J. Garston Needham Counseling Center

The Counseling Center is available to all Simmons undergraduate and graduate students who wish to speak with someone about a personal concern. Following an evaluation with one of our mental health counselors, the counselor and student will make a plan, which may include several additional sessions in the Counseling Center, longer-term therapy in the Counseling Center, referral to a therapist in the community, or referral to a group or another supportive intervention. The plan will be based primarily on the counselor's and student's understanding of what will be most helpful; other factors considered in this decision include scheduling, staff availability, the necessity of specialized care, constraints of the academic calendar, and insurance. Students who are engaged in longer-term counseling in the Center may be referred to one of our psychiatrists for a medication evaluation or medication management, either at the request of the student or recommendation of the counselor.

Counseling Center staff members offer and co-sponsor programming relevant to mental health and wellness and are available to consult with faculty, administrators, staff, and/or students who are concerned about a student's wellbeing.

If a student is hospitalized for mental health reasons, s/he must be cleared by the Counseling Center's psychiatrist and the Office of the Dean for Student Life before returning to classes and/or the Residence Campus. This policy applies to students who are Counseling Center clients, as well as those who are not.

Information about a student's counseling will only be released with the client's signed permission or when required by state law. If staff at the Counseling Center are involved in hospitalizing a student, the Dean's Office will be notified.

Sherri Ettinger, PhD, LICSW, Counseling Center Director
One Palace Road, P305