Need to Talk? UA Counseling Center Offers Support Groups and More

  • September 15th, 2021

Feeling overwhelmed by academic pressures? Experiencing anxiety about the pandemic, uncertainty or something else? Struggling with relationships or connecting with others? The UA Counseling Center is here to help.

The exterior sign for the counseling center outside of the South Lawn Office Building
The Counseling Center located in the South Lawn Office Building serves the entire campus community.

Located in the South Lawn Office Building next to the School of Law, the Counseling Center offers numerous services and resources, outreach and education available to any student as well as any faculty or staff member.

Within the center are 20 licensed professionals — including psychologists, social workers, licensed clinical social workers and counselors — all of whom are equipped to facilitate individual counseling and group counseling. The center expanded its services to include tele-counseling and same-day consultation appointments for those in need of immediate action. One can call 205-348-3863 to speak to a licensed professional for free during business hours, or text BAMA to 741-741.

There’s no shame in seeking help when experiencing overwhelming feelings. The Counseling Center is ready to help.

With dozens of programs readily available online, the center is committed to community outreach and education on mental health and wellness. Director of the Counseling Center, Greg Vander Wal said the center has continued to transform its engagement with the campus community, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This past year, we created a group called ‘Coping with a Time of Growth and Change,’” Vander Wal said. “It’s a support group for anybody who’s struggled with all the change that’s going on. But that’s not all we offer currently.”

During the 2020–2021 academic year, the Counseling Center hosted or participated in 315 events, reaching 12,000 students and other campus community members. Events included Suicide Awareness Week, a weekly radio show, door knock campaigns and more. Their mission is simple: to spread the word about the services available and end the stigma around mental health.

“The nice thing about our support groups is that we try to offer what is relevant to what the students are asking for,” Vander Wal said. “We’ve been able to develop some groups just based on students expressing interests and having that kind of a support group. We really want to offer to be relevant.”

More Information

The Counseling Center offers same-day tele-consults for free to the campus community. Individual counseling services are available to the campus community for $10, which is billed through a person’s myBama account. All other services offered are free to the community, including online resources and group discussions.

If you or someone you know is going through something, contact 205-348-3863 or 205-348-5454 to reach immediate assistance.

Source

Greg Vander Wal, Director of the UA Counseling Center, gsvanderwal@ua.edu

Contact

Caroline Gazzara-McKenzie, UA Strategic Communications, caroline.mckenzie@ua.edu

The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA provides an inclusive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. As the state’s largest higher education institution, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond.