Counseling & wellness
Welcome to the Counseling & Wellness Center!
Being human and being in college means experiencing some challenge while you learn, grow, and live life. You can thrive – not just survive – through challenge and the CWC is here to help you understand your process, move toward your goals, connect with others, and be holistically well here at CCAD. You lead the way in taking risks and building on your strengths. We've got your back and partner with you while you try out new ways to think, do, and thrive.
Important service changes for 2021-2022
- Therapists will be back in the office. Clients can choose between in-person and Zoom-based interaction for all meetings and therapeutic services.
- The Urgent Walk-In Hour has been eliminated and will no longer be staffed! It is replaced with 30 minute Single Session Therapy (SST) appointments offered each day.
- 30 minute SST appointments are scheduled online, using either the "First appointment" or "Follow-up appointment" scheduling buttons here on the CWC MyCCAD page.
- Clients will no longer complete informed consent and client information forms inside the CWC office. You will complete all your forms online before scheduling your initial or follow-up appointment. A laptop will probably work better than a phone for completing your forms.
- Our overall service delivery model has changed. In an attempt to decrease wait lists, ongoing individual counseling may only be offered in certain situations, and as-needed SST appointments will be offered for all others. See more details about our new service model here.
- Due to license restrictions, the CWC cannot typically provide therapy services for students who are residing outside of the state of Ohio. For any students staying out of state this year, we can provide consultation and help with referrals for services that are local to you, and you are able to participate in any groups or events that are education or outreach focused.
Meet the staff
Erin Vlach, MA, LPPC-S
Director of Counseling & Wellness
Michelle DeBellis, LPCC-S
Assistant Director of Counseling & Wellness
Kat Thompson, MA LPC
Part-Time Clinical Therapist
Alycia Roby, MA, LPC
Nicole Parish, CT
Clinical Counseling Intern
Renee Shaffer, CT
Clinical Counseling Intern
CWC services are available to students who are currently enrolled in a degree-seeking program.
When you request an appointment, you will be scheduled for an Initial Single Session Therapy appointment with a therapist. The “SST” appointment is for helping with problem solving your current situation, and finding resources at CCAD or off-campus for your ongoing support or mental health care. Learn more under “Appointments & Getting Started”.
Our fall 2021 groups are still being finalized, and will be posted here as soon as they are available.
Group Counseling & Support
Group counseling can be a fun and really impactful way to learn about yourself and make changes while connecting with others. Email [email protected] for more details on current groups and how to join.
CWC therapists can collaborate with campus partners and emergency resources to intervene in crisis situations to support the safety of each student and our community as a whole. See the Emergency Resources & Crisis Response section for more details.
Sexual Assault Volunteer Program
Become a Helpline Advocate, Hospital Advocate, or Speakers' Bureau Preventionist with OhioHealth.
Click here for more information.
Wellness Programs & Outreach
The CWC offers a wide variety of wellness-oriented education, prevention, and stress-reduction programs.
Individual counseling at the CWC is generally considered to be non-intensive care, and appointments are often scheduled no more frequently than biweekly. If a higher level or specialist care is needed, we’ll help you find a community referral equipped to provide the kind of care that will be most helpful.
Letting staff at CCAD know that a friend is having a hard time will not get you or your friend in trouble. The last thing we want is for you to feel like you have to handle a difficult or unsafe situation by yourself when these situations are exactly why we're here on campus. In many cases, consulting with a CWC therapist can be kept confidential and in cases where the therapist thinks more help is needed, the situation is handled as discretely and carefully as possible. We work with you to get the full picture and help everyone involved find the best next steps in caring for one another.
If you are worried about the safety of a friend of they are experiencing an emergency, please use the emergency resources listed.
Click here for more information on how you can help a friend.
Training and education for students, instructors, and staff is available upon request or may be periodically offered throughout the year. Some training topics include:
- Suicide prevention gatekeeper training
- Sexual assault response training
- How to help a friend
- The effects of trauma
- Mental health at CCAD
- Neuroscience of emotions and learning
- Introduction to meditation
- Stress reduction and self-care
Interested in getting trained or in a topic you don't see here? Email [email protected].
