Merger strengthens campus counseling services

By Simone Shenny

If you or someone you know has sought mental help while at the University of Massachusetts, life may have recently gotten a bit easier.

UMass’ Counseling Assessment Services (CAS) and Mental Health services, part of the broader University Health Services (UHS), recently merged into one larger organization, now named the Center for Counseling and Psychological Health (CCPH).

With the merger, students can receive mental health aid through just one organization, rather than being forced to seek assistance through several offices. The consolidation brings together crisis intervention, short-term therapy, support groups, behavioral medicine, psychiatric services, attention deficit/hyperactivity and learning disability assessments, and an eating disorders clinic, according to a Nov. 1 release from the news and media relations office.

According to the Director of the Center for Counseling and Psychological Health, Dr. Harry Rockland-Miller, the reason for the merger is that the two branches were always connected, and always a part of each other, but were separate in administration, meaning the merger will help make the University’s mental health offerings more cohesive.

“Through integrating mental health services and counseling assessment services, they can best serve the overall need of patients,” he said. “People may have complex needs, but the system serving them should be simple.”

“The merger of these organizations is a real plus for our campus,” said Rockland-Miller in the release. “Now, one call provides easy access to a wide array of resources.”
CCPH offers a wide array of services for patients, including crisis intervention, short term therapy, support groups, behavioral medicine, psychiatric services, attention deficit/ hyperactivity, learning disabilities assessment, eating disorder clinics and suicide prevention aid.

CCPH’s main office is located at 127 Hills North, in the Central residence area. CCPH is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The office can be reached at (413) 545-2337. After hours, staff can be contacted at (413) 577- 5000. This is also the number for UHS. In addition, the advice triage nurse can be reached at (413) 577- 5229.

123 Berkshire house was formerly home to Counseling and Assessment Services. Since the merger, it is now another facility belonging to the CCPH. There are more offices found at 123 Berkshire.
CCPH is not the only facility on campus offering counseling. The Psychological Services Center (PSC) is a mental health clinic for Amherst community members. This outlet is operated by the UMass Psychology Department, and is located in Tobin Hall. The Center focuses on providing “low-cost, high-quality mental health services,” according to the news office release.

The Everywoman’s Center (EWC) is another organization providing mental health services, offering short-term counseling, support groups and workshops for women. The Everywoman’s Center rape crisis services and support groups are available to all gender identities. The rape crisis hotline is 888-337-0800.

The Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) is an organization which provides free and confidential counseling. This organization offers such services to faculty, staff, graduate employees, postdoctoral fellows and employees of the UMass Five College Federal Credit Union.

Simone Shenny can be reached at [email protected]