CPG is here to support you!
Consistent with Clark University’s Guidance on Physical Distancing, our services at CPG are offered in a virtual format due to safety considerations of our community. These services include teletherapy, telepsychiatry, and crisis support. No in-person appointments will be offered at this time. It might be tempting to put your mental health on hold right now, but it’s as important as ever to connect with mental health services. CPG remains more committed than ever to supporting your mental and emotional health during these unprecedented and challenging times.
Despite the physical closure of our office, our dedicated team of psychologists, counselors and interns are still available to provide a range of clinical services for our students by phone or teletherapy from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. These services include solution-focused first time appointments, individual counseling, group therapy/drop-in discussion groups, crisis intervention, and psychiatry services. If you are experiencing a mental health emergency during our non-business hours, please contact 911 or University Police (x7575) or go to your local emergency room.
As we develop our responses and additional counseling resources for students, staff, and faculty, updates will be posted on Clark’s COVID-19 Information page. Please continue to check that page for more information about how our services and availability may change in response to this situation.
CPG Statement of Solidarity
The Center for Counseling and Personal Growth (CPG) joins the rest of the Clark community in expressing our grief, sorrow, and compassion to all those who have been impacted by the senseless murders and violence directed towards Black individuals that have been plaguing our country for over 400 years. We recognize that we operate as a part of an institution that has perpetuated systemic racism against our students of color. We also appreciate and acknowledge the problematic history of the mental health field in this country, which includes practices which have resulted in further marginalization of those communities most in need of support. In order to better meet these needs, we are committed to educating ourselves, challenging our inner biases, and incorporating anti-racist practices in our personal and clinical work. It is our top priority to create a safe and healing environment for our Black students. We hope CPG is one of many resources that Black students can utilize on their journey toward healing and growth. We are also committed to learning and changing if this hope is not reflected in the lived experience of those students we are aiming to serve.
Ongoing teletherapy services are available to students located in the state of Massachusetts. Brief, solution-focused therapy is provided during COVID-19 by HIPAA-compliant Zoom. All therapy services offered through CPG are free.
The university is currently working on procuring private spaces throughout campus to allow for students to engage in telehealth services and other meetings that are private in nature. Students should plan to bring their own laptop or other device to these private spaces. Information about the location of private spaces will be coming out soon.
We are committed to helping students find local resources regardless of where they are located and whether or not CPG can provide services in their area. CPG will provide referral and/or consultation services to help students connect locally in instances where CPG cannot provide services. For the duration of the health emergency, Clark University’s student health insurance company (Blue Cross/Blue Shield) has waived co-pays and deductibles for all mental health-covered services for therapists who are conducting therapy through a telehealth platform.
There are several resources you use to find a therapist in your community, including the Psychology Today Therapist Finder tool (which searches by Zip code in the United States and by town or postal code in 15+ other countries) and your insurance company’s provider search tool. If you need additional help in locating a therapist, please contact CPG at firstname.lastname@example.org, and a staff member can assist you.
All Drop-In Discussion Groups are meeting via zoom. To see our drop-in discussion group offerings more in depth, you can check them out here.
Drop-In Discussion Groups: For academic year 2020-2021, CPG will be facilitating online 60-minute drop-in Discussion Groups focused on helping students to manage adjustment challenges related to COVID-19. In addition, CPG will offer a multitude of drop-in discussion groups based on a student’s identity and for those who are concerned about issues on campus and around the globe. Whether you’re a student who is attending classes remotely or you are here at Clark in person, these discussion groups are designed to provide students with a supportive space to connect and exchange ideas with one another. These discussion groups do not provide mental health treatment. You can attend one or return as many times as you like. No registration is necessary – just show up!
