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Wellness Services

Making sure that our students have the care that they need, especially when they are aware from home, is of the utmost importance to Ottawa University. The Health Services Center includes a campus nurse and counselor that is available for the mental and physical care of our students.

Information for Students about Telehealth Services
Ottawa University Student Health Services

We are pleased to have the opportunity to serve you. Student Health Services (SHS) provides free and confidential counseling support for currently enrolled Ottawa University students. SHS is currently offering teletherapy as temporary plan and will not be offering in-person counseling services unless otherwise deemed necessary by the SHS office. Teletherapy includes the delivery of health care services via information and communication technologies to facilitate diagnosis, consultation, treatment, education, care management, and self-management. Teletherapy will occur primarily through video, with telephone as a back-up in case of technological failure.

Eligibility for Telehealth Services
To be eligible for services, students must:  

  • Currently be enrolled at Ottawa University (Ottawa, KS campus)
  • Reside in Kansas  
  • Meet screening criteria  

Scope of Service and Limitations of Telehealth Services
Telehealth should not be viewed as a substitute for face-to-face counseling or medication by a physician. It is an alternative from of counseling with some differences from traditional counseling. For example:

  • Due to the use of technology, video counseling may have disruptions in service and quality of service.
  • If you are having suicidal or homicidal thoughts, acute psychosis, or physical complication from an eating disorder or substance use, telehealth services are not appropriate for your needs. In this case, you will be referred to in-person local mental health resources in the community.

If it is determined your needs cannot be adequately met by participating in telehealth services, we will assist you to identify an appropriate referral to meet your needs.

What to Expect Before You Begin Telehealth Services
Prior to beginning distance counseling:

  • Our office assistant will ask you some basic screening questions
  • You will be required to provide information about how to contact you and emergency resources in your current location. 
  • You will also be provided with forms that share more details about the nature of counseling, and will be asked to sign and return those forms prior to your first telehealth appointment.  
  • If you are using video, we will email you a link to the appointment.  If you are using the phone, you will provide us with a phone number at which to reach you.

What to Expect in Your First Telehealth Appointment  
Tele-mental health sessions are held via video or phone.  

  • If using video, it is recommended that you sign on to your account at least 5 minutes prior to your session start time.  You are must initiate the connection at the time of your session by clicking the link provided by the Counseling Center staff.  
  • If using the phone, your counselor will call you at the time of your appointment using the phone number you provided.   In the first tele-mental health appointment, your counselor will begin by reviewing the informed consent forms you filled out and asking a few screening questions to assure that tele-mental health services are appropriate for you.  

Emergency Management for Distance Counseling
In the event of an emergency, and for your safety, the following measures are important and necessary:

  • Your counselor will need to know the location/address in which you will consistently be during counseling sessions and will need to know if this location changes.
  • Your counselor will request that you identify someone whom you trust, to give your counselor permission to contact should a situation occur that your counselor believes you to be at risk.  You will verify that this emergency contact person is able and willing to go to your location in the event of an emergency, and if your counselor deems necessary, call 911 and/or transport you to a hospital.  

Backup Plan in Case of Technology Failure

  • The most reliable backup to video is a phone.  Therefore, it is recommended that you always have a phone available, and that you provide your counselor with your phone number.
  • If you get disconnected from a video conferencing session, re-start the session.  If you are unable to reconnect within five minutes, your counselor will call you at the number you provided.

In coordination with the Braves Athletic Performance Center staff, the Health Services Office has compiled a Summer Wellness Program. The program consist of workouts, wellness tips, new recipes, as well as book/podcast and recreational suggestions. 

Downloadable PDF of the Summer Workout Program.

Quarterly newsletters are published by the Health Services Center.

Summer 2020

Counseling Center
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Health Office
10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m

What is a disability?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a person with a disability as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity.

ADA protects individuals with disabilities in a variety of ways, including reasonable accommodations in learning environments. At OU, accommodations are utilized by students who may need to learn material differently than other students. If you utilized accommodations in high school, they may have been written in an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) or 504 plan.

