By SHELBY BERGLUND
UNK Student Health and Counseling has paid for a new online resource called ‘Togetherall’ where students can post anonymously about mental health issues. The office also offers three free mental health counseling sessions for full-time students.
The typical wait time in the community for your first counseling appointment is currently 4-6 weeks.
“Usually the beginning of the fall semester is not so busy because many students are new and don’t know it, everyone has a lot of work and tries to figure out their stuff,” said practitioner Kiphany Hof. of the Counseling Center and Associate Director. . “It’s the time right now until the end of the semester where it’s going to be constantly busy and full and most people aren’t just coming for one session.”
Counselors require students to schedule a session four to ten business days in advance, but this also depends on the student’s availability. Depending on student availability, they may be able to enter earlier or later than four to ten days.
Full-time students, who are not online-only, are entitled to three free sessions each semester. The cost of the first three sessions is covered by each student’s tuition and fees under student health and counseling.
All students get their first three sessions free each semester, but after that it costs $10 per session.
The first session lasts about 20 to 30 minutes, and that’s to see if the counseling services are right for that person. After the first three sessions, each bi-weekly session lasts approximately 45 minutes.
“We’d like to help anyone who wants to come to counseling with whatever they need, but sometimes there are students who come to us who need more than short-term advice,” Hof said. “Like maybe they’ve been on council every week for the last two years in high school and they know they’re going to need that level all the way through college. So we’d probably try to get them match with a counselor in the community because we don’t do long term care at the counseling centre.
Some students may not want guidance at UNK or in the community. So, the Student Health and Counseling Center paid for “Togetherall” so that all students have access.
Togetherall is a strictly online resource for peer support, which means that students can post anything that happens in their lives to the website under an anonymous username.
All you have to do is go to the website, use your UNK email and answer a few simple questions about your sanity, then it will give you access to everything for free.
They also offer several self-assessment and self-help courses.
It is used worldwide by other universities as a safe place where students can communicate with each other.
Togetherall is monitored by licensed mental health professionals 24/7, so if anyone were to post a safety issue, they would respond to it immediately.
“I think it’s a really appealing option for people who may be feeling lonely but don’t want to see a counselor or whatever personal reasons they might have,” Hof said. “It’s a way for people to get help anonymously, because some people don’t want to share who they are, or if it’s 2 a.m. and they don’t have access to an advisor.”