Mental Health Services Available at ACC

It’s ok to not be ok.

ACC+offers+free+mental+health+counseling+services+for+students+in-person%2C+by+phone+or+virtually.+

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ACC offers free mental health counseling services for students in-person, by phone or virtually.

Nicole Morton

Sometimes a person needs to be reminded that it is ok to feel overwhelmed and unsure of how to proceed in the next chapter of life. At Arapahoe Community College mental health is an area they dedicate focusing resources to, stating on their website, “Counseling is an important and often necessary resource to assist in resolving issues that interfere with students’ ability to successfully navigate college and life.”

Mental health is defined as “a person’s condition with regard to their psychological and emotional well-being.” Counseling can offer benefits like improved communication, capability to alter habits and self-defeating behaviors. Acquiring the understanding on how to manage stress more effectively and relief from things like depression and anxiety.

During a phone interview with Ashlie Cogburn, a case manager in the Dean of Students Office, she discussed how ACC offers free counseling services to students either in-person, by telephone or virtually. Cogburn stated, “For in-house counseling, there are three counselors that you can see. ” Therapists Frederick J. Mooney, Christopher A. St. John, and Lane Trujillo are listed on ACC’s website under the counseling services page, with pictures, bios, and their expertise. Cogburn also said their office hours are “typically Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.”

Cogburn discussed the process for campus sessions offered at ACC with their counselors. She stated, “There’s different definitions of student but as long as they’re a student with us, every student gets eight sessions to start with.” Cogburn then added that “if they need some additional sessions and some additional support, we can work with them to make those arrangements, especially if they don’t want to jump to a self-pay mode or jump to their insurance.”

Cogburn explained that there are three case managers who focus or specialize in certain areas when it comes to connecting students to the right counselors, contacts, and resources. These areas include high-risk crisis cases and handling basic needs and extenuating circumstances, appeals and wellness.   They do this by launching with the single stop service, “which is essentially a single stop, where students can sign up and go through a screening process to get screened for what state and federal programs they may qualify for,” she stated. Cogburn also discussed a front house manager who will meet with the student and help get them to the right case manager to assist with their needs.

ACC has widened its resources and has partnered with BetterMynd, a teletherapy resource specifically geared towards college students for the ease of flexibility and accessibility. Its goal is to bridge the gap that college campuses encounter when trying to meet the demands of its student body when it comes to limited resources, long wait times and financial difficulties. BetterMynd allows opportunities for virtual sessions to happen not just during the day or week but in the evenings and on weekends from devices like a laptop, smartphone or tablet.

ACC offers their students six online, 50-minute therapy sessions through BetterMynd. The first step is to register and then complete a 12-question survey that will go over the user’s needs and preferences when speaking with a professional. The survey is tailored to ensure the student is at their most comfortable state with the individual they will connect with. The survey includes questions about gender, ethnicity, religion and specialty. Then options from individual counseling to group workshops and self-help resources are made available and at the ready along with their wide network of diverse licensed mental health counselors.

Each session through BetterMynd is equal to one credit and if a student runs out of credits, they may reach out to the Dean of Students Office to request more. They can also pay out-of-pocket at $85 for each additional session if they choose to. If a student needs to cancel or reschedule their session, they can do so up to 24-hours prior to the start time and receive a full refund. However, failure to meet the 24-hour window will constitute a session charge to the student’s account and a credit deducted.

BetterMynd is a social impact startup founded by Cody Semrau in 2017, after he experienced mental health challenges as a college student like so many others do. A social impact startup is a business whose focus is not solely on profit but to implement widespread improvements in society for the greater social good. This startup serves over 50 campuses across the country and more than a half-million students when it comes to mental health and wellbeing.

When asked why ACC partnered with BetterMynd, Cogburn mentioned that “BetterMynd had a great data point usage.” Tracking student access and identifying their greatest needs, to help guide case managers and counselors to determine where support or help may need to be strengthened or amplified.

No matter what need, obstacle or situation a student may find themselves, Cogburn stated, “We really just want our students to know, there’s a lot of options for you to be heard. As well as options to give you tools to be the best that you can be.”

For virtual or phone appointments, or to find emergency mental health resources, visit the Counseling Services page or contact the Dean of Students Office in M2720 at the Littleton Campus by calling 303.797.5730 or emailing [email protected].