How do I submit a request for accommodations?
To begin the process of submitting a request for accommodations, please complete the form below.

( ) -
Nature of Documentation:
Nature of Documentation

Once you've completed the above form, you will need to submit your documentation for accommdations. Below are a variety of available forms.

You are able to complete the forms, but will need to print them off to submit them. If you have the full version of Adobe Acrobat, you are able to save the file as you go. Otherwise, you will need to complete it and submit it without saving (information will not hold).

When students grow ill, a BRAT diet can be extremely helpful for the recovery process.

     B- Bananas
     R- Rice
     A- Applesauce
     T- Toast

Students who would like to request a BRAT diet do so through the University Nurse.

1. Is there a cost?
Counseling and health services are free of charge to OU students.

2. What if I need a referral for medication?
Psychotropic medications are not prescribed by the counselor; however the counselor can assist in providing a referral for medication management services.

3. What is counseling?
The American Counseling Association defines counseling as a collaborative effort between the counselor and client. Professional counselors help clients identify goals and potential solutions to problems which cause emotional turmoil; seek to improve communication and coping skills; strengthen self-esteem; and promote behavior change and optimal mental health.

At Ottawa, counseling services are available to provide short-term assistance in areas of decision-making, crisis intervention, problem-solution, adjustment, or matters of personal concern that could interfere with a student's success on campus.

4. How long is a session? How frequently do I attend?
Visits usually last 45 minutes. Students are encouraged to participate actively in determining the care that may be most helpful to accomplish their goals.  The first session is an opportunity to gather information about student’s history, create goals related to treatment and review/clarify any questions about the treatment process.  In most cases the student will continue with the Ottawa University counselor, however, there are occasions when a student will be referred for services at an outside agency, as it would better serve their mental health needs.

Frequency of appointments will be determined by the counselor and student following the consultation. Frequency may change over the course of counseling based on the student’s progress.

5.How do I know if I need help?
All students are welcome to reach out to the counselor to schedule a consultation and address any questions or concerns. Below are some common symptoms of those who might engage in counseling services.

Reach out for additional support if you notice the following changes:

  • Changes in eating, sleeping
  • Social withdrawal or avoidance
  • Decrease in energy, concentration, interest and motivation
  • Irritable, angry, emotional outbursts
  • Low or sad mood
  • Extreme changes in academic performance
  • Excessive anxiety, worry, stress reactions
  • Increase use of unhealthy coping (i.e. substance use, binge eating) skills to help manage day to day stressors

You may want to reach out for additional support in the following situations:

  • Break up or change in relationship status
  • Loss/illness of family member or close friend
  • Conflict with roommate, friend, family
  • Change in job
  • Victim of assault or abuse
  • Thoughts of self-harm or harm to others – if there is imminent danger call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room

6. Does anyone else need to know if I am attending counseling? Will my roommate or coach find out?
All counseling records are maintained separately from all academic, administrative, disciplinary and medical records, unless otherwise noted. No information about a student's contact with Ottawa University Counseling Center is released without the knowledge and written consent of the student; however, there are occasions when we are allowed to break confidentiality. Kansas law and professional ethics allow the treating provider(s) to breach the limits of confidentiality in the following circumstances: when there is a threat of self-harm or harm toward another/others, suspected elder, dependent or child abuse and/or court orders by a judge.

7. What are the most commonly treated mental health issues on a college campus?
We work with students experiencing a wide range of issues. The most commonly treated mental health issues on college campus include, but are not limited to: anxiety, depression, mood and stress management, eating disorders, adjustment/situational problems, and interpersonal issues.

8. How can I benefit from engaging in counseling?
Counseling is a collaborative experience where the student is able to address concerns with the counselor and set goals in hopes of positive change. Counseling provides students opportunities for self-exploration and acquisition of new skills (i.e. coping, decision-making, problem solving). Sometimes, counseling involves psychoeducation on a particular diagnosis or intervention, so students can better understand treatment options. Some examples of what students can gain from counseling include: improved communication and interpersonal skills, greater self-acceptance and ego-strength, ability to change self-defeating thoughts/behaviors, better controlled expression and management of emotions, relief from presenting symptoms, ability to manage stress effectively, and improved problem-solving skills.





