University of South Florida

USF Health unveils student counseling center in CAMLS

Counseling space located inside the new counseling center.

Student counseling and primary care services available on the USF campus will now extend to downtown Tampa with the new CAMLS Health and Wellness Center, due to open later in September.

Within the current Student Resource area in CAMLS, the newly designated space provides students who are downtown with access to both counseling services and clinical appointments for primary care providers.

Currently, nearly 1,000 USF Health students attend programs hosted in downtown facilities. The new Center taps into established USF services: the USF Counseling Center, and the USF Student Health Services.

Waiting room of the new counseling center.

To start, a few services will be provided in-person and many via telehealth. In-person services will include appointments with primary care providers and gynecological services, and telehealth will include counseling services, with full sessions available, as well as 15-minute “walk-in” options called Let’s Talk.

“This new space is safe, quiet and confidential,” said Joe Ford associate vice president of USF Health Shared Student Services. “It’s important that students have access to critical counseling and many times it’s hard for them to find private areas for holding appointments when they are at home or in other USF areas where fellow students, staff or faculty are within earshot. This new center will give them a landing spot for meeting with their counselors in private.”

Expanding these successful services to downtown students has been on the minds of many, even as constructions crews began erecting the new Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute in the Water Street Tampa redevelopment district, Ford said.

“Our team took on the task of figuring out how to replicate in downtown as many of the services as possible that are available on main campus,” he said.

Physicians’ examination room in the new counseling center.

The new Center is 600 square feet of annexed space in the Student Resource Center of CAMLS. The space has an examination room, reception area, and private space for counseling and psychiatric evaluations.  It has its own private entrance to allow for more discretion for those who visit. The center will be run by Counseling Center staff.

Ford predicts that as the social distancing restrictions start to relax, more services will be able to happen in-person.  He added that the long-term goal is to have all services administered in-person.

“Issues of student well-being is a paramount to us here at the university and making sure our students have access to quality health and counseling services is a priority,” Ford said.  “This is another wonderful example of how well USF Health and Shared Student Services collaborate with our university partners. Healthy students perform well in the classroom and our mission is to help them succeed.”

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