- First Year Students: Challenge COVID, Change Our World – Thursdays 1-2pm
- Learning to Rise: Building Resilience during COVID-19 – Tuesdays 4-5pm
- Sustainable Work with Advocacy: Challenging Convention and Preserving Our Mental Health – Wednesdays 4-5pm
- ‘F’ My Anxiety #FMA – Wednesdays 3-4pm
- Netflix and Fulfill – Mondays 2-3pm
- Weathering the Storm: Managing Your Life in a Time of Uncertainty – Tuesdays 1-2pm
- Body Neutrality and COVID-19 – Wednesdays 11-12pm
- Black Healing Space (for Black/Afro-LatinX students) – Fridays 1-2pm
- Non-Black POC Support Space – Wednesdays 3-4pm
- White and White Passing Allyship – Fridays 1-2pm
- Athlete Support Space – Wednesdays 2-3pm
- Managing Social Isolation during COVID-19 – Mondays 3-4pm
- Stress Reduction: Your Mind and You – Mondays 4-5pm
- Finding Support as an International Student – Wednesdays 8am-9am, Fridays 11am-12pm
For more information about the discussion groups (more information about each group and how to connect to the group when it happens), please check out our Discussion Group webpage.
If you are in need of a psychiatric medication, CPG offers a limited amount of psychiatric care through a telehealth platform for the Clark community. Because the demand for psychiatry appointments is very high, CPG offers medication appointments with a psychiatrist for assessment and stabilization of symptoms. Once a student’s mental health symptoms are stabilized with medication, they are either referred to a physician at Clark University Health Services or a psychiatrist in the community for continued medication management. Because psychiatric resources are very limited at CPG and in the Worcester community, we urge you to keep your mental health prescriber (or Pediatrician/Primary Care Physician) from home. Many students currently do this, and follow up appointments can be easily scheduled during school breaks. However, if it’s not possible to keep your mental health prescriber from home, we recommend that you contact a Worcester area mental health clinic to arrange an initial appointment. A list of specific mental health clinics in the Worcester area offering telepsychiatry can be found on the Off-Campus Mental Health Resources webpage on the CPG website.
Please note that telepsychiatry medication management services at CPG are available only for students who are actively involved in counseling at CPG.
We realize that because of the nature of teletherapy and the current COVID restrictions on campus, it may be difficult for students who share a room with a roommate to have the privacy they need for their session. In a partnership with the Goddard Library, we have four private rooms available on the fourth floor of the library (Rooms 412, 415, 416, and 417). To reserve a room in the library for your session, please email CPG Administrative Assistant, Mary Hynes (email@example.com). It is required that you reserve the room in order to use it for your session.
There will be a room monitor present in an area outside of the rooms at the library. When you check in with the room monitor at the time of your session, you will be asked for an authorization number, which is the last four digits of your telephone number. Authorization numbers are used to protect your confidentiality.
To keep the rooms safe, we ask that students clean and disinfect the rooms both before and after their sessions. Paper towels and sanitizing cleaner are provided in the rooms.
Also, if you are concerned about others listening to your session, please feel free to download a white noise app, like MyNoise, which is free for iOS and Android. If using the white noise app, it helps to put your phone near the door to distort your speech from being heard from people on the outside.
CPG is able to see you for a same-day appointment to help you focus on the crisis at hand, manage your discomfort, and develop a plan. During business hours (Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm), we ask that you call CPG at (508)793-7678 and we will work to provide you with an immediate telehealth appointment with one of our CPG mental health professionals or interns. For situation that involve a serious mental health emergency, you may be asked to come in to the counseling center to personally meet with a counselor.
Generally, a crisis entails one or more of the following:
- Having experienced a recent physical or sexual assault or another significant trauma
- Your life is currently in danger
- Having intention or plans of hurting or killing yourself or someone else (or concern about someone else’s suicidal thoughts or behaviors)
- Losing touch with reality or having otherwise disturbing experiences or behaviors (such as hearing or seeing things that others do not)
Here are some other ways that you can connect with help if you are having a mental health emergency.
