Safety precautions during the pandemic
The Furman Counseling Center is taking the following steps to ensure that students get the care they need, when they need it, in the safest way possible. Scroll down to learn about the safety precautions we’re taking during the pandemic.
Internet-accessible intake forms
To limit occupancy in the waiting room, and to allow students to access services without needing to physically enter the Counseling Center, we are ensuring students can access our intake forms from their personal devices. We will send students a link to these forms prior to their first scheduled appointment.
Telehealth sessions always available
During the pandemic, the Counseling Center transitioned to telehealth as our primary mode of service delivery. Now that we’re back on campus, we will continue to offer these services as our default, except in cases where there is an urgent need for in-person assessment, and in cases where telehealth is not clinically appropriate.
Our telehealth sessions take place on Microsoft Teams or TAO Zoom, both HIPAA-compliant platforms that all students can access. Before telehealth sessions, we ask that students complete an online “informed consent” form, which asks for a contact number, the student’s physical location during the session, and an emergency contact.
For students who do not have a private place to sit during their telehealth sessions, the Counseling Center will offer private, one-person-occupancy rooms.
Expanded self-help options
The Counseling Center’s website now includes links to a wealth of self-help resources, including crisis support numbers and text lines, apps that teach mindfulness and relaxation, apps that teach skills for managing anxiety and depression, and podcasts and articles about mental health during the pandemic.
Beginning in September, students will also have access to Therapy Assistance Online (TAO), which combines online and mobile educational modules and practice tools with short phone conversations or video conferences with a therapist.
Designated entrances and exits
When students come to the Counseling Center, they will enter through one, clearly marked door, and will exit through a separate door. Signs posted on the floor throughout the center will direct students to follow a one-directional flow of traffic, from the waiting room to their counselor’s office to the exit door.
To ensure 6 feet of distance between people in the Counseling Center, occupancy in the waiting room will be limited to 4 people. We will ask students to wait outside until they can enter the waiting room without exceeding the occupancy limit.
We have arranged seating in the Counseling Center waiting room and offices to ensure 6 feet of distance between occupants at all times.
Personal protective equipment
Staff, counselors and students will wear masks at all times in the Counseling Center. Extra masks will be available to ensure compliance with this guideline. Hand sanitizer will be available in several places throughout the Center. In each Center office, there will be a Plexiglas barrier placed between the provider and the student during closed-door sessions.
To reduce potential exposure in offices, the Counseling Center will (when clinically appropriate) limit in-person sessions to 30 minutes.
Cleaning between in-person sessions
The Counseling Center will space in-person sessions to allow time for cleaning and disinfection between sessions.