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Counseling Services

The Student Affairs office is excited to announce the launch of the OUAZ Counseling Center to begin serving the Surprise residential campus on January 11, 2021. Our mental health counselor’s name is Ralitsa Wierson, MA LPC, and her office is in Scholars Hall, room 145.

To schedule a counseling appointment, click on this Appointment Scheduling Link.

Students can also email or use our QR code:

Below you can find a brief description of our Counseling Center’s services, how to refer a student and related forms that may be required to initiate the process. Let the Student Affairs staff know if you have ideas to aid in the understanding and utilization of this new resource on campus.

OUAZ "Need Help" Flyer

OUAZ Counseling Center’s scope of services: 

  1. Eligibility for Services
    • Students who are currently enrolled in at least one course at OUAZ and reside at OUAZ’s Surprise residential campus
    • 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)
    • Group therapy or support groups when requested and available
  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

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, you should contact OUAZ Public Safety at (623) 546-1666, call 911, go to the nearest emergency room, or call the Crisis Hotline/Crisis Mobile Response Team at 602-222-9444.



Suicide Prevention 

  • 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 at 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

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 




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 will be initiated.  
  • In high risk situations, where a student may be an immediate danger to self or others - please notify Dean of Student Affairs and the counselor immediately.
  • 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. 

Reviewed and signed at initial contact



Sharing or requesting information about your services


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



Additional paper option for scheduling, or you can schedule at the Scheduling Page


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