The first appointment is an Initial Consultation where we meet briefly to determine the least intrusive and most efficient path to address your concerns. We do this using the stepped care model. It is likely the clinician will explore attending a group/workshop prior to offering individual therapy. Students who need intermittent short-term support benefit from this model. This model allows increased access to care. University students report engaging in a variety of modes and levels of care meets their needs and increases their performance in academic, social and occupational settings.

Video:  What is Stepped Care? (Model featured is adapted for our university, but the principles remain the same.)


People often find counseling provides a safe supportive environment to explore and increase skills to cope with challenges. Some people seek counseling for self-improvement, some people feel lost or stuck. Preventative care is something that Bemidji State endorses and supports; please come in before things become a crisis.

TED X: Why You Should Try Therapy Yesterday, Dr. Emily Anhalt

Psych Hub Video: What is Psychotherapy?


There are two primary differences between college counseling and outpatient counseling. College counseling focuses on preventative care. This means you do not need to have a diagnostic assessment or be diagnosed with a “disorder.” The Counseling Center can do this because they do not bill your insurance. Bemidji State is committed to increasing access to mental health care for ALL students; not billing insurance is one way to do this, as some students have concerns about their families knowing they are using counseling services. Because insurance is not billed, there is increased confidentiality.

The second primary difference between college counseling and outpatient is the focus on the short-term model and concerns specific to college development. See more information on Stepped Care. The therapist will work with the student to determine if their needs can be meet at the counseling center or if a referral to outpatient services would be more appropriate based on the students needs. Consideration of for outpatient is based on the frequency, intensity and duration of symptoms and/or if a specialist can meet the students needs more effectively.

Yes. Please stop by or call in advance to schedule an appointment. Call (218) 755-2053 or schedule your appointment online.

Walk-in appointments are provided on a staff available basis. It is recommended that students call ahead (218) 755-2053 as typically the professionals have appointments scheduled. There is a Sensory Room available in the Student Center for Health and Counseling where a student can access resources to coping skills and self-directed calming.

Emergency Numbers

Please call the Student Center for Health and Counseling. The Administrative Office Staff can assist with scheduling. Additionally, the Care Coordinator can talk to you about other options, including coping skills while you wait for an available appointment. The Care Manager might also connect you with resources you can access on your own, connect you to other resources on campus or connect you to resources off campus.

Bemidji state is committed to increasing access to mental health services for ALL students. There is no cost for mental health therapy for students who are currently enrolled in 3 credits or more, or have paid the health services fee.

There is a charge for psychiatry services. Bemidji State does have two nurse practitioners on campus that can prescribe mental health medications. Student insurance can be billed or there is a self-pay option.

Psych Hub Video:  Mental Health Terminology

The Student Center for Health and Counseling is staffed by licensed mental health professionals. The center applies a short-term model to individual counseling. The goal is to facilitate adjustment to college, reduce emotional distress and foster resilience to help students continue attending college and purse their academic career ad personal goals. Therapy varies from person-to-person, the length of treatment also varies and is based on goals set by the therapist and client. Most students achieve their therapeutic goals in six sessions.

Therapists work to facilitate adjustment, healthy functioning, problem resolution or symptom relief as quickly as possible. Clients who present with persistent and chronic psychological concerns and require continuous long term treatment are best served by community providers who can offer uninterrupted treatment and care.

Anyone can attend a workshop or skills group, no consultation or sign-up required. Students only need an initial consultation if they would like to explore individual counseling, processing groups or other resources.

No. SCHC’s records are confidential and separate from your academic record. Information about you, your visits, even acknowledgment that you have been seen is confidential and will not be discussed with anyone without your written permission.

The Student Center for Health and Counseling follow HIPPA and FERPA privacy policies. This means your information is private unless you disclose information that falls under mandated reporting or if you give your permission to disclose information.

If you have any questions or concerns, please ask. People will often use hypothetical situations to gain clarification.

If it is necessary to change or cancel your appointment, please call us during business hours at least 24 hours before your scheduled appointment or log in online to cancel a previously scheduled session.

We want to stress that a casual attitude toward keeping appointments can significantly hinder our counseling progress and may result in termination of services.

If you miss two scheduled appointments without notifying us, you will need to receive approval from your counselor to be eligible for additional appointments.

Students should schedule their own appointments. Parents, Faculty and Staff can show students how to access the on-line portal or call to make the appointment with the student. Supportive friends and staff can walk students to the Student Center for Health and Counseling to make a future appointment. If the student needs immediate assistance, such as a panic attack or suicidal thoughts please use the crisis line (800) 422-0045 or 988. The Student Center for Health and Counseling (located in Cedar Hall) has private space for the student to meet with the crisis team if that is a need.

Telehealth is a great option if you have concerns about confidentiality or have transportation concerns. There are some exclusionary considerations for telehealth that have been waived during COVID, so look for up-dates if this is your preference. Telehealth is only available to students residing within Minnesota due to licensure restrictions.

Psych Hub: Virtual Mental Health Appointment?

Therapy Assistance Online (TAO) will soon be available to all students/staff/faculty. Look for more information.