UCS Frequently Asked Questions

Accessing Services

For all counseling, psychiatry and case management appointments please contact us by phone (414-229-4133) to schedule your initial phone screening. Upon scheduling your appointment, please fill out the required history forms prior to your appointment by utilizing the client portal.

To access our online-only services please select the following links: SilverCloud and Lets Talk Consultations.

Our services are available to UWM students currently enrolled in classes for credit and who have paid the student segregated fee.

Accessing our counseling and psychiatry services starts with a triage appointment, which is a 15-20 minute phone screening. During the screening we gather information that helps us make a recommendation for your best next steps.

Next steps may include: a counseling intake (individual, group, or couples therapy), a medication evaluation, or a referral for care in the community through our UCS case manager.

  • University Counseling Services does not provide any mandated services or those that may require either court testimony and/or letters or reports to be filed with any legal entities. We do not provide services where litigation is either involved or pending.
  • We do not provide evaluation-only services or comprehensive psychological testing services, including testing for ADHD or learning disabilities. Neuropsychological testing can be pursued on campus through the UWM Psychology Clinic.
  • We are not able to provide documentation for emotional support animals.

 

About Services

In order to assist the maximum number of students who seek UCS services, treatment is offered in a variety of short-term models. While there are currently no session limits on group counseling opportunities, individual and relationship counseling services have session limits per calendar year. Currently, this translates to up to about three months of weekly therapy. Many students are able to achieve their goals in much less time and UCS will always provide support and referral to those students whose needs may be best addressed by a community provider or those transitioning out of UCS services.

  • University Counseling Services does not provide any mandated services or those that may require either court testimony and/or letters or reports to be filed with any legal entities. We do not provide services where litigation is either involved or pending.
  • We do not provide evaluation-only services or comprehensive psychological testing services, including testing for ADHD or learning disabilities. Neuropsychological testing can be pursued on campus through the UWM Psychology Clinic.
  • We are not able to provide documentation for emotional support animals.

Your visits with the University Counseling Services staff are private and confidential with exceptions governed by state and federal laws. Your treatment and participation in UCS services is separate from your academic record at UWM. Professional limits to confidentiality include:

  • If there is a clear and present danger to the safety of yourself or others.
  • In situations of abuse or neglect to a child or elderly person.
  • In the event of a court order for information.

The counselor can provide a more detailed description of limits to confidentiality during your initial and subsequent appointments.

In certain circumstances, appeal/attendance letters can be provided, when warranted, for those who are receiving ongoing psychological or psychiatric treatment from UCS. The determination of whether documentation is provided is completed on a case by case basis. If you believe you may need an appeal letter of some kind:

  • Talk to your academic advisor to find out if your department/program permits the type of appeal you are seeking.
  • Learn what you must do to start the appeal process. Your advisor will likely explore the basis for your appeal and may suggest that you contact the University Counseling Services provider with whom you are already working.

If you are currently experiencing an emergency, call 911 (9-911 from an on-campus phone) 24 hours a day.

Campus Options

  • Victim Advocacy: Norris Health Center’s confidential Victim Advocate can help you understand and navigate your options of services for students who have been impacted by sexual and/or relationship violence. If you would like to speak with our Victim/Survivor Advocate, contact 414-229-4582 or victimadvocacy@uwm.edu.
  • Contact University Counseling Services (UCS) either by phone (414-229-4133) or by walking in to the clinic on the 5th floor of the NWQ building B to utilize on-call or scheduled counseling services. If you are in crisis or have experienced a recent sexual assault, mention this to staff and they will prioritize you being able to meet with staff that day.

Community Options

  • Aurora Healing and Advocacy Services (formerly Sexual Assault Treatment Center) offers a variety of services. (414-219-5555) 24 hours/day.
    • Victim/survivor Advocacy Services
    • 24-hour Crisis Phone Line
    • Medical Evidentiary Exam Advocacy

Counseling and Therapeutic Services

  • The National Sexual Assault Hotline offers free, confidential counseling 24 hours a day at 1-800-656-HOPE. They are a national (not local) service provider that can help connect you to local providers.

Counseling, Medical and Health Promotion & Wellness services remain open and available to UWM students throughout the summer.

For students enrolled in summer classes there are no additional steps required to be eligible for services. For students not enrolled in summer classes but planning to return to UWM in Fall ’21, there is a one-time summer fee of $60 that covers summer eligibility for services.

How to Pay

  • By phone, 414-229-4716 option 4
  • In person, Norris Health Center cashier window

Forms of Payment

  • Cash, check, debit card, credit card, HSA/FSA card

 

Please call with questions, 414-229-4716 or email nhc-help@uwm.edu.

 

Crisis Services

Any of the the below criteria are required to qualify for a UCS crisis session:

  • I’m concerned about my ability to keep myself safe.
  • I’m having thoughts of harming someone else.
  • I am bothered by hearing or seeing things that others do not.
  • I have experienced a traumatic event within the last month.

UCS is a relatively small team of mental health professionals working to provide the best mental health care possible to over 24,000 students. UCS has identified the above criteria for crisis sessions to focus our crisis response to those most in need and to protect ongoing service time so we can see more students and offer more diverse services.

If your current circumstances do not meet the above criteria for a crisis, you are still welcome to contact UCS but will not be able to been seen for a same day crisis session. In this scenario, UCS will reach out to you by phone within the next 24 hours (Mon-Fri) to provide support and explore next steps to connect you to any needed services or resources.

Crisis sessions can be over the phone, via Microsoft Teams, or in-person depending on the physical location of the student and unique circumstances of each situation. In all cases, contacting us via phone ahead of time will help expedite our response whether we eventually connect with you over the phone, Microsoft Teams, or in-person.

 

Let’s Talk

Let’s Talk serves as an informal consultation on general issues, questions or concerns connected to mental health. In contrast, counseling at UCS is an ongoing service for students that involves an initial assessment interview and ongoing treatment of goal areas identified the student and counselor. Ongoing therapy usually consists of regularly scheduled 50-minute appointments.

Your “Let’s Talk” counselor can help you determine whether formal counseling at UCS would be useful for you and, if appropriate, assist you in scheduling an initial appointment.

Let’s Talk is open to all UWM students. Let’s Talk is the best fit for:

  • Students who are not sure about counseling and wonder what it’s like to talk with a counselor.
  • Students who are not interested in ongoing counseling but would like the perspective of a counselor.
  • Students who have a specific problem and would like someone with whom to talk it through.
  • Students who have a concern about a friend and want some ideas about what next steps to take.

Let’s Talk consultations are entirely confidential with the same exceptions as in individual counseling. These exceptions include if you were to disclose threat of imminent harm to yourself or someone else or if you were to describe ongoing child or elderly abuse. Anonymous information is collected about attendance so that we can keep track of the number of students we are serving. Let’s Talk visits are never reported on a student’s official university record.

 

If you have any additional questions or unique requests regarding Let’s Talk consultations, please contact Carrie Fleider.

The Let’s Talk Program at UWM is based upon the Let’s Talk Program developed at Cornell University. With permission, material for this website has been adapted or reproduced from the Cornell University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Let’s Talk websites. We would like to thank Wai-Kwong Wong at Cornell and Amanda Ngola at UW-Madison for their consultation and willingness to share resources, which helped us to initiate this program on our campus.