Fresh Food for CCAD Students
Through a grant awarded by the State of Ohio, dedicated to collegiate mental health and wellness, CCAD and the Counseling & Wellness Center has partnered with Yellowbird Foodshed to offer CCAD students free boxes of fresh produce on a weekly basis! These boxes of nutritious, local food are available for pick up from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. every Thursday at the Ampersand Emporium on campus. No explanation or financial information needed. You must be an enrolled student and bring your CCAD student ID with you for pick up. Produce boxes are available on a first come, first-served basis. For questions or more information, contact [email protected].
The CWC is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
The CWC is closed over the weekends. The CWC closes for clinical services during winter and spring breaks. Some services may be limited during the summer. The CWC observes all CCAD holidays and inclement weather days and is closed when the college is closed.
Location & contact
The CWC is located on the first floor of the Loann Crane Center for Design.
CCAD Counseling & Wellness Center
112 Cleveland Avenue
Columbus, OH 43215
You may request and schedule your first appointment of the school year on our website. Before the system will allow you to schedule, you will be asked to fill out a series of forms, providing legal and ethical information and collecting information about you, your situation, your history, and your current needs. These forms usually take about 30 minutes to complete and will not save if you exit out and attempt to come back to them later.
Your first session will be called an Initial Single Session Therapy (SST) appointment. It will last approximately 30 minutes and will include:
- You sharing your situation, concerns, and your goals
- Your therapist asking you questions to learn more about you and needs
- Your therapist discussing options and ways we can help
- Depending on your situation, the outcome of this session may be:
- Scheduling CWC ongoing individual counseling
- Referral to CWC Follow-Up SST appointments
- Referral to CWC groups for therapy or skill-building, or
- Connecting you with a therapist outside of CCAD
An Initial SST must be attended each academic year to update consent and information forms, and to re-evaluate client situations and service needs.
Single Session Therapy
After attending an Initial SST appointment, additional Follow-Up SST appointments may be requested as often as you need them, and can often be accommodated same-day or next-day. These appointments are scheduled for 30 minutes, and are typically focused on safety evaluation, problem-solving, and developing wellness planning.
SINGLE SESSION THERAPY APPOINTMENTS HAVE TAKEN THE PLACE OF THE URGENT WALK-IN HOUR. THE URGENT WALK-IN HOUR HAS BEEN ELIMINATED AND WILL NO LONGER BE STAFFED.
Ongoing Individual Therapy
Counseling sessions following an intake are scheduled for 50 minutes. On-going counseling appointments are typically not able to be scheduled more frequently than once every two weeks and availability can change throughout the year.
See more details about our new service model here.
Mental health emergencies or crises require immediate intervention, and for everyone's safety and well-being, you should never attempt to handle these situations by yourself. The following resources are available 24/7:
- If on or near campus, call CCAD Safety & Security at 614.222.6165.
- Call 911 or visit the nearest hospital emergency department.
- Call the Netcare Access mental health crisis line at 614.276.CARE (2273).
Examples of mental health crisis or emergency include when a person is:
- Threatening or immediately considering suicide or serious self-injury.
- Threatening or immediately considering homicide or harming others.
- Acting erratically or extremely differently from what is typical for the person.
- Under the influence of a substance and behaving dangerously.
How CCAD can help
Professionally trained staff at CCAD are here to help when students are in crisis. We never want you to go through an emergency alone and there are ways we can help.
The Safety & Security Office can provide:
- Access to a comfortable, private room where students in crisis can safely stay until the appropriate staff become available.
- Transportation for students to local hospitals or crisis centers if a student requires assistance beyond the scope of the CWC. An officer will stay with the student until they are received by hospital staff.
- The ability to reach and consult with CWC staff when an urgent need arises outside of normal business hours.
- Notifying family, friends, roommates, or instructors of the student's status – ONLY as is necessary or requested by the student.
- Communicating and advocating with instructors to gain flexibility and support for academics, as needed.
- Communicating with hospitals or other agencies to coordinate student discharge and access to CCAD and community resources and referrals, if applicable.
- Meeting with students to discuss stressors, barriers, options related to academic plans, financial aid, learning support, and wellness planning.
