given access to signing up for group counseling as well as workshops on our website.
100% of students seeking help have had initial contact with a clinician the same day this semester.
Average wait time for a follow-up appointment this semester has been five business days (one week).
Depending upon demand and student preferences for particular counselors or time slots, follow-up appointments can take up to a couple of weeks.
This past summer, we have hired five mental health professionals. We are in the process of hiring an additional five clinicians. We are developing a satellite clinic for the University Counseling Center in the Medical Arts Building on Fifth Avenue. This site will house several of our expansion staff.
TEMPORARY CAPACITY LIMITATION ON PSYCHIATRY:
The University has been committed to providing psychiatry services to its students for over 20 years. We have been actively recruiting for psychiatrists since this past May, due to a retirement this summer and a departure this fall. We are committed to successfully recruiting psychiatrists to replace those that have departed. In the meantime, we have made sure that every student who had been receiving psychiatry services from us has an aftercare psychiatry plan, including access to the medications that they need. Every student who requests psychiatric services from us is provided with the help necessary to connect them to a psychiatrist in the community.
SOME OF OUR SERVICES OFFERED
Individual counseling provides an opportunity for students to meet individually with a mental health professional (psychologist, social worker, licensed professional counselor, advanced-level graduate trainee in psychology or social work) to explore freely a variety of problems, difficulties, or concerns.
The UCC utilizes a short-term, time-limited model for providing individual counseling and psychotherapy services. Sessions of individual counseling usually last about 45 minutes and are scheduled weekly for a specified period of time. Typically, students attend six to eight sessions of individual counseling over the course of one academic term.
In order to maintain quality of services while responding to high service demands, the UCC may limit the number and/or frequency of individual counseling sessions. When this occurs, student clients who need or express interest in long-term counseling or psychotherapy services are assisted with referrals to mental health services off-campus.
Couples counseling services are available to opposite-sex and same-sex partners who are involved in an ongoing, committed relationship. One partner must be an enrolled student who is currently registered for classes.
Group counseling/therapy provides an opportunity to be part of group of six to eight students who meet regularly over the course of one academic term to share concerns, explore personal issues, and learn new skills under the guidance of one or two group leaders/facilitators.
Each term the UCC providers a variety of general therapy groups offered to all students, therapy groups for particular populations (e.g., graduate students, women, men, LGBTQ students) and therapy groups for particular issues/problems (e.g., depression, anxiety, self-esteem, stress management, family issues, substance abuse problems, history of sexual assault).
The UCC also offers educational workshops on a variety of topics. Students participating in group therapy are asked to commit to attending group therapy sessions regularly for the duration of the group.
How to Make an Appointment
Triage Screening and Disposition appointments are offered daily. Monday – Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
To schedule a triage assessment appointment, call (412-648-7930) or stop by the Wellness Center in Nordenberg Hall. More details on appointments can be found here.