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Counseling Services


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


Suicide Prevention - Local Resources

  • Crisis Response Network - 24/7 Crisis Hotline/Crisis Mobile Response Team - 620-222-9444
  • Warm Line - 24/7 Supportive listening line by trained peer support specialist for non-crisis situations - 602-347-1100
  • Crisis Text Line; Text "HOME" to 741741 for free, 24/7 confidential support
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 1-800-273-8255
  • Arizona Suicide Prevention Coalition - 602-254-8818

Suicide Prevention - International Resources

Substance Use


Sexual and Domestic Violence

  • Maricopa County Domestic Violence Hotline 480-890-3039
  • New Life Center 24/7 Domestic Violence Support and Shelter 623-932-4404
  • Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence; Victim Services Specialist available Mon-Fri 8:30am-5pm MST 602-279-2980
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline; call 800-799-SAFE (7233) or text "LOVIES" to 866-331-9474
  • National Sexual Assault Hotline 800-656-HOPE (4673)
  • myPlan - Phone app resources for women in unsafe relationships; Download myPlan by Mongoose Projects in the Apple Store or Google Play

Eating and Body Image



Faculty and Staff Support & Training

**For training requests, please contact the OUAZ Counseling Center and/or the Student Affairs office.

  • OUAZ Mental Health 101:  "The 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
  • QPR Suicide Prevention Training (1h)
  • In-class Brief Mental Health Presentations (15-30min)
    • OUAZ counseling services overview
    • Topics of professor’s choice

**For training requests, please contact the OUAZ Counseling Center and/or the Student Affairs office.

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.


  • 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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