UR’s Counseling and Mental Health Services changed its name to University Counseling Center and added to its services over the summer.

As a reaction to some students’ concerns that the previous name was not inviting, plans were made to create a more welcoming name. “We felt it was time for an update,” UCC Administrator Marcia Eisenberg said. Both students and faculty were polled before the new name was determined.

UCC offers short-term therapy for those in the UR community who have paid the mandatory student health fee. Long-term care is sometimes provided in a few circumstances. As part of its staff, UCC employs a nurse practitioner and a consulting psychiatrist to provide unlimited medication consultation.

“People in the UR community have the same difficulties as those in any community,” Eisenberg said.

She mentioned that people come for visits because of stress, depression, homesickness, anxiety, difficulties with relationships, concerns for friends and grief. UCC also provides counseling for those having identity issues, family problems or physical illness.

In addition to individual therapy, UCC has a variety of groups that will begin meeting in October. “We have planned groups for graduate men, graduate women, co-ed graduates and co-ed undergraduates,” UCC Director Lisa Willis said, adding that groups for sexual assault, eating concerns and meditation/stress relief are also planned. Members of a group can remain involved for an unlimited time, but there is a small fee for participation after a student graduates.

UCC has a strict confidentiality policy, which is important to many students. “Things can get around so fast,” junior Heather Davis said. Each client’s records are kept confidential, even if the client is under 18 years old.

In accordance with its more welcoming name, UCC wants members of the UR community to feel comfortable enough to make a visit. “If you’re even considering [going there], try it” Willis said. She also noted that it’s always helpful to have someone to talk with.

Some students don’t know about the services UCC offers. “It wouldn’t really occur to me to visit,” junior Joe Soucy said.

As part of an effort to prevent problems that both students and faculty might encounter at UR, UCC works with other student affairs groups to discuss concerns and work on health prevention and promotion measures. RAs are already assigned a consultant to talk with if they become concerned about a resident.

UCC presently has a Student Groups Program that will meet with any special interest group to discuss a problem. “We want to proactively encourage healthy behavior,” Willis said.

Many students are coming to UR with needs for a place like UCC. Persons between the ages of 17 and 25-years-old are at a high risk for depression and other psychological problems. “Many more students are coming to school taking psychotropic medications,” Willis said. She added that such medications can contribute to a student’s success by helping to manage their symptoms while they are at school.

UCC is using their Web site as a way to reach the UR community. The website, www.rochester.edu/ucc, offers further information about UCC and features an online advice service operated by their staff called “Dear Doctor Ana-Lyze.”

Caselli can be reached at jcaselli@campustimes.org.

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