Check the College's COVID-19 page for important information (click on the green COVID-19 tab).  And, check below for links to information about coping with anxiety regarding COVID-19. 


Cornell College is shifting to online classes for Blocks 7 and 8 due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19.  The Counseling Center is responding to these changes by updating our services.  We will be posting information for the Cornell community on this page as we develop our responses and additional resources for students, staff, and faculty.  Please check back to this page for more information about how our services and availability may change in response to the situation.

Updates (3/19/20)

FOR STUDENTS STAYING ON CAMPUS

Counseling Appointments

  • We will continue to offer in-person appointments to students who have received permission to remain on campus.  Please call us at 319-895-4292 to request an appointment rather than coming in to the office unannounced.

    ***In an effort to reduce the risk of spreading illness, even more so than usual, we ask that if you are sick or showing signs of respiratory illness, or may have been exposed to others who are ill, you please call 319-895-4292 or email counseling@cornellcollege.edu to cancel, and then call to reschedule when you are well.
    Please call the Health Center at 319-895-4292 to find out about healthcare options if you are ill - please do not come in to the Health Center without advance notice to the nurse of your symptoms.
  • Our in-person services might be affected again by changes in College policies around COVID-19.  Please call if you have any questions.

Tele-psychiatry (Medication) Appointments

  • Barring any changes in the UIHC procedures, tele-psychiatry will still be available for students on campus.  If you have not already participated in tele-psychiatry this year and are wondering it if may be an appropriate service for you, please call 319-895-4292 to make an appointment to talk with a counselor about this.
  • If you have a follow-up tele-psychiatry appointment scheduled, please come to your appointment as planned.  If you need to cancel or reschedule that appointment please call us with at least 48 hours’ notice at 319-895-4292.

FOR STUDENTS LEAVING CAMPUS

Counseling Services

  • For students who remain in Iowa:  The Counseling Center is preparing to offer telehealth services (phone-based follow up sessions or consultations) that are aligned with the laws and regulations pertaining to psychological practice in the state of Iowa and professional ethical guidelines. Staff are exploring the possibility of limited tele-consultation via video conference and more information on that will be forthcoming. 
  • For students who do not remain in Iowa:  Because counselors cannot practice across state lines, those students no longer in the state of Iowa should seek services in their local community.  If you need assistance with referral you may call or email the Counseling Center for assistance; if you have met with a counselor you may call to schedule a phone consultation to discuss transitioning services.  
  • Learn more about how to find a therapist in your area.  

Tele-psychiatry (Medication) Appointments

  • If you are in the state of Iowa you may meet with Sima Tran in person for a follow-up appointment.  If this is not feasible, you should seek follow up care in your local community (e.g., your primary care physician) and may follow up with Sima/tele-psychiatry in the fall. 
  • To Transfer Prescriptions:  
    • Call your home pharmacy ASAP to ask for a transfer of any existing prescriptions from your Cornell pharmacy
    • Provide the name and dose of your medication
    • Confirm completed transfer with your home pharmacy

TELEHEALTH FOR STUDENTS WITH HEALTH INSURANCE PLANS

Some insurance plans support telehealth, so we recommend you check with your insurance provider about medical and mental health services available to you while off campus/at home.  Due to the situation, some insurance providers are waiving co-pays for tele-services, so you may wish to check with your insurance carrier about this possibility if you have not heard from them already.

