As Samford continues to monitor the latest information on the coronavirus (COVID-19) safety precautions set by the federal, state, and local level, we are ready to make the 2020-2021 academic year memorable in the best way possible!
Our staff will continue to be available to students this fall on an on-line/virtual basis. If you have questions, would like to set up a telehealth consultation or therapy session, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 205-726-4083. If you are need of a private space to conduct your session, let our staff know. We have private rooms reserved and available on campus.
- If you feel that you are in crisis, please reach out to campus police (205-726-2020), your local emergency contact, call 911, or contact the national Suicide Hotline at 800-273-8255.
- Please consider these additional resources that may also be helpful to you:
- State to State Teletherapists
- You can contact local mental health providers in private practice and review our online community resource guide.
- Telehealth options within the Birmingham area are frequently offered through your insurance carrier.
Office HoursMonday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
LocationDwight Beeson Hall (DBH) 203
At this time, all sessions and consultations are virtual. Please email to set up an appointment instead of visiting in person.
If you are need of a private, confidential space to conduct a virtual appointment, please let our staff know. We have private rooms reserved and available on campus.
Appointments are prepaid through student fees and are no extra cost to the student.
Missed Appointment/Late Cancellation Fee
If you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment, please email or call C&W 24 hours prior to your appointment. If you fail to contact C&W 24-hours prior to the appointment you want to cancel or reschedule, a student support fee of $10.00 will be charged to your Banner account. Reducing missed appointments will help us maximize student access to counseling sessions and reduce wait times.
Email email@example.com, or call 205-726-4083. We have graduate interns who also see students.
What is Counseling?
Counseling is a relationship between someone seeking help and a trained professional. The skills of the counselor involve genuineness, empathy, and respect, creating a safe environment to explore issues. It is designed to explore your personal issues in gaining insight and clarity as well as developing a plan of action for positive change.
Protected health information may be disclosed without written permission in situations of imminent danger for the student or others, where it is required by court. Otherwise, given licensing standards for Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC) and Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW), protected student health information (i.e. counseling content) will only be disclosed with the student’s written permission on a Release of Information Form.
Only the student can make decisions regarding reporting to State Professional Boards or other agencies regarding their use of Counseling & Wellness. When and if specific protected health information would be shared is discussed with each student during sessions.
The mission of Counseling & Wellness is to empower the students of Samford University to realize their academic and personal potential by promoting psychological, social, and spiritual wellness through individual counseling and outreach programming. While Samford’s professional counselors are equipped to integrate and address spiritual aspects of personal growth, the student sets the tone and chooses when and how they would like to include this dimension into their therapeutic work.
Nature And Extent Of Services Provided
Specific functions and services of our office include, but are not limited to:
- Consultation and Triage services
- Evaluation & limited assessment
- Short-term, goal-oriented, as needed exploratory psychotherapy
- With written consent we can collaborate with faculty, staff, parents, peers, & community resources to meet treatment goals
Release of Information Form
- Crisis intervention
- Campus-wide educational Wellness Programming
- Community referrals: The office of Counseling & Wellness is not intended to treat serious chronic psychiatric disorders. Individuals clearly requiring or requesting such treatment and/or medication assistance will be aided in obtaining services off campus. Costs of any such services will be the responsibility of the student.
Counseling topics include, but are not limited to:
- Academic/study skills
- Time management
- Substance/alcohol abuse
- Eating disorders
- Depressed feelings
- Adjustment to college life
- Anxiety & stress management
- Grief due to death, or other loss (i.e. divorce, relationships)
- Sexual assault/relationship violence
Samford University Counseling & Wellness is not designed to advocate for a student in regards expert testimony or character evaluations. The primary focus of our office is treating and facilitating the student's overall wellness and health.
Counselors do not undertake assessments of students or their family members for legal purposes. Students needing expert testimony for court related purposes can contact a professional outside of Samford University at their own expense.
*In a recent survey, half of all college students said they had been so stressed that they couldn’t get their work done or enjoy social activities during the last semester. But all of us have the power to take control of our emotional health in order to improve our moods and get the most out of college life. Be proactive and preventative by scheduling an appointment today to speak with one of our clinicians!