Suicide prevention resources
If you are considering suicide, worried about a friend and need advice, or you just need someone to talk to, there are many resources you can use. The majority are available 24/7. Click the links to visit websites for more information.
Call 1.800.273.TALK (8255)
Especially for people identifying as trans
Especially for people identifying as LGBTQ
Text "TREVOR" to 1.202.304.1200 (Text not available 24/7)
Online chat (Chat not available 24/7)
Text "LISTEN" to 741741
Online crisis chat line
There may be times when the CWC is not able to accommodate all students requesting counseling, or times when you might prefer to see a therapist outside of CCAD. Please contact the CWC with any questions about the resources listed. Resources listed are not exhaustive, and you may want to start with your insurance company. CWC therapists are also happy to talk with you about local or out-of-state resources for therapy and support.
Tip: Always check with your insurance company to know your in-network benefits, out-of-network benefits, and which providers are covered!
This is a resource created by OSU, but can be used by CCAD students (or anyone) to find therapists who meet their specified needs. It provides filters and searchable access to over 170 mental health providers in the Columbus area.
The Pro Bono Counseling Program links volunteer mental health professionals in the community with those who need but cannot afford mental health counseling. The program’s volunteers are licensed and insured mental health professionals who provide short-term counseling (12 sessions or less) at no cost to the recipient. Other MHAFC resources can be found here.
If you are receiving or seeking mental health or substance use treatment in Franklin County, you may contact the MHAFC Ombudsman for help. The Ombudsman can:
- Listen to concerns or complaints and help find a solution
- Supply information about and referral to community resources
- Help clients “get through the system”, especially if you are receiving services from multiple agencies
- Coach and teach clients how to best work with services providers.
Search multiple provider types by state.
Referrals for mental health and other services from advertised LGBTQIA competent/friendly providers.
Call 1.800.656.HOPE (4673)
Absolutely. Between 17-20% of the CCAD student body, or about 1 in 5 students, uses CWC services each academic year. So, if you think you don't know someone who's been to the CWC, you just aren't talking about it! CCAD prides itself on fostering a campus culture where we care about each other, pay attention to how others are doing, step-in when things don't seem right, and seek out support to take care of ourselves when things get hard. It's called being an up-stander, and it's the way we do things.
We can't make guarantees, but we can talk about what CCAD students say about CWC services and the changes they've seen through the process of working with us.
Our most recent surveys show:
95% of clients say that the CWC helped them make progress in their goals.
87% of clients having difficulty with academics say that the CWC helped them improve.
98% of clients say that they'd recommend CWC services to other CCAD students.
Real talk from real students
"The CWC helped me understand that I have a lot of time ... I don't need to be a complete professional illustrator just yet. It helped me boost my confidence and deal with lower artistic self-esteem."
"I've always struggled with accepting help from counselors; like too many people, I suffered from the delusion that getting help was showing weakness and a step in the wrong direction. Support from CWC and CCAD staff helped me move past that. Of all the ways CWC has helped me to grow and heal, that's the gift I appreciate most."
"Group therapy through CWC was the best experience I have had at CCAD ever!"
"I want others to know that the CWC is here for a reason: to help people. No one gets judged, not a single person there is going to make you feel uncomfortable on purpose. The CWC is one of the most helpful things CCAD has to offer."
"The CWC was very helpful for me. I received advice that was truly helpful and beneficial – advice I couldn't get from even those closest to me. I've never been to counseling or any sessions in my life, but I realize how much I benefited from it and I would recommend anyone to go, even if they find their problems 'minimal'."
"The counselors were able to help me get through a variety of tough situations even when I thought it was hopeless. They even taught me how to take better care of myself so I can take control."
Counseling is the process of engaging in an active therapeutic relationship with a licensed mental health professional in order to gain support, information, and skills to help you meet your identified goals and to grow as a person. The CWC operates from the philosophy that clients are in charge of the process, which means:
- You get to decide what you work on and how you work on it.
- You decide what you will share and not share, talk about and not talk about.
- Your therapist will need open, honest feedback from you on what approaches and styles do and do not work for you.
- Your results in counseling will reflect the time, energy, and openness you put into the process.
