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Counseling Services

ATTENTION!!!

OUR OUAZ COUNSELING CENTER WILL BE CLOSED FOR SUMMER BREAK IN JUNE AND JULY, RESUMING SERVICES ON JULY 25 FOR PRE-FALL TERM.

If you need counseling support during summer break, please reach out to the Office of Student Affairs to be connected with off-campus services.

If you are experiencing an emergency, please call the Crisis Hotline/Crisis Mobile Response Team at 602-222-9444, contact OUAZ Campus Safety and Security at 623-546-1666, call 911, or go to the nearest emergency room.

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The Counseling Center serves the OUAZ Surprise residential campus and our mental health counselor is Ralitsa Wierson, MA LPC. We are located in the Recreation & Fitness building by O’Dell Center, office #175.

The service is Free and Confidential.

To schedule a counseling appointment:

We provide consultation, short-term counseling and needed referrals; as well as advocacy, training and education. We support students experiencing the stresses of daily life as well as those who meet criteria for mental health disorders and may benefit from being connected to off-campus resources such as psychiatry, longer-term therapy, or specialized treatment.

OUAZ "Need Help" Flyer

OUAZ Counseling Center’s scope of services: 

  1. Eligibility for Services
    • Students on the OUAZ Surprise residential campus who are currently enrolled in at least one course at OUAZ
    • Written consent from a legal guardian is necessary to initial services for individuals under the age of 18 (Informed Consent form)
    • Services are free of charge for OUAZ's Surprise residential campus students
  1. Services Provided by the Counseling Center: 
    • Consultation
    • Outreach
    • Training and education
    • Advocacy
    • Referral services
    • Crisis counseling when the Center is open
    • Bi-weekly individual counseling, 45-minute sessions
    • When more frequent sessions are clinically indicated, weekly individual counseling sessions may be arranged on a short-term basis
    • Up to a maximum of 12 sessions per academic year (4-6 sessions per semester)
  1. Services Not Provided by the Counseling Center:
    • Assessments or letters for students requesting emotional support animals
    • Comprehensive psychological assessments, such as evaluations for ADHD, learning disorders, or autism spectrum disorders
    • Psychiatric services or medication management 
    • Court-ordered therapy or assessments
    • Services for students while they are out of state or out of the country, such as on study abroad experiences
    • Services in excess of 12 individual sessions over the course of the academic year unless an exception has been made via the CARE team chair and is appropriate for that student
    • Crisis counseling after hours, on weekends, or during holidays or university closures
    • Primary substance abuse treatment, ongoing treatment for students with eating disorders who require more intensive counseling than bi-weekly to weekly sessions, or when inpatient or residential care is clinically indicated in order to maintain the health and safety of the student
    • Ongoing individual counseling for a student who is concurrently receiving counseling services from another provider
    • Ongoing treatment for students who are unwilling to cooperate with treatment-related homework assignments, unwilling to identify treatment goals, and/or unwilling to make changes that will help them reach their treatment goals
    • Ongoing treatment for students who do not adhere to the attendance policy
    • Ongoing treatment for students who abuse the crisis consultation services or access them excessively as these behaviors indicate that they require more intensive and more frequent services than we can provide
    • Ongoing treatment for students who have a recent history of multiple hospitalizations, multiple suicide attempts, and/or persistent self-injury behaviors that are not responding to treatment as these situations indicate that they require more intensive services than we are able to provide
    • Ongoing treatment for students who exhibit psychotic symptoms and are not willing to comply with medication when it is clinically indicated
    • Ongoing treatment for students whose behavior is threatening or hostile to the staff, other clients, or the general environment of the Counseling Center
    • Ongoing treatment for students who are concurrently a part of the Counseling Center and Student Affairs professional staff
    • Any other services that are outside the scope of the Counseling Center, such as services that are prohibited by our licensure or would not be covered by our liability insurance

Office Hours

The OUAZ Counseling Center is open during the Spring and Fall semesters.

Monday–Friday – 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

If you are experiencing an emergency when the counseling center is closed, please call the Crisis Hotline/Crisis Mobile Response Team at 602-222-9444, contact OUAZ Campus Safety and Security at 623-546-1666, call 911, or go to the nearest emergency room.

