The Student Counseling Services (SCS) is the main counseling center for undergraduate and graduate students at Auburn University. Located on the second floor of the Auburn University Medical Clinic, the SCS is a free resource for students seeking to work out personal problems or concerns.
“We’ve tried to do a lot of outreach over the years to try and normalize coming into the counseling center,” Director of Student Counseling Services Dr. Doug Hankes said. “It is a resource…if you’re struggling for whatever reasons, you really ought to access it.”
According to Dr. Hankes, some of the top issues that students come to the clinic with are depression, anxiety, stress related disorders, relationship issues and freshman transition or adjustment issues.
“We are encouraging students that you don’t have to be in desperate straits to come in,” Dr. Hankes said. “Maybe you are just trying to better some part of your life and you're just not functioning as effectively or as well as you would like.”
To make your first visit to SCS as easy as possible, an intake appointment can be scheduled by calling the center or visiting their website. Typically, intake appointments can be scheduled within the same week in which you make an appointment.
“In a crisis situation students can walk in, they don’t have to schedule an appointment.” Dr. Hankes said.
At your intake appointment, a senior staff member will be scheduled to your case in order to assess your situation and to figure out how the SCS can benefit you. Students may then be scheduled individual or group counseling sessions or both.
“Services are confidential,” Dr. Hankes said. “Parents can’t even call and find out whether or not their child is a client here unless there we have a written consent from the student.”
Students may request a particular staff member but depending on the staff member’s expertise they may not get who they requested.
“We make sure they know that whoever they are assigned to they need to be comfortable with that person,” Dr. Hankes said. “If they are not, then they need to communicate that so that we can get them with someone who they are comfortable with.”
The staff at the SCS is comprised of experienced and licensed mental health professionals who seek to help students improve their lives while at Auburn.