The Counseling Center will close on May 22, 2020, and will resume August 3, 2020.
The Counseling Center staff has a very high level and concern for and respect towards the confidentiality of individuals receiving services from this office. Staff collect, record and store client information only as needed for the effective and legal provision of services. All information is considered privileged and is maintained as confidential, consistent with ethical guidelines as well as Washington and Federal statutes. The services of the Counseling Center are separate from any other student records kept at Whitman College. Information revealed in counseling sessions will remain confidential, except in cases of imminent danger to the client or another or where otherwise is mandated by law, or when permission is granted to release information.
Client records are secured in locked files and/or secured electronic files and accessed only by authorized personnel. Records are destroyed after seven years following the last client contact. Clients have the right to inspect and receive copies of their records; however, access to these records by the person receiving counseling may be restricted by the treating mental health professional during the course of treatment.
Release of Client Records
Individual client information may be released outside of the Counseling Center under the following circumstances:
With Informed Consent: A client may request that specific information be sent to another entity. Prior to the disclosure, the client must sign a “Consent for Release of Information.” Information unrelated to treatment will not be released.
Without Informed Consent: Client information may be released without consent in the following situation:
When there is clear and imminent danger of harm to yourself or another person. In these circumstances, we are legally required to take action to protect life. Thus, our actions may include arranging for voluntary or involuntary hospitalization, as well as notifying law enforcement authorities and/or family/friends/individuals at risk.
When a situation otherwise must be reported by law.
Washington State law states that the parents and/or spouse of a deceased patient has the right to access of their deceased child’s or spouse’s health care records.
Due to the non-secure nature of email, the confidentiality of such communication cannot be ensured. Also, please note that staff members may not check email with regularity or frequency, and may not access email outside of Counseling Center hours. Therefore, be advised that your communication with the Counseling Center or your counselor may not receive a timely response if a response is indicated. Please use discretion when sending information that is sensitive in nature and in the event of an emergency, do not rely on email – contact 911, security at 509-527-5777 or the Health Center. For the most timely and confidential communication, please call the Counseling Center directly during business hours at 509-527-5195.
We try hard to accommodate every student who would like to be seen by a counselor. Every student who comes through our center must first be seen for an “Intake”. For an Intake, students should “drop in” to the Counseling Center during the designated Intake times. Student will be asked to fill out an information sheet on an iPad and then will be seen for approximately 20 minutes, on a first come-first served basis, by the counselor designated for Intakes on that day.
The counselor will read your information sheet prior to seeing you and during your time with the counselor, they will speak with you about your concerns and what the next best step is for you to get your needs addressed. Depending on the nature of the issue, you could be referred to a community provider or set up for short term counseling with one of the staff counselors, referred to a group, referred to a medical provider, or referred to another campus office in Student Affairs
If you are unable to make it to the one of the designated intake times due to class or work conflict, please contact the office and we will try to find a time that works better for your schedule.
Counseling Center Hours:
M-F: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
M: 1-3 p.m.
T: 1-3 p.m.
W: 9-11 a.m.
Th: 9-11 a.m.
The Counseling Center at Whitman works hard to see all students requesting service in a timely manner.
Individual counseling is primarily short-term focused. Depending on the nature of the student’s concern, we may refer a student to a service provider in the community that can more adequately meet their needs. These include, but are not limited to:
- Medication Management
- ADHD evaluations and/or medication (new prescriptions or the continuation of a prior prescription)
- Testing for Learning Disabilities (these are addressed through the Academic Resource Center)
- Intensive Treatment for Eating Disorders, Self-Injury or Serious Psychiatric Disorder
- Intensive Treatment for Substance Abuse
View the Resource Directory for a list of community resources.
A mental health crisis is “any situation in which a person’s actions, feelings, and behaviors can lead to someone hurting themselves or others, and/or can put a person at risk of being unable to care for themselves or function in the community in a healthy manner.” If you have a mental health crisis, students have several options including, coming to the Counseling Center between 8 am and 4:30 pm and requesting immediate assistance from the front desk. After 5 pm during academic semesters, please call:
- Campus Safety 509-527- 5777
- Text "HOME" to 741741
- LGBTQIA+ students, text "START" to 678678
- Students of Color, text "STEVE" to 741741
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255
- Walla Walla Crisis Response Services: 509-524-2999
- Trevor Lifeline: 866-488-7386
The Counseling Center staff often provides psycho-educational programs for different events or groups on campus. Programs can include workshops, classroom presentations, programs for residence life, student clubs or groups, and staff and faculty training. Some past programs have included:
- Stress Management
- Body Image
- Health Relationships
Students that would like to be evaluated for new psychiatric prescriptions or for whom the counselor believes a psychiatric evaluation is indicated, can be seen by our Health Center physicians for anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medications. Some students may need more comprehensive evaluations than the Health Center can provide and these students will be referred to competent providers off campus.