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Policies and Statements

Diversity Commitment

The counseling center honors diversity by treating all members of the Colgate community with respect, intentionally considering the needs of under-represented groups. We are dedicated to maintaining a welcoming and inclusive environment that recognizes the impact of stereotypes, prejudice, discrimination, oppression, and privilege. We demonstrate our commitment to multicultural practices through engagement in intentional professional development and reflective supervision.

Mission Statement

The counseling center is committed to providing high-quality, confidential, ethical, and culturally affirming mental health services to Colgate University students. The center offers individual and group counseling, crisis intervention, and prevention services. We are responsive to the developmental, cultural, and demographic diversity of our students as they pursue their Colgate education. As a department within and in support of the broader Office of the Dean of the College, the counseling center also provides consultation, outreach, and training services to all members of the Colgate community regarding mental health concerns.

Eligibility

All Colgate students are eligible to use the resources of The Counseling Center free of charge. Members of the faculty and staff are encouraged to use Colgate's Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provided by Family Services Associates, 10 Eaton St., Hamilton. EAP's phone number is 315-451-2161. The first six visits are free. Please call Human Resources for more details.

Confidentiality
Counseling sessions are strictly confidential. Your privacy is very important to us and, thus, the Counseling Center adheres to state laws and ethical standards, which require that all client information be held in confidence. Except in emergency circumstances, no one outside of the Counseling Center is given any information even the fact that you have had an appointment without your consent. There are a few rare exceptions to confidentiality, as follows:
  • Abuse of children: If a staff member has reason to believe that a child under the age of 18 is being abused or neglected
  • Imminent harm to self/others: If a staff member has reason to believe that you are in danger of physically harming yourself or someone else
  • Age limitation: If you are under 18 we cannot guarantee you confidentiality. If contacted by your parents, we would have to answer their questions in regard to your treatment.
  • Security clearance/certification: If you apply for state licensure or certification in some professional fields or apply for a job requiring security clearance
  • Third-party payment/insurance: If you are referred for other services for which you might need insurance coverage
  • Court orders: When ordered by a court of law
Our guiding principle is to respect a student's right to confidentiality. Trust is an essential aspect of effective therapy. We will exert our greatest effort to ensure the respect and confidentiality of our clients. 

A student's medical records at the Student Health Center are confidential, and information from them is only released with the student's request and written permission. Medical records are kept for seven years (immunization records for 10) following graduation and then are destroyed.
Number of Visits

In order to respond in a timely way and avoid waiting lists, the Counseling Center generally employs a short-term model of treatment in working with our students. For most, the Counseling Center will provide an initial (30-minute) consultation session to identify/discuss the therapy issues, an hour-long intake session, and then up to six additional therapy sessions per semester. However, exceptions to this short-term model of treatment can be made.

Cancellations/No-Shows

Please notify us 24 hours in advance, if possible, when you cannot attend a scheduled session. Appointments will not automatically be rescheduled for the following week should you miss a session without contacting our office.

E-mail

Confidentiality cannot be assured when communicating via e-mail. E-mail usage can be monitored and others may read the content of your personal messages. We will do our best to keep your communications private. However, we have no control over hackers or Internet service providers or others who may have access to your account or computer.

E-mail should not be used for urgent communication. In case of an emergency, call the Counseling Center at 315-228-7385 during office hours or Campus Safety at 315-228-7333 after office hours or on the weekend.

Conant House Library

Books may be checked out from the Conant House Library simply by letting the office manager know which book(s) you wish to borrow. Books are lent for a period of three weeks. Please return books promptly as there is considerable demand for our books. A confidential record of books checked out is kept in our lending library database. View the collection here.