Samford’s Counseling & Wellness staff value the opportunity to bring wellness information and education to YOU. Everyone benefits from knowing how to better care for themselves and others, how to recognize warning signs for deteriorating mental health or potential threat from others, and knowing how to improve one’s coping skills. If you are a student, faculty or staff member, campus organization, club, or department head and you are interested in hosting a Counseling & Wellness staff member to present on a particular topic, please let us know by contacting our office.
Topics can include, but are not limited to:
- An Introduction to Counseling & Wellness programs: What we do
- Anxiety & Stress Management
- Warning Signs for Students in Distress
- Recognizing Distress and Taking Proper Steps to Assess, Address, and Refer appropriately
- Healthy Boundaries
- Improving Coping Skills in College and Beyond
- What is Work/Life Balance?
- Understanding & Engaging with Students and Suicidal Ideation
Contact us today to discuss any area of interest that we may be able to help you address!
If you are in personal crisis, and/or you or someone else’s life is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1, visit a local Emergency Room, or contact campus police at 205-726-2020.
Rape or Sexual Assault
If you or someone else are in crisis following relationship violence, sexual assault or rape, call the 24/7 local Crisis Center Rape Response Line at 205-323-7273.
If you or someone else are actively suicidal and considering taking your own life, call the 24/7 local Crisis Center Crisis Line at 205-323-7777. If the phone number is busy, please call the toll free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255), or immediately visit a local hospital Emergency Department.
Services in the Event of a Major Disaster
In the event of such an occurrence (e.g. tornado), students and residents will be provided planned interventions through the Samford University Crisis Committee and posted on our Emergency Alerts webpage.
Grief and Loss
Dealing with intense grief after the loss of a family member, friend, classmate, or relationship can be one of the most difficult experiences to go through, especially when juggling the commitments of college. This resource guide is designed to help you understand the grieving process and provide support as you balance your personal needs and responsibilities.
Meeting Your Immediate Needs
When first faced with the news of loss, it is not unusual to feel overwhelmed, numb, in denial, or angry. In the first hours, it may be beneficial to reach out to your support system and avoid making important decisions. Once the initial wave of emotion has passed, here are some potential next steps towards meeting your immediate needs:
Take Care of Yourself
Taking care of your immediate physical and emotional needs are important after receiving the initial news. This may look like allowing yourself to cry, going on a run, or reaching out to family, friends, church pastor, counselor or other supportive people in your life. The way in which you handle grief is your unique experience. There really is no right way to grieve and comparing one’s grief experience to others can delay or interrupt healthy grieving.
Over time, self-care may also look like following a routine, delaying major decisions, avoiding drastic life changes, and establishing an emotional outlet such as grief counseling or a hobby that allows you to express what you are feeling.
Submit a Bereavement Form and Contact Professors
The next step is to identify upcoming assignment due dates in classes that you may need to miss for funeral services or family responsibilities. Contact your academic advisor and professors with the days you will need to miss and discuss plans for completing your assignments. Once you have done this, submit a bereavement form.
Submitting a bereavement form with the necessary information will notify the CARE Team of your loss and prompt them to initiate the University Bereavement Policy on your behalf. The policy allows for up to five consecutive days of missed class for travel to services or family gatherings related to your loss. You will still be responsible for making up any missed assignments and making arrangements with professors regarding the details, but the policy does protect you from being penalized for the absences and initiates official communication to your professors.
What Grief Might Look Like for You
Recognize your loss: After a significant loss, you may be numb for a while. Being numb allows us to accept the loss a little at a time. It is important to acknowledge the loss and the pain.
Be with the pain: You are hurting. Admit it. Feeling the pain after a loss is a normal part of living and loving. Denying the loss does not lessen the pain, it prolongs the suffering.
Accept all of your feelings, even the feelings you don’t like: Fear, anger, guilt, sadness, depression, despair, heartbreak, and an overwhelming feeling of disorganization are characteristic reactions to a significant loss. Avoiding naming and feeling our feelings, will mean our feelings will be expressed in unexpected ways.
It is okay to feel anger: Everyone feels angry at a significant loss. Channel it wisely and it will go away as you heal. Walk, run, and exercise. If you find yourself more irritable, journal and explore what your anger is about. Anger is also a way for some people to avoid feeling the more vulnerable feeling of sadness.