CWC therapists often steer away from giving advice and telling you what you "should" do – this makes the process more about what the therapist thinks than what you think – but your therapist may suggest options or offer different perspectives to consider. Sometimes it's hard to not get "advice from experts" when we're struggling, and this sometimes comes from the idea that therapists are supposed to "fix" us or "fix" our problems. In the CWC, we believe that:
- You are not broken.
- You don't need "fixing".
- You have more answers that you give yourself credit for.
Counseling works because of neuroplasticity, which means that our brains and nervous systems physically change and grow in different ways depending on our life experiences and patterns. Learning and practicing new strategies, points of view, relationship skills, and communication styles is common in counseling and these are all ways that we can actually "re-wire" our brains to have different thought patterns and emotional reactions. Counseling isn't "just talking about problems" – it's neuroscience at work, and everyone can make changes!
"Stigma" is a negative association that we attach to something. Even though we have an up-stander culture where help-seeking is common, CCAD students are still harder on themselves than on their friends. A recent survey showed that CCAd students are very open and accepting when it comes to getting mental health treatment, but they often think that others around them believe that it's a weakness or a failure. Worrying about being judged negatively by others (even when they aren't actually judging us!) can keep us from sharing our struggles and reaching out for help.
The fact that you are using CWC services and all details about your treatment are kept completely confidential in accordance with state and federal laws, as well as professional codes of ethics. CWC staff cannot share with anyone else that they are working with you or know you through counseling unless you give them express permission, usually in writing. This means that you are in control of your own information, and that others do not have to know you are using CWC services unless you tell them. Therapists in Ohio have a "duty to protect", and may break confidentially in some cases to keep you and others safe, or to comply with legal mandates. The primary exceptions to confidentiality include situations where:
- You appear to be an imminent danger to yourself.
- You appear to be an imminent danger to others.
- You discuss situations involving child or elder abuse or neglect.
- Disclosure is mandated by legal proceeding.
Counseling records are maintained and protected in the CWC's electronic record system, separate from any academic records, and no one but CWC staff and designated IT personnel (for system maintenance only) have access to the system.
We're the best help to you when we have the full picture, and knowing about any current or past treatment or other important history can be important. If you have received or are receiving mental health or substance use services elsewhere, please tell your CWC therapist, and they may ask you to sign a Release of Information. This will allow your therapist to contact your external providers to gather any helpful information and to make things easier for you.
Just like most external mental health clinicians, the therapists in the CWC are qualified to provide documentation of psychiatric disabilities or support for accommodations based on disabilities. There are stipulations, and each therapist will use their clinical judgment about whether or not to provide documentation. At a minimum:
- The mental health condition in question must fully qualify as a disability, per federal standards.
- A full diagnostic assessment must be completed.
- You must have an active, on-going relationship with a CWC therapist and demonstrate commitment to the therapeutic process.
See the CCAD Learning Support Office page for more information on CCAD's disability registration policies.
Professional staff at CCAD can help you get back into the swing of classes and campus life. CWC therapists, the Learning Support Office, and the VP for Student Affairs can all help you:
- Talk about stressors and barriers that led to needing to step away.
- Develop a wellness plan to help prevent future barriers.
- Link with resources and help at CCAD and in the community to help you feel balanced and able to focus on school.
- Plan for how to talk with friends, instructors, or supervisors about your absence.
- Gain flexibility with deadlines or makes changes to class schedules.
- Make changes to financial aid or scholarship allocations, if applicable.
If you know someone who is having a hard time, you have options for helping them.
If you are worried about the safety of a friend or they are experiencing an emergency, please use the emergency resources listed.
Consult with the CWC
For non-emergency concerns, you may contact the CWC staff to consult and get advice.
Consult with your RA or Residence Life Staff
Sometimes it's easier to talk with another student before going to a staff member. Resident Advisors are specially trained to assist with a wide range of problems our students might experience. Click here to contact a Residence Life staff member.
Tips on How to talk with your friend about:
Other mental health concerns
- National Domestic Violence Hotline
- Center for Relationship Abuse Awareness
- Helping the LGBTQ Community
Drugs or alcohol