CPG After Hours provides telephonic mental health support by professional therapists when CPG is not open. Students can use CPG After Hours when they feel overwhelmed and need someone to talk to in the moment. It’s also helpful if they need help if they are experiencing a panic attack, suicidal thoughts, or any other heightened mental health situation. CPG After Hours counselors have extensive training in helping students feel more stable when their emotional state is overwhelmed.
Students can access CPG After Hours between 5pm and 9am on weekdays and 24 hours on weekend. To connect with a professional therapy through CPG After Hours, call the counseling center at (508) 793-7678 and select option #2 on the voicemail prompt. This will automatically connect you to a CPG After Hours counselor who is familiar with the Clark University campus and can provide therapeutic consultation and intervention options.
CPG After Hours is a confidential resource. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis during normal business hours (Monday-Friday, 8:30am to 5:00pm), you can still call CPG and talk to a CPG counselor in person.
NOTE: This resource is also available to Clark students who are located in a state outside of Massachusetts. It is also available for international students who are located in a different country as well.
CPG offers services by video and phone, often referred to as “telehealth.” All you need is an Internet connection, a private location, and a device (any phone, tablet, or a computer with a camera and microphone). Telehealth services are confidential, effective, and supportive. You’ll receive the same individualized care as you would in person.
Helpful Tips to Ensure a Good Teletherapy Session
Before you log in for your session, consider a few things:
- Privacy: If possible, find a private place to meet with your counselor where you won’t be interrupted or overheard. If you don’t have access to a private location, we can work with you to find alternative solutions. Do not have a counseling session in a public location.
- Technology: Decide if you’ll be using a computer, phone or tablet and whether you’ll be using the device’s built-in speakers and microphone or using headphones with a microphone. Try to connect with a device that has a strong wifi connection; if possible, try connecting your device to an Ethernet cable as that tends to provide the most secure and clear connection.
- Disruptions We know disruptions happen—a family member walks in, the fire alarm goes off, the Internet cuts out. We’ll talk with you about how to manage your situation so that disruptions aren’t a barrier.
- Lighting: If you are utilizing Zoom for Healthcare for a teletherapy session, have an environment with good lighting where your counselor can see you well. Nonverbal signals are a significant part of someone’s communication and will help you and your counselor have better communication.
- Noise: Be sure to silence notifications on your phone and computer. If you like, you may want to use a free white noise app, like MyNoise which is free for iOS and Android. If using the white noise app, it helps to put your phone near the door to distort your speech from being heard from people on the outside.
- Position: Be sure to be about 1-2 feet away from the camera. Be aware that a shoulders-up view is ideal for your counselor to see your nonverbal reactions.
Connecting to Your Telehealth Appointment
- After you schedule a first-time appointment or follow up session, you will be sent a link to complete paperwork a few hours prior to your appointment. Note that your initial paperwork may take 15-30 minutes to complete and follow up paperwork will take 5-10 minutes, so please take this time into consideration.
- In addition to the link to complete the initial paperwork, you will also be emailed a link from your therapist that allows you to connect with your therapist for your teletherapy session via Zoom for Healthcare.
- When you click on the link to connect to your counselor, make sure you unmute your microphone and video.
- You won’t be able to enter the meeting until your counselor connects to the session. When your counselor is ready, they will allow you to enter the appointment.
There are three ways that a student can request an appointment at CPG:
- Go to our Meet the Staff webpage and click on the “Request an Appointment with….” link at the bottom of the counselor bio whom you feel you would like to meet with. This will take you to a form where you can list your preferences for a counselor as well as your availability. Once you fill out this form, our administrative assistant will contact you to schedule an appointment.
- Email CPG at firstname.lastname@example.org and request an appointment.
- Call CPG at (508)793-7678 and speak to our administrative assistant. Calling is the quickest way to schedule an appointment.
NOTE: We do not allow parents or staff to schedule appointments for a student. In addition, we do not reach out to students by request to begin the scheduling process. All appointments must be made by the person seeking counseling.