Confidential Records Requests
For students who have attended therapy at the Counseling Center at the UCTC and are beginning services with someone new, it may be helpful to have your confidential records sent to your new health provider. To deliver these, we will first need you to sign a Release of Information form and provide us with the contact information for the intended recipient of your records. Records are typically delivered by fax or mail. To sign this form, please contact your former therapist to make arrangements, call the front desk at (541) 346-3227, or come by the Counseling Center in person and let our front desk staff help you with your request. Once we have a signed release from you, we will deliver your records as soon as possible.
Financial Aid / Academic Petition Letters
In some instances, students choose to petition for exceptions to academic or financial aid policies and require verification of related mental health concerns. We are happy to work with students to provide these letters whenever appropriate. To be able to provide a substantive letter, a student must have participated in ongoing therapy services during the time period in question. We are unable to verify difficulties experienced when a student was not actively in therapy. Please notify your former therapist or, if unavailable, our front desk staff of your request and we will see what we can do to help.
Students With Disabilities
For students seeking documentation of mental health-related disabilities, we are happy to help. The Accessible Education Center is the office on campus responsible for ensuring accommodations related to documented disabilities. We recommend scheduling an appointment with them to discuss what types of documentation are required. In some instances, a letter from a therapist is needed to confirm a condition. As with other letters, a student must have participated, or be actively participating, in ongoing therapy at the Counseling Center in order for us to appropriately assess the situation and provide such a letter. If you have questions about this process, please don’t hesitate to ask! You can talk with your therapist or call (541) 346-3227 to speak with our staff about it.
Sometimes students come to the Counseling Center requesting a letter of support because they are not doing well in one or more classes. Typically they would like us to provide a letter for an instructor, department, or supervisor verifying they have personal problems which have interfered with their performance. We can only do this in certain situations.
Indeed, personal problems do at times interfere with one’s ability to concentrate on academic work, and we hope to be supportive of students facing difficulties in whatever ways are appropriate. However, our therapists cannot confirm difficulties or issues about which they have no prior knowledge. If students have not participated in ongoing counseling at the Counseling Center, we can typically only provide a letter that verifies attendance. Such a letter would include very basic information such as the number of sessions attended and a statement explaining that no recommendation can be offered regarding the student’s academic status or ability to perform.
We strongly encourage students to seek assistance early, before personal problems interfere with their academic progress. Generally, it is easier to recover from difficulties before they worsen and turn into a crisis. Moreover, therapists are better able to write a supportive letter if a student has been participating in ongoing counseling. Please talk with your therapist if you are experiencing personal difficulties that you believe are negatively affecting your academic performance.
Talk To Your Instructors
It is natural to feel uncomfortable talking to instructors about academic difficulties stemming from personal or psychological concerns. Often, students will avoid communicating their difficulties out of personal discomfort until the situation worsens or becomes a crisis. Unfortunately, this means instructors often do not learn of a student's difficulties until it is too late to address the problem successfully. We strongly encourage you to talk to course instructors as soon as you realize personal, emotional, and psychological issues are interfering with your academic progress. While there are no guarantees instructors will be able to resolve your academic difficulties, instructors can better help with your success when they are informed early. Counseling Center staff can also assist students in identifying effective ways to communicate with instructors about personal and psychological difficulties.
Talk To A Therapist
If you are struggling to manage personal difficulties and keep up with your academic work, it is never too late to get support. Please call the Counseling Center at (541) 346-3227. For more information about accessing our services, click here.
Students with diagnosed mental health concerns that inhibit full use and enjoyment of one's living space sometimes require an assistance animal. If there are prohibitions against having animals in housing, a student will need to obtain documentation of a mental health-related disability in order to petition for reasonable accommodations. There are legal requirements pertaining to this documentation that must be addressed by your therapist in such a letter, so we are only able to provide such a letter if we have had an ongoing therapeutic relationship with a student. Please note that Assistance Animals are distinct from Service Animals and have different requirements. For more information about the distinction between Assistance and Service animals, check out Disability Rights Oregon. For information about accommodations related to Service Animals, please contact the Accessible Education Center.