"I think sweats and a t-shirt. I went to his place
to study. I couldn't process what happened.
He was a worship leader at his church."

                                                  - University Student


"Pajamas. Pajamas when I was 8, 9, and 10.
Pajamas when I was 13. Pajamas when I was 17.
The dark is my biggest fear to this day."

                                                  - University Student



"It was February, so I was wearing an over-sized
sweatshirt and jeans. We were drinking and the
friend who hosted the party told me I needed to
stay over because I was too drunk to drive. The
next day, I woke up in his bed with no pants on."

                                                  - University Student




"The first itme I was wearing sweats and a
t-shirt. The second time, I was wearing a cheer uniform.
He ripped the buttons and I had to get it altered afterwards.
I hated cheer after that and quit before the season was over."

                                                  - University Student




"I was wearing black converse, black skinny
jeans, and a tan blouse. We were sitting with
friends at a bar. He kept trying to put his hands
down the front of my pants. I didn't know what to do,
so I escaped to the bathroom. When I got out, he was
waiting for me and pushed me into the men's room."

                                                  - University Student




"Probably a little sundress, that's what I always
wore. I was four years old. The worst part was it
was from my brother, my own family member."

                                                  - University Student




"A t-shirt and jeans. I was totally drunk after
my first college party my freshman year. He
shouldn't have taken advantage of me being
messed up like he did."

                                                  - University Student




"Black basektball shorts and a blue Grant Hill jersey.
I was 11 years old. He groomed me. I had just moved
to town and he was a popular kid at school. He said
he'd make sure I never had another friend at school
if I told anyone. I didn't tell anyone for 10 years and
when I did, they asked why I wasn't strong enough to
fight him off or if I really wanted it, but never what I
was wearing."

                                                  - University Student




"I was wearing khaki shorts and a cotton take top.
He convinced me to come back to his house with him
after a lame date. I was told by a friend to keep the
clothes I was wearing in case I decided to report it.
They are still in a bag hidden in my closet."

                                                  - University Student




"I was wearing a black bra and grey cotton underwear.
It was night swimming with a friend. I thought we
were friends. I've always wondered if what
I was wearing changed it at all."

                                                  - University Student




"I was wearing an over-sized pink fuzzy swearter and
navy pajama shorts. He was tall, strong, drunk and
refused to take no for an answer. I've never felt
safe on campus again. These experiences have
made me feel like I have no value to anyone
outside of being an object."

                                                  - University Student




"The first time, I was wearing jeans and a blue t-shirt.
The next time, years later, I was wearing jeans and a
blue t-shirt. I wear blue sometimes when I kickbox
or when I need to be assertive. Even today, I am
wearing blue, because they don't get to take my
voice, my favorite color, or my ability to say no
and mean it. These are mine."

                                                  - University Student



About the Illustrator

Faith Maddox is a Sophomore at the University of Kansas studying English and Creative Writing. She has been a Peer Educator at SAPEC since May of 2019. After graduation, she plans to pursie a Master's degree in either Social Work or Education. Instagram: @faaithica.


History of the Project

The “What Were You Wearing?” Survivor Art Installation originated at the University of Arkansas in 2013. Created by Jen Brockman and Dr. Mary Wyandt-Hiebert, the project was inspired by Dr. Mary Simmerling’s poem, What I Was Wearing. To learn more about the history of this project, visit sapec,



The poem "What I Was Wearing" inspired this gallery, but it did not give voice to the question, “What were you wearing?” This myth is one of may pervasive narratives utilized to blame survivors and justify perpetrators. The What Were You Wearing installation was not the first or the last to address these specific issues. There are multiple other projects that have addressed this common rape myth. 

Recent individuals and projects include; but are not limited to:

Jasmeen Patheja (2004)

Salamishah Tillet (2011)

Beckie Jane Brown (2013) 

Christine Fox (2014)

Roy Banwell (2015)

Kathrine Cambareri (2016)

University of Oregon (2019)

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