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
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 Groups and Drop-In Discussion Groups are meeting via teletherapy. To see our group therapy and drop-in discussion group offerings, you can check them out here.
Group Therapy: Groups typically have 6-10 members that meet with one or two trained counselor(s), usually once a week for 60 minutes. Group members talk about a variety of issues including exploring relationships and enhancing coping skills. Group leaders create a brave space for students to share information about themselves, gain insight into their own thoughts and behaviors, and provide feedback and support to others. To participate in a group, students need to meet with the co-facilitators for a 30-minute screening to learn more about the group and determine together if the group is an appropriate treatment option. If you are interested in joining a telehealth group, please email the group facilitator.
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. The discussion groups are designed to offer helpful skills including managing anxiety, adjusting to remote learning, and healthy approaches to social isolation as well as creating a platform for students to talk to each other for support and exchange of ideas. These discussion groups do not provide mental health treatment.
To participate in the drop-in discussion group a password is required. Please email the facilitator to receive the password. Once you have received the password you will be able to click on the link for the group that you would like to attend at the appointed time. Return as many times as you like.
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.
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 Andriod. 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 email@example.com 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.