Mental Health Resources & Self-Help

General


Anxiety


Suicide Prevention - Local Resources


Suicide Prevention - International Resources


How to Help a Friend


Substance Use


LGBTQIA+


Sexual and Domestic Violence


Eating and Body Image


Sleep


Time Mangement


Grief and Loss

Outreach Programming

Outreach presentations and/or Tabling events may be requested by OUAZ faculty and staff members, academic departments, student groups and others in the OUAZ community. Programs can range in length (i.e. 15 min to 1.5 hours) and are usually conducted at a campus location. There is no fee for an outreach event presented by the Counseling Center. Presentations can be tailored to meet specific needs of an audience. Ideally, please provide at least 2-3 weeks’ notice.

**For presentation/tabling event requests, please contact the OUAZ Counseling Center and/or the Student Affairs office**

  • Brief Mental Health Presentations (15-30min)
    • OUAZ counseling services overview (auto incorporated into ‘Intro to Academy’ classes)
    • Topics of faculty and staff’s choice  (i.e. Fear of public speaking, Time management, Study skills, Stress management, Conflict and resolution, Healthy relationships, Mindfulness, etc)
  • QPR Suicide Prevention Training (1h)
    • Recognize the warning signs of suicide and learn the QPR method (Question, Persuade, Refer) of suicide prevention. Explore common myths and misconceptions about suicide.
  • OUAZ Mental Health 101:  "Signs & Symptoms, Support & Services" (1.5h)
    • Signs and symptoms of different mental health issues
    • How to address with students and provide support
    • When and how to refer for services

Faculty and staff may contact the Counseling Center for Consultation, Support and Resources regarding their students throughout the academic year.

In addition, the Counseling Center can assist faculty and staff in responding in the hours/days following an emergency. Depending on the nature of the incident, individuals who are directly affected may be supported by the CARE Team and referred to services at the Counseling Center. In other situations, the Counseling Center may recommend a group intervention. Some of the benefits of a group “debriefing” is reduction of acute distress, increased group member cohesion, and fostering of resilience. In addition, the facilitators can identify participants in need of further support and assistance. Attendance at such interventions should be voluntary. Counseling Center staff will collaborate with faculty and staff to make an informed decision as to which type of intervention would be most appropriate for affected individuals.

In some situations, Counseling Center staff may be requested to be present when university staff or faculty share news of a traumatic event with students in a classroom or residence hall. In such cases, the counselor is available primarily to support any person who may have difficulty when receiving the news.

Faculty Guide to Supporting Student Mental Health PDF

How Faculty & Staff Can Refer Students to OUAZ Counseling Center: 

  • In low/medium risk situations, where no immediate danger exists - please notify your supervisor about the student of concern. The information will then be passed on to the CARE Team and a referral to the Counseling Center and other appropriate services will be initiated. 
  • In high risk situations, where a student may be an immediate danger to self or others - please notify Campus Safety and Dean of Student Affairs immediately, for a wellness check to be completed. The counselor will be notified, as needed and appropriate.

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  • If you speak to the student about your concern for them and the student agrees to a referral to the Counseling Center, please fill out the attached referral form and email it to the counselor (This process allows for referral source to be notified of outcome of referral as stated in the form; please review form before using it).
    • Counseling Referral Form
      • The student is still expected to schedule an appointment at the Counseling Center utilizing the scheduling options listed above (referral staff can help the student with this step only if student requests help).
      • If student has not made an appointment with the counselor within 24 hours, counselor contacts student to schedule. Referral will be closed if student does not respond to counselor’s efforts to schedule within 7 business days.
      • Referral source will be notified of outcome of referral, per agreement statement on the referral.
  • When a referral is made without discussion with student, the process does not allow for referral source to be notified of outcome of referral.
    • Counselor contacts student to schedule. Referral will be closed if student does not respond to counselor’s efforts to schedule within 7 business days. 

Download Forms

Informed Consent Form

Reviewed and signed at initial contact.

Download Informed Consent Form


Request and Release of Information Form

Sharing or requesting information about your services.

Download Request and Relase of Information Form


Student Self-Referral Form

Additoinal paper option for scheduling, or you can schedule at the scheduling page.

Download Student Self-Referral Form


Faculty and Staff Referral Form

Used when a faculty/staff member discusses counseling services with you.

Download Faculty and Staff Referral Form

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