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Information about Counseling Services

Updated March 20, 2020

Counseling Services: Response to COVID-19 for Spring Term 2020

Counseling Services is committed to providing continued care to our students for the remainder of the Spring Term 2020.  This may be in the form of virtual counseling sessions as outlined below, or assisting students in finding therapeutic care in their area. Legally, counselors are only allowed to practice in the state in which they are licensed.  Wayne Carpenter, Nan Salky, and Meaghan Decker are licensed in Massachusetts; Amy Shuman is licensed in both Massachusetts and Connecticut.  This means that Wayne, Nan, and Meaghan can only provide counseling sessions to students who are physically in Massachusetts, while Amy can only provide counseling sessions to students who are physically in Massachusetts or Connecticut.

In General

  1. Counseling sessions will take place via Zoom or Fuze – video conferencing platforms (see instructions below).  For any student who does not have access to Wi-Fi or a computer with audio/video capabilities, a session via telephone will be offered.  If you choose to opt out of your appointment, please contact your counselor at their office number listed below..
  2. Appointments made before leaving for Spring Break will take place at your regularly scheduled day and time.  This includes appointments scheduled for March 23-27.
  3. Students who have not yet set up an appointment, but wish to do so, can call the Counseling Services office (413-782-1221) during regular office hours to make the proper arrangements.
  4. If Counseling Services needs to contact you, we will use the phone number and/or email address you provided us at intake.
  5. Keep in mind that the situation with COVID-19 is fluid, so modifications to these plans may become necessary.

How Tele-therapy via Zoom, Fuze or Phone Will Work

  1. An email will be sent to the email address you gave us at intake.  In that email you will be invited to attend a Zoom or Fuze meeting and a URL will be provided.  At the scheduled time of your appointment, click on the URL and a window will open up to begin the session.  You may receive a brief phone call just prior to your scheduled appointment to review logistical matters.
  2. In the event of technical difficulties, your counselor will place a phone call to the number you provided at intake and a phone session will take place.  Likewise, you can call your counselor if you are having problems logging into the meeting.
    1. 413-782-1565   Wayne Carpenter, Ph.D.
    2. 413-782-1226   Nan Salky, M.A.
    3. 413-796-2385   Amy Shuman, LICSW
    4. 413-782-1360   Meaghan Decker, LICSW
  3. For scheduled phone sessions, your counselor will call you at the time of your appointment.  Please make sure your voice mailbox is not full in case the counselor needs to leave you a message.
  4. To verify your identity, you may be asked to provide your student ID number.
  5. Keep in mind that it will be your responsibility to make sure you are in an environment that protects your confidentiality. This would include making sure your Wi-Fi connection is secure and you are in a place where you can be overheard. 

Finding a Therapist in Your Area

Finding a therapist near you can seem like a daunting task, but here are some resources to help make that task easier.

  1. PsychologyToday.com has a “Find a Therapist” function that is quite useful.  Just put in your zip code and you will receive a listing of therapists in your area complete with bios, specialties, insurance they accept, and contact information.  You can further refine your search by using the sidebar on the left of the listed therapists.
  2. If you are an athlete, you may want to find a therapist whose specialty is working with athletes.  The Association for Applied Sport Psychology can provide listings for a Certified Mental Performance Consultant at https://appliedsportpsych.org/certification/cmpc-directory/.  Again, just put in your zip code and a search radius, and a listing of names will be provided.
  3. Additionally, you can contact your health insurance carrier who will direct you to a listing of mental health providers in your area.
  4. Finally, you can always contact a counselor at WNEU Counseling Services to aid you in the process of finding a therapist near your home.

Grief and Other Mental Health Concerns

The suddenness of what transpired on Friday (the 13th!) left most of us reeling with a multitude of competing emotions.  For many, these emotions are likely a reflection of grief; not being able to say goodbye to friends and relationship partners, seniors missing out on all their special events, athletes unable to play an entire season (and perhaps the last collegiate season for many seniors), etc…  All of these circumstances, and more, represent a significant loss, and grief is the natural outcome of such losses.  To help understand the grieving process and get tips on coping, HelpGuide.org (https://www.helpguide.org/articles/grief/coping-with-grief-and-loss.htm) is a useful site.  The site also has very good information on dealing with other mental health topics such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, ADHD, and more.

Hotlines

Here is a listing of national hotlines that may be of use to you in emergency situations. 

Emergency: 911
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1- 800-799-7233
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
National Hopeline Network: 1-800-SUICIDE (800-784-2433)
Crisis Text Line: Text "DESERVE" TO 741-741
Lifeline Crisis Chat (Online live messaging): https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/
Self-Harm Hotline: 1-800-DONT CUT (1-800-366-8288)
Family Violence Helpline: 1-800-996-6228
Planned Parenthood Hotline: 1-800-230-PLAN (7526) 
American Association of Poison Control Centers: 1-800-222-1222
National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependency Hope Line: 1-800-622-2255
National Crisis Line - Anorexia and Bulimia: 1-800-233-4357
GLBT Hotline: 1-888-843-4564
TREVOR Crisis Hotline: 1-866-488-7386
AIDS Crisis Line: 1-800-221-7044
Veterans Crisis Line: https://www.veteranscrisisline.net
TransLifeline: https://www.translifeline.org - 877-565-8860
Suicide Prevention Wiki:
 http://suicideprevention.wikia.com
 

Helpful Apps

Calm - Calm is designed for people new to meditation – starting with guided practices from 3 to 25 minutes in length and focused on a variety of topics from sleep to gratitude.

Moodkit - Based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, MoodKit helps people improve their mood by engaging them in over 200 mood enhancement activities like thought checking and journaling.

Talklife - Developed by folks at Harvard and MIT, TalkLife is a peer support platform that engages an online community when people just someone who’s willing to listen. Posting can be done anonymously.

My3app - My3app is a safety plan tool that helps people who are at high risk for suicide. It helps people develop a written list of coping strategies and sources of support.