Counseling Services adds new program

by Reagan Hoffman, Staff Reporter

A new student mental health resource has been added to Simpson’s Counseling Services. Jenny Vargas, the Director of Counseling Services said the new program is designed for short-term, solution-focused therapy.

Simpson Counseling Services has partnered with Employee and Family Resources to offer a new Student Assistance Program. This program will be giving students 24 hours, seven days a week access to a licensed mental health professional. 

Students are able to access this program through the Employee and Family Resources (EFR) App, which has a chat feature and is available on iTunes and Google Play or by calling 800-327-4692. 

This program will offer up to three counseling sessions to students and their immediate family members at no charge. This will be useful to those who are not able to drop into regular counseling hours on campus or if it is needed after regular hours. These sessions will be conducted virtually which allows students without access to transportation the opportunity to meet with counselors off campus. 

If more than three counseling sessions are needed students are able to get more but students will need to work with Employee and Family Resources and their insurance. 

Students are able to get additional sessions, but this would be through EFR and their insurance. If additional referrals are needed the program can provide those. If they feel the needs may be more chronic, EFR will likely refer the student back to our services to be seen as well as provide other community-based resources,” Vargas said. 

Simpson Counseling Services currently only has one counselor on hand, making it difficult for students to get in, so adding this program will allow for students to get the services they need. 

“This program will help mitigate the wait times we are currently seeing in the office. It is a 24/7 program and is useful for after-hour situations or needs that arise. Having the app available on smartphones also increases accessibility to students,” Vargas said. 

Vargas said that October and November are historically the busiest months for most campus based counseling programs and that Simpson’s numbers are relatively similar. This program has been added just in time for these busy times, allowing for more students to get seen by a licensed mental health professional

“We are down to one counselor which means struggles to have availability to get people seen and why we have contracted with these outside resources,” Vargas said. 

This program provides students with another option when on campus counseling does not work out for either personal reasons or if wait times are too long.

For 24/7 access to a licensed mental health professional, download the Employee and Family Resources App for a chat feature or by calling 800-327-4692.