You are vulnerable, be gentle with yourself: Invite help only from people who you know will be gentle with your feelings and can accept all of your feelings.
You are not alone, seek comfort as you need it: Although you feel alone and grieving is an individual process, you are not alone. Grieving is a sad part of life everyone experiences. Accept support from others. Let them know what they can do to help. Do not expect comfort from a grieving partner as your partner may not be able to give when you need due to their own grief. Weekends and holidays can be very hard, make plans with others.
Suicidal thoughts can be a symptom of your pain: Sometimes people feel survivor’s guilt or they wish they had died instead of their loved one. If your thoughts of dying persist and you feel they are out of control, SEEK HELP AT ONCE by going to your local emergency room, calling Suicide Hotline at 888-273-8255 or Birmingham Crisis Center at 205-323-7777.
Healing can be unpredictable and uncomfortable: Healing occurs in phases where you move in and out of different feelings. Remind yourself that you can get through this. If it feels like you have been there long enough, remember, there is no way around grieving. You can only accept where you are in each moment and continue on your journey.
Heal at your own pace: Never compare yourself to another grieving person. Each of us has our own timing.
Expect relapses: There will always be certain things that trigger sadness again. Surges of strong emotions of grief and sadness are normal and healthy.
Keep a journal: Putting your thoughts and feelings on paper is a good way to get them out and understand them.
Do your mourning now: allow yourself to be with your pain--it will pass sooner. Postponed grief will return later.
Tips for Coping
- Physical exercise along with relaxation will improve sleep and concentration.
- Keep a journal: write through your sleeplessness and change the ending of your nightmares.
- Talk to people: talk is one of the most healing activities. It is how we let go of stress.
- Give yourself permission to feel rotten and share your feeling with others.
- Give yourself permission to have moments of happiness or escape.
- Spend time with others. Resist the temptation to isolate.
- Get plenty of rest and eat regular meals even if you don’t feel like it.
Processing the loss of a loved one is difficult and feeling a flood of emotions is expected. If your grief is stopping you from taking care of your needs such as difficulty completing assignments, following through with commitments or engaging in self-destructive behaviors, it is time to seek professional help. The following resources can provide you with support as you navigate your pain.
Counseling & Wellness Programs
How to Help a Friend Struggling with Grief
If a friend has experienced the death of a loved one, here are some tips for providing thoughtful and loving support.
- Acknowledgment - Acknowledge the loss happened. While you want to be mindful of how your friend may respond to what you say, it is better to acknowledge the loss than to ignore it.
- Acceptance - Accept what they say and reassure them that it is okay for them to react to what has happened to them.
- Service - Show them you care through acts of services. Sometimes, it can become difficult to take care of chores, going to class, and meeting their physical needs. Ask your friend how you can help.
- Silence - Let them be silent if it looks like they don’t want to talk. It can be difficult to talk about the pain if they are not ready.
- Follow up - Check in with a phone call, text, or visit to show them you are thinking about them and want to know how they are doing.
- Mindfulness - Be mindful of how and when to share Scripture or other religious messages with your friend. Ask yourself: will this be encouraging and hope-giving, will there be a better moment to share this, or can I show God’s love and care for my friend in another, tangible way?
- Offering advice
- Using clichés
- Acting as if nothing happened or expect them to “be normal”
Grieving the Death of a Samford Student
Experiencing the death of a close-friend or classmate can be a traumatic and painful experience. In the event that a Samford student loses their life, there is help available. Reach out to the resources listed in this guide, friends, family, professors, and community members for support.
