Scope of Care

Student Health & Well-Being is comprised of the Counseling Center, Student Health Center and the Wellness Resource Center. Each area has a unique scope of care.

Scope of Services at the Counseling Center

Counseling services has four essential roles for advancing the educational mission of the University of Missouri:

  • Provide clinical services that help students achieve their academic and personal goals, using a stepped-care approach.
  • Respond to the psychological effects of a crisis affecting individual students and the campus community.
  • Educate the campus community to recognize, understand and respond to students’ mental health needs through workshops, consultation, training and community level intervention.
  • Serve as training site for learners pursing completion of advanced degrees (e.g., PhD, MSW).

Students are encouraged to schedule an initial evaluation appointment to determine the best treatment or resources for their concerns. Any currently enrolled student is eligible to receive an initial evaluation.

A decision about whether the needs of the student fall within the scope of care is made after considering the information from the initial evaluation and/or, if needed, after consultation with appropriate staff.

The professional judgement of our providers will govern the determination in a particular case. Students and their clinicians will discuss treatment recommendations including those offered on campus and/or in the community.

Services offered within our levels of care:

  • Prevention and outreach resources
  • Symptom management and clinical skills classes
  • Group therapy
  • Brief individual therapy
  • 24-hour crisis and consultation support
  • Referral services

Common concerns that may be addressed by brief problem-solving therapy or clinical skills classes may include:

  • Making a specific, important decision
  • Setting specific goals and checking in to continue progress on goals
  • Learning new coping skills or strategies to decrease symptoms
  • Learning to manage mild or situational emotional or relational concerns

Common concerns that may be addressed by brief individual or group therapy may include:

  • Mild to moderate anxiety and depression
  • Adjustment and developmental concerns (transition to college, graduation)
  • Academic performance or motivation
  • Interpersonal concerns (family, friends, romantic partners, roommates)
  • Grief or loss
  • Self-esteem or self-confidence
  • Issues related to meaning, purpose and spirituality
  • Identity development related to various dimensions of self (sexual, gender, racial/ethnic, spirituality, etc.)
  • Stabilization related to trauma or interpersonal violence
  • Some body image and eating concerns
  • Impacts of oppression and racial trauma
  • Brief support and referral for autism spectrum disorders
  • Mild to moderate substance use concerns

Common concerns that are best served by off-campus referrals:

  • Significant substance use or abuse requiring specialized care
  • History of chronic hospitalization or suicidality
  • Eating disorders without medical stabilization (or requiring more intensive treatment)
  • Psychosis without medical stabilization
  • Non-suicidal self-injury that is not improving
  • Students who need immediate intensive care and/or are experiencing a severe disruption in their ability to function (a severe deterioration in day-to-day functioning or issues requiring a community agency or case worker)
  • Students who are assessed to best benefit from more than weekly sessions or long-term treatment
  • Students who need approaches not within the scope of our care
  • Students who are noncompliant with treatment recommendations
  • Students who have recently completed a full course of individual therapy or exhausted eligibility for group therapy at the Counseling Center
  • Students and families who bring treatment requirements that have a time frame, a number of appointments, and other restricting factors that are not available through counseling services
  • Students who prefer longer term therapy

Services that are not available at the Counseling Center:

  • Couples or family therapy
  • Mandated or court ordered assessments and/or treatment
  • Forensic evaluation or support
  • Counseling required by an academic department or for course credit
  • Evaluation or letters for emotional support animals
  • Evaluations to diagnose learning disorders, ADHD, or other neurological or neurodivergent concerns
  • Intensive outpatient programs, inpatient services or specialized treatment for conditions such as:
    • Personality disorders requiring intensive treatment
    • Long-standing and/or untreated eating disorders with medical safety risks
    • Substance use disorders requiring intensive treatment


Referral Services

Counseling services strives to serve as many students as possible while acknowledging the inherent limitations of a university. Thus, students whose needs exceed what can be provided on campus will be given referrals to off-campus services, which may better address those concerns.

While counseling services has excellent relationships with community providers, it is important to remember that Columbia is a relatively small community and may not have all the resources available in a metropolitan area. Counseling services will continue to be available to offer additional assistance and support in getting connected with off-campus providers.

Our referral team members can assist you in using your insurance plan or finding lower cost providers who meet your treatment needs. When using telehealth treatment, this can include providers anywhere in Missouri.

During periods of high demand for services, our staff may no longer have openings for new clients without an extended wait. In that situation, counseling services may offer students other brief therapeutic interventions or may provide referrals in addition to the ongoing availability of 24-hour crisis support.

Scope of Care of Medical Services at the Student Health Center

Examples of care provided by primary medical care providers:

  • Acute illnesses (cough, colds, flu, infections and viruses) and injuries (sprains, strains, cuts)
  • Ongoing and chronic health conditions
  • Routine health maintenance
  • Reproductive health, including IUDs and other methods of contraception
  • Gender-affirmative care
  • Immunizations, including compliance with university enrollment requirements and those for the students in the health professions and the College of Veterinary Medicine
  • TB screening
  • Travel abroad exams and immunizations
  • Allergy injections
  • STI (sexually transmitted infection) testing and treatment, including PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV) and PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis for HIV)
  • Coordinated care with behavioral health consultants

Providers will refer students to specialists outside of the Student Health Center, when needed.

Mental health concerns commonly addressed by primary care services include evaluation and management, including medication, for:

  • Mild to moderate depression and anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder stable on medication
  • ADHD stable on medication
  • Sleep concerns
  • Physical symptoms associated with mental health concerns
  • Gender affirmative care
  • Some eating concerns
  • Mild to moderate substance use concerns

Concerns commonly addressed by psychiatric services may include the above concerns as well as:

  • Evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder
  • Severe anxiety and depression
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders including autism spectrum disorders
  • ADHD
  • Personality disorders
  • Psychosis
  • Referral to appropriate levels of care which may include hospitalization or intensive outpatient care