Frequently Asked Questions

Below are our most frequently asked questions. If you have a question that is not listed below, please feel free to e-mail us or call us at 540-831-5226.

What services does SCS provide?

SCS offers a variety of services including individual counseling, group therapy, medication management, consultation to students, staff, and faculty, educational programming/outreach, as well as crisis intervention and referral services.

What kind of problems do you treat?

SCS counselors work with students who experience difficult times personally (e.g., an academic struggle, relationship ending, social difficulties) as well as common mental health concerns such as:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Adjustment concerns
  • Roommate issues
  • Family concerns
  • Relationship concerns
  • Grief and Loss issues
  • Stress management
  • ADHD
  • Abuse issues
  • Sexual Assault
  • Transition concerns
  • Traumatic events
  • Substance Use/Misuse
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Eating Disorders

How do I know whether I should utilize SCS services?

If you have questions about if counseling is right for you, a consultation with our professional staff may help you answer the question of whether you should consider counseling. To initiate services, please call our office at (540) 831-5226 to schedule your initial consultation.

If you want to try counseling without a scheduled appointment, you could try our Let's Talk program, where you can speak one-on-one with a clinician as needed. More information about our Let's Talk program can be found HERE.

If you have a specific question, please feel free to contact the Student Counseling Services at (540) 831-5226.

I am worried about a student. Can SCS reach out to check on them?

Unfortunately, Student Counseling Services cannot reach out to students to perform wellness checks. We also cannot reach out to students and ask them to seek counseling. Students must initiate the counseling process by calling us at (540) 831-5226, e-mailing us at, or stopping by our office in the lower level of Davis Hall. 

If you are worried about a Radford University student and want someone to reach out to them, you can contact the Dean of Students office at (540) 831-6297.

If you are concerned about a Radford University student immediately, please call RUPD at (540) 831-5500 to perform a wellness check.

I think my friend should talk to someone at SCS. What can I do?

It might be helpful for you to have a consultation with one of our counselors. Encourage them to reach out to our office at (540) 831-5226 to schedule an appointment. While you cannot counsel your friend or force them to go to counseling, there may be ways to talk with them about your concerns and share with them the resources you know about (i.e. counseling services or other community services). We can walk you through this conversation depending on the situation as well as provide you with support.

Who is eligible for services at SCS?

Currently enrolled students are be eligible for services at SCS. In rare situations, staff may refer students whose concerns are beyond the scope of this office to effectively treat. Examples of possible concerns that may result in outside referrals include the following: students who have been psychiatrically hospitalized; students with severe drug abuse or dependence; and students who are non-compliant or create a hostile work environment. SCS staff will assist students in finding appropriate local referral sources when any of these situations occur. Students are always eligible for emergency assessments as needed.

How do I initiate services?

If you are interested in starting services, please call our office at (540) 831-5226 to schedule your initial consultation. You will meet with a clinician at that time for a 15-20 minute consultation where you and the clinician will talk about your concerns and decide what the best service is for you and will get you scheduled for your first appointment. 

What if I am in crisis and need to talk with someone right away?

If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, call the university Campus Police at (540) 831-5500 or 9-1-1.

If you are experiencing a mental health emergency that is not life-threatening call (540) 831-5226 (Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.) and SCS will work to meet with you as quickly as possible often within the same day.

You can also utilize our community mental health hotlines that are available 24/7 - ACCESS at (540) 961-8400 or CONNECT at (800) 284-8898. 

What can I expect to happen at my first appointment/initial consultation?

During your first appointment, you will meet in-person with one of our counselors for 15-20 minutes to discuss your concerns. The counselor will gather some information and relevant history in order to gain a better understanding of your concerns and determine which services will best meet your needs. This may involve individual counseling, group therapy, seeing a psychiatrist, or a referral to a community provider who can better meet your needs. The counselor will discuss this with you thoroughly. If individual counseling is deemed appropriate, you will be scheduled for an intake appointment.

What should students expect in counseling?

Counseling is a type of learning about oneself, one's feelings, and one's relationships with others. As in any learning environment, students will benefit most if they participate actively, attend sessions on time and are open and honest with the counselor.

In turn, the counselor will listen to the student's concerns, assist him/her in setting and reaching appropriate goals and will respect his/her confidentiality. Our staff abides by the ethical principles of our pertinent licensing boards and students can expect to have services delivered in a professional, legal and ethical manner.

During the first one or two sessions, the counselor will gather basic information about student concerns, overall health, daily life, goals for service and other background information. The counselor will assist you in establishing goals for your therapy. Throughout counseling, student and counselor work collaboratively. In addition to "talk-therapy" sessions, students are often encouraged to try out new behaviors, to use books and other resources to increase their understanding and coping skills and to use other campus and community resources as appropriate. Often counselors will assign "homework" which occurs between sessions and this can be as important as the discussions that occur within sessions.