- Managing Grief—Accredited Schools Online
- Healgrief.org (online-based methods and services)
- Open to Hope (online community for those suffering from loss)
Local Off-campus Resources
- Amelia Center—Grief Support 205-638-9100
- Community Grief Support 205-870-8667
- Covenant Counseling 205-879-7500
- Paul Johnson, LMFT 205-807-6645
- Pathways Professional Counseling 866-991-6864
- Relationships Incorporated 205-991-3683
- Restore Ministries 205-440-2909
- Wellspring Christian Clinic 205-977-3003
If you feel out of control or distressed and need immediate support, contact:
- Crisis Text Line: Text START to 741741 A live, trained crisis counselor will respond and help you determine your next move
- Birmingham Crisis Center 205-323-7777
- Counseling and Wellness Programs (non-emergency) 205-726-4083 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Minority Mental Health
Minority mental health is an important topic that we, as a community, tend to minimize or avoid, but it deserves our time and attention. As the university continues to expand support and resources for underrepresented students, Student Affairs and ODII have partnered together to offer “Consultations with Courtney”. Students will have the opportunity to meet with Ms. Courtney Shields, MHT (pictured left) to discuss ways to promote their mental health and wellness. Students are eligible for up to three complimentary appointments. You can view the schedule and reserve your first appointment on Signup Genius below. Please review the available time slots and click on the corresponding button to sign up. Your information will NOT be visible to other viewers as this is a confidential resource. Once you've reserved your consultation time, you will receive the link for your virtual appointment via email.
Courtney Shields is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, a Licensed Professional Counselor and a National Certified Counselor.
State to State Teletherapistshttps://www.pandemictherapists.com/
This list is not exhaustive, and only includes a sample of available options.
- Relax Meditation
- Panic Pit Stop
- Stop, Breathe & Think
- Simple Habit
Depression and Other Mood Disorders
- Depression CBT Self-Help Guide
- Positive Thinking
- Operation Reach Out
- Fight Depression Naturally
- Lantern Health
- What’s Up?
- Pacifica for Stress and Anxiety
Providers with Psychiatrists, Psychologists and Counselors on Staff
- Adult and Child Development Professionals - 205-933-9276
- Alabama Psychiatry & Counseling - 205-440-6292
- Grayson & Associates - 205-868-6702
- Pitts and Associates - 205-870-3520
- Psychiatry South - 205-987-0724
- Wellspring Christian Clinic - 205-977-3003
Providers with Psychologists and/or Counselors on Staff
- Bair, Peacock, McDonald, & McMullan - 205-822-7348
- Covenant Counseling - 205-879-7500
- Sara Dungan, Sparrow Counseling -205-538-3978
- Paul Johnson, LMFT Life Practical Counseling - 205-807-6645
- Pathways Professional Counseling - 866-991-6864
- Relationships Incorporated - 205-991-3683
- Restore Ministries - 205-440-2909
Body Image Work & Eating Disorder Treatment
- Katie Reed, body image work - Present Wellness Counseling - 205-642-8386
- Covenant Counseling Re-vive Program - 205-879-7500
- Maggie Klyce - 205-379-7872 (sliding scale fees if uninsured)
- Magnolia Creek, Residential and PHP Day Treatment Programs - 888-494-4213
- Kelly Neilson (Online Dietician Nutritionist)
- Jessica-Lauren Newby (Online Dietician Nutritionist) - 334-245-1855
- Leslie Reagan Plaia, Alexander Counseling - 205-538-3099
- Alsana: Residential, PHP Day Treatment, and Outpatient Programs
- Carolyn Kohly - 205-319-1233, Dialectical Behavior Treatment (DBT) Groups
- Oasis Counseling - 205-933-0338
- Gateway Counseling - 205-510-2600
- UAB - 205-996-2414
- Pathways Professional Counseling - 866-991-6864
- Alabama Department of Human Resources
2001 12th Avenue North
Birmingham, AL 35234
Rehabilitation Services (Job and Educational Accommodations)
- Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services [Link not working 7/13/2020]
Substance Abuse Treatment
- Acadia Healthcare: Higher Education Recovery Coordinator & Consultant - Tom Bennett, 615-856-1172
- Bradford Health Services (Birmingham) - 888-577-0012
- Recovery Resource Center - 205-458-3377 - free consultation and evaluative bridge services
- UAB’s Addiction Recovery Program
- Transitioning from Service: Advice and Resources for Veterans
- Succeeding in School: Advice and Resources for Transitioning to Higher Education
- Social Isolation: Signs and Resources to Address Social Withdrawal
Samford University Counseling & Wellness does not endorse or recommend a specific mental health service provider. This list is simply for your convenience and is not intended to be a complete list of all mental health facilities in the area. If you are a provider and wish for your practice or services to be added to the list, please contact our office at (205) 726-4083.