Post-Election Message from Student Counseling Services - November 9, 2016

This national election cycle has been a particularly stressful one. UAB Student Counseling Center staff want to acknowledge a range of reactions today including shock, excitement, joy, relief, fear, sadness, anger, dread, hopelessness, anxiety, and numbness. You may find yourself within a circle of friends or classmates who do not share the same reactions as you. These interactions may evoke strong emotions and questions and may intensify your reactions.

We are here to listen and support you as our nation works through this election transition. If you are struggling with the personal impact of the election, the tone of the national discussions, or if you are experiencing negative treatment, threats or more subtle forms of oppression because of your race or ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious affiliation, country of origin or other aspect of your identity, please schedule an appointment (205-934-5816).

UAB Student Counseling Services provides a safe space for discussions on identity, empowerment, intercultural competency, and the impact of the election. As this is a highly emotional time for our nation, we recommend several strategies to care for yourself and help you remain productive throughout the semester including:

  • Acknowledging your feelings: check your emotional state before you engage in conversations. Are you in a space to dialogue?
  • Focusing on tasks or events that are in your control
  • Connect with friends, family, a community, or safe space to ground and support you
  • Focusing on the present and shifting away from the future focus
  • Monitoring your media use—check your reactions before and after taking in the information; set time limits
  • Opt out of unproductive conversations. Pay attention to whether the discussion is going to benefit anyone or just increase stress levels
  • Take care of basic needs such as eating, sleeping, drinking water, playing, and laughing. Incorporate activities that recharge you and relax you every day
  • Volunteer for an organization that supports your values and interests on (http://www.uab.edu/students/involvement/civic-engagement) or off campus
  • If you have experienced a bias or identity-based violence submit a report at https://www.uab.edu/studentaffairs/biasreporting/
  • Utilize self-care apps such as Breathe2Relax (iPhone, Android); Mindshift (iphone, Android); Stop, Breathe, Think (iPhone, Android); Headspace (iPhone, Android); Virtual Hope Box (iPhone, Android)
Photos of Birmingham landmarks in a waiting area of the Student Health and Wellness CenterThe SHWC Counseling Service assists in developing students’ potential in physical, academic, spiritual, psychosocial, emotional and vocational areas.

  • Individual and couples counseling
  • Crisis counseling
  • Wellness programs
  • Group opportunities
  • Educational resources

Confidential counseling services are available to all currently enrolled UAB students at no cost. Psychiatric services are also available.

Scheduling an Appointment

Call our office at 205-934-5816 to schedule an appointment. You will speak to our intake coordinator who will take some general information from you and schedule your intake counseling appointment with one of our counselors.

You may also come by our office during office hours to schedule an appointment. Office hours are Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-noon and 1:00-5:00 p.m.; we are closed from noon-1:00 p.m.

First Visit

Please plan to arrive at least 20 minutes early to complete your paperwork. You may come by prior to your appointment and fill out the paperwork in advance as well. During your first appointment, your counselor will get to know you and discuss your reasons for seeking counseling. You will also discuss what you hope to gain from counseling services and how we can be helpful to you.

Parking

Parking is available for you at the Student Health and Wellness Center, 1714 9th Avenue, South, 3rd floor of the Learning Resource Center, when you have health or counseling appointments. If you prefer printing your parking pass from home, follow these instructions.
  1. Log-in to our Patient Portal with your Blazer ID and password.
  2. Select your counseling appointment and choose to print a parking pass.
  3. Place this on the inside dashboard of your vehicle when you arrive for your appointment.

Checking In for Appointments

When you arrive for your first appointment, check-in at the front desk and a receptionist will escort you to the counseling suite. After your first appointment, you have the option to check-in with your Blazer ID at the kiosks in the main lobby waiting area or check-in with a receptionist. After you check-in, walk to the counseling suite. Always check-in with the Counseling Services receptionist upon arrival.

No-Shows and Late Cancellations

We expect that you will make every effort to keep your scheduled counseling appointments. If you are unable to keep your appointment, it is important that you notify us 24 hours in advance. If you are more than 10 minutes late to an appointment, your counselor will decide whether to keep, reschedule, or cancel your appointment. If you cancel late (less than 24 hours) or fail to show up to 2 scheduled appointments, you will be required to wait until the following term to schedule again with your counselor.

Information about the Counseling Process

We appreciate your decision to seek personal counseling. It is often a difficult decision for some to decide to schedule a counseling appointment. Although no one can solve your problems for you, it is our goal to assist you in resolving problems and coping with life stressors. During the course of counseling, distressing memories, feelings, and thoughts may arise, and insights gained may produce changes that affect various aspects of life, including personal relationships. You have the right to refuse to participate in any area of therapy and to limit your level of personal exploration. We encourage you to promptly communicate any questions, concerns, or plans for therapy to your counselor so we can assist in making counseling as beneficial and helpful as possible.

Communicating with your Counselor by Secure Messaging

In order to ensure the highest level of security and confidentiality, Student Health & Wellness providers communicate with you through the Secure Patient Portal, which is part of your electronic health record. You can log in to the patient portal (using your Blazer ID and password). There, you can send and check your messages. If your counselor sends you a secure message, you will receive a notification in your regular email.