Counseling Services Policies

Scope of Services

Counseling services are offered on the Lebanon campus to currently enrolled students. Therapy is based on a short term model. There is no additional fee for counseling sessions provided in our clinic. Our staff is committed to students’ overall health and wellness. All sessions are confidential unless there is a risk of harm to the student or to the community. All counselors are licensed by the state of Illinois and have experience working with students across a variety of issues including:




Academic Difficulties

Low Self- Esteem/Social Confidence

Relationship Issues

Suicidal Thinking

Sexual Assault/Abuse

Goal Setting

Grief/Loss Issues

Sexual Orientation and Identity Issues

Body Image

Athletic Performance

If a student's need requires longer term or more specialized treatment, our counselors will refer students to off campus resources for appropriate care. These additional resources would be available through an individual student’s health insurance or on a private pay basis.


Appointments to meet with one of our licensed counselors should be made by calling the front desk at (618) 537-6590 or by emailing one of the counselors directly. Sessions usually take 45 to 50 minutes. There is a $10.00 fee for late cancellations/missed appointments. Please contact the front desk or email your counselor with 24 hours advanced notice of your need to cancel a scheduled appointment.

Exclusion Criteria for Psychological Services

The following considerations are used for determining that the psychological needs of a student may fall outside of the role and scope of the Counseling Center:


      • Students who come to the Counseling Center primarily because of external pressures, e.g., faculty, staff, parents, disciplinary or law enforcement actions, but provide insufficient evidence of internal motivation that is critical to successful counseling

      • Inability to identify a focus of counseling and/or ownership and responsibility for identified concerns

      • Substance abuse or dependence that compromises the counseling process and is not a focus of treatment

      • Risk of self-harm or harm to others that cannot be altered by outpatient crisis interventions (chronic, severe self-harm/mutilation)

      • Evidence or risk of progressive deterioration in mental or emotional functioning, requiring intensive intervention

      • History of treatment that is beyond the current services provided by the Counseling Center and evidence that the need for the previous level of care continues or is likely to be needed from time to time

      • Clinical assessment that the termination of a short-term therapeutic relationship would be detrimental to the client —long term continuity of care is paramount
      • Concerns presented fall outside of staff expertise or the Counseling Center’s mission
      • Chronic, substantial risk of self-harm or harm to others, or evidence of progressive deterioration, as evidenced by repeated use of crisis services, repeated suicide attempts, or repeated psychiatric hospitalizations
      • Chronic, severe self-injury/mutilation
      • Treatment noncompliance
      • Medical detoxification

Additional examples of services beyond those offered at the center include counseling for students with eating disorders that require intensive medical, psychiatric, and/or nutritional services; drug and alcohol assessment and treatment; court-mandated counseling, ADHD or learning disability assessments and other similarly complex services as determined by the Counseling Center staff.

It is beyond Counseling Service’s scope of practice to provide unlimited or ongoing counseling and psychotherapy for students who may be diagnosed with a variety of serious, long-term psychiatric conditions, and individuals who appear to be a recurring high risk to themselves or to the college community.

The Counseling Service does not provide treatment services for severe alcohol and drug use/abuse. Counselors will meet with students seeking such treatment for a brief time to provide support, assess the students’ needs, and assist them with referrals to off-campus resources. 

The Counseling Service does not prescribe psychotropic or any other medications. At students’ request, counselors will make a referral to the Nurse Practitioner, Beth Allan, MSN RN CSN NP-C to discuss or evaluate students for medication. Counselors may also refer students to physicians, psychiatrists or other community health resources depending upon the student’s needs.

Eligibility for Services

Only currently enrolled undergraduate students at McKendree University Lebanon, IL campus are eligible to receive services at the Counseling Center. Sessions are at no-cost and, at this time. Therapy is based on short-term model of therapy. This can be revised on a case-by-case basis. Should a student require counseling or psychological services beyond those offered by the Counseling Center, counselors will work with the student to identify community resources to meet her/his needs. 