Participation in counseling is a personal choice. We encourage each student to talk with his/her counselor about any questions regarding progress, the therapy process, SCS policies and procedures and so forth. If student concerns require interventions that are outside the scope of our services, the counselor will offer referrals to other services on campus and in the community.

What if I don't like my counselor or if I am not happy with the treatment?

SCS policy is for the student to inform the counselor if possible about any concerns about the therapy process. SCS therapists are often able to make changes in the focus or style of therapy preferred if they are informed. If the student is unable to address this directly or if the changes made are not sufficient, then a consult can be arranged with the SCS Assistant Director to determine if a change in therapist or outside referral is needed. Please tell your therapist or an office associate if you would like to schedule a consult.

Does SCS have a psychiatrist?

No, however there is a psychiatrist on campus through Student Health Services, located in Moffet Hall. The psychiatrist can evaluate students for medications and prescribe them as needed during the fall and spring semesters. You do not need to be referred by us to see the psychiatrist. If you are just interested in medication management, please call Student Health Services to set up an appointment.

However, if you would like to participate in therapy and medication management, we can refer you to Student Health. 

Does SCS have a limit on the number of sessions a student can be seen?

Counseling at SCS is based on a short-term model in order to help all students. There is a 6 session limit for traditional counseling (50 minute sessions) and a 12 session limit on concise counseling (30 minute sessions).

If you need longer-term care, we would highly reccomend looking for a community provider. One of the ways you can find one is through our MiResource site. Additionally, one of the best ways to check for coverage is through your insurance provider's website. 

After the session limit, can I pay to have more sessions?

No; we do not accept co-payments or charge students for our services. The only time we will charge you is if you cancel an appointment within 24 hours' notice ($25 late-cancellation fee) or if you do not show up to a scheduled appointment ($25 no-show fee).

How much does it cost to see a counselor at SCS?

Students are not charged when they receive services at our office. There is a $25 no-show/late-cancellation fee for appointments that are not attended or cancelled without 24-hours notice. 

What if I need to cancel an appointment over the weekend or after hours?

Sometimes, in order to call with enough notice to avoid a late-cancellation fee, you may need to cancel when we are unavailable to answer the phone. If this happens, we encourage you to e-mail us or leave a voicemail message when calling. Either way, there will be a timestamp on the message/e-mail, so we will know you canceled with enough notice to avoid the fee.

What is the SCS policy on confidentiality?

SCS adheres to professional ethical standards and all state and federal laws regarding confidentiality. All information is confidential unless you sign a written release of information. There are some exceptions by law, (e.g., harm to yourself or someone else and ongoing child or elder abuse or court subpoena). In these cases, the pertinent laws, professional ethics and the best clinical practices will dictate our response to the information presented to our counselors.

If a person has been a victim of sexual assault or is a survivor of child sexual abuse, is SCS required to report the information to the university reporting mandate?

SCS staff are not Title IX mandated reporters and are therefore able to keep this information private and confidential.

Will my parents, faculty, and/or others be notified that I am going to SCS?

No. SCS does not release information about student involvement without written permission from the student.

What if I am under 18? Can I receive services without parental consent?

Yes. Unless you have signed a written release of information, we cannot speak to anyone about treatment received at SCS. Students under 18 may consent to mental health treatment and may be seen at SCS without parental notification.  However, a minor's parents do have the legal right to request and receive mental health treatment records, unless the treating mental health professional determines that the release of said records would be reasonably likely to cause substantial harm to the minor. It is SCS practice to discourage parents from requesting such information so that a trusting working relationship can be established.

Will my attendance at SCS be on my academic record?

No, SCS records are kept separately from academic records.

Can SCS help me find a therapist off-campus?

Yes. One of the services SCS provides is assisting students in connecting with services in the community, when requested.

You can also do this on your own, if you would like, through our MiResource site. If you are insured, you can also check for coverage by searching for a provider through your insurance company's website.

Does SCS provide testing or any diagnoses?

No. We do not provide any diagnoses or testing. 

However, there is a place that does psychological assessments on campus, called the Center for Assessment and Psychological Services, or CAPS. 

You do not need a referral from us to go to CAPS. If you are interested in therapy and utilizing CAPS services, we can refer you if you would like.

Does SCS approve emotional support animals (ESAs)?

No. We do not make ESA recommendations or complete ESA approval paperwork because it is outside of our scope of practices, services, and supports. We also do not provide diagnoses, as is required for the application process. Lastly, we are not specifically trained in working with the animal-human bond, which would be required for us to complete ESA paperwork.


We recommend that you reach out to your primary care provider or physician, as they will likely have a lot more knowledge about you, your history, and your needs, which the application will ask about.

For more information about the ESA accomodation, please visit Center for Acessibility Services HERE

What will be expected of me?

SCS staff will expect you to be on time for your appointments and to give 24 hours notice of cancellation if possible.  Providers will want you to be honest and open with your feelings and behaviors so that you can receive the most benefit from your care.