Counseling Center Hours of Operation

The Counseling Center is open during the fall and spring semesters, Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM with the exception of college holidays. Appointments are recommended for all counseling sessions to be sure a counselor is available. Counseling appointments are made in one-hour increments, but the actual length of time for most counseling appointments is 45-50 minutes. This allows the counselor time for documentation of the previous appointment before the next appointment.

Crisis Protocol 

If there is a student in crisis during business hours, the Assistant Director of Health & Counseling Services should be notified immediately. If the crisis occurs after hours the on-call counselor will then decide which steps to take depending on the level of crisis and after consultation with colleagues.

If a student has made any kind of a suicide attempt, suicide gesture or has threatened suicide, the first and primary concern is for the student’s health and safety. There is not always a clear dividing line between an attempt and a gesture and both will be taken very seriously. 

If any member of the college community becomes aware of a suicide attempt, suicide gesture, or immediate threat the following steps will be taken: 


      • If the attempt/gesture has just occurred, Public Safety will call an ambulance to the scene and also contact the on-call counselor (unless they are already on the scene). Before transport, if possible, the counselor will contact the Dean’s Office.

      • The Dean or the Associate Dean will phone the student’s emergency contact and explain the situation and ask that a parent, guardian, or close family member come to campus as soon as possible. The student will need to be released to a family member or legal guardian since McKendree University does not have the resources necessary to ensure the safety of a student who is at that level of risk for potentially harming him or herself. Meanwhile, counseling staff may be contacted if assistance is needed to advocate for the student’s admittance to the hospital.

If the student is not admitted to the hospital but feels that they are a threat of harm to her/himself, the counselor and Residence Life Coordinator will work together to provide a safe place for the student to stay until a family member arrives.


      • The counselor will meet with the family member when they arrive. It is not uncommon for a student under these circumstances may opt to take a medical leave from school in order for the student to make the necessary psychological and physical changes before the student returns to a rigorous academic environment. 

      • In order to return to school, the student must have documentation from a mental health provider (not employed by McKendree) and an on-going treatment plan that will allow them to be healthy and successful. The documentation of evaluation and discharge from a local hospital, licensed mental health provider or physician must be presented to McKendree Counseling Services staff prior to the student returning to campus or resuming their class schedule. 

      • If the college becomes aware of a student’s suicide attempt or gesture sometime​after the act, one of the counselors will interview the student to determine what action, if any, is necessary. The student may be asked to obtain a psychological assessment and an ongoing treatment plan. It is likely that such a student will also need to be evaluated by another mental health provider (not employed by McKendree) in order to assess further risk to self or others.

Emergency Psychiatric Evaluations and Hospitalizations

Urgent or emergency evaluations for psychotropic medications that need to be accommodated immediately will be referred or taken to the local hospital emergency room. Gateway Regional Medical Center is likely the best local immediate resource for this sort of treatment. In the event that hospitalization is needed, the counselor on call will call Gateway Regional Medical Center and disclose the necessary information regarding potential admission with the Emergency department staff and the Director of In-Patient Psychiatric Services. 

Students who are in crisis may be transported by local ambulance, police, or family member to the local hospital emergency room for evaluation and treatment, or hospitalization. ​Under no circumstances should the student be transported in the counselor’s personal vehicle.

If the treating emergency room physician determines that immediate hospitalization is needed, the student will be encouraged to agree to a voluntary hospitalization. 

Clery and Title IX Reporting

According to state of Illinois and all licensing statutes for mental health providers, all information disclosed to counselors is considered private and confidential. Mental health staff members are not considered mandated reporters within the campus community. Any information released by counseling center staff is only to be disclosed with the proper execution of a Release of Information (ROI) For the purposes of data collection and Clery reporting guidelines, any counselor who becomes aware of a crime that has been committed against a student or on campus property should be reported in a de-Identified manner, which means any identifiable factors related to the alleged or potential crime (gender of student, name of the student shall be removed and the following information reported by the Assistant Director to the Office of the Dean. (Date of alleged crime, location of incident (either on or off campus).