IN CASE OF EMERGENCY

  • As always, please call Campus Safety at 319-895-4292 for urgent situations on campus; call 911 in case of emergency on campus or if you are off campus in the United States. Find more information on what to do in an emergency.
  • Foundation 2 Crisis Center in Cedar Rapids has a 24-hour hotline:  1-800-332-4224 or 319-362-2174
  • Accessing other crisis resources:  you can find urgent care units, hospitals and community clinics in your immediate area who offer care for urgent mental health issues as they come up.
  • In Iowa:  Your Life Iowa, information and resources about mental health, suicide, alcohol, drugs, gambling, vaping and e-cigarettes; call 855-581-8111, text 855-895-8398, or chat from the website
  • National crisis hotlines and online services:
    • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 (TALK)
    • The Trevor Project (LGBTQ Suicide Hotline): 1-866-488-7386
    • Trans Lifeline: 1-877-565-8860
    • Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741
    • Crisis Text Line for Students of Color: Text STEVE to 741741
    • Lifeline Crisis Chat  https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/

Finding a Therapist in Your Home Community

For more information on how to connect with a therapist in your home community, please visit this page. You may also contact the Counseling Center for referral assistance at 319-895-4292 or by emailing counseling@cornellcollege.edu.

Managing Concerns and Emotions about COVID-19

News reports about the coronavirus, together with concerns that the virus could become more widespread, is raising a number of concerns and making some people worry. Learn more about taking care of your mental health in the face of uncertainty here.

Here are some additional tips to help you put information and concerns in perspective, manage your worry, and maintain a positive outlook.

TIPS

  • Seek accurate information and limit exposure to social media and news reports that provide no new information or inaccurate information. Here are some reliable sources of information:
  • Keep things in perspective. Take a deep breath and stay focused on what the situation actually is, rather than the worst-case-scenario. It can be helpful to shift your focus to things within your control rather than things outside your control. 
  • Acknowledge reactions. Allow yourself time to reflect on what you are feeling and how you may be reacting to any fears and uncertainties.
  • Maintain your normal day-to-day activities and keep connected. Resist withdrawing and isolating yourself.  Maintaining social networks can foster a sense of normality and provide valuable outlets for sharing feelings and relieving stress. Feel free to share useful information you find on governmental websites with your friends and family. It will help them deal with their own worry. If your day to day activities are disrupted by college closings, attempt to create structure in your day by: scheduling a normal bedtime and wake up time; structuring your time with hobbies, homework, reading, etc.; scheduling regular phone/video contact with friends and family
  • Follow the prevention and protection tips given by medical professionals such as the Cornell College Student Health Services, national medical authorities, and your own medical doctor.
  • Practice calming rituals. Stay grounded in the present moment, which can help you maintain an internal sense of stability and balance when outside events feel threatening.
  • Seek supports & use campus resources. Reach out to friends and family and learn about on-campus and off-campus resources that are available.
  • Avoid stigmatizing or generalizing. Remember to keep in mind the kindness and empathy with which we strive to treat one another at all times as we address this challenge together. Be aware if your behavior or attitudes change towards others from another country, and avoid stigmatizing anyone who is sick as potentially having the Coronavirus.  Often when there is uncertainty, our thoughts can become more less compassionate and more fear-based.   

RECOGNIZING DISTRESS - A SELF-CHECK LIST

  • Increased worry, fear, and feelings of being overwhelmed
  • Depressive symptoms that persist and/or intensify
  • Inability to focus or concentrate accompanied by decreased academic or work performance or performance of other daily activities
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Excessive crying
  • Isolating or withdrawing from others, fear of going into public situations
  • Unhealthy coping (e.g., increased alcohol or drug use, engaging in risky/impulsive behaviors)
  • A feeling of hopelessness and/or a paralyzing fear about the future
  • Sudden anger or irritability, or noticeable changes in personality

SEEKING SUPPORT

It’s not unusual to experience some — or even several — of the types of distress listed above during times of uncertainly and stress. If you notice these signs in yourself, reach out to family and friends for support, and engage in your usual heathy coping strategies (e.g., moderate exercise; eating well; getting adequate sleep; practicing yoga, meditation, or some other mindfulness activity; take time for yourself; engage in a hobby or other fun activity, etc.). 

If your distress continues or gets to the point that you are having difficulty managing your day-to-day activities, then seek professional help.  To schedule an appointment at the Counseling Center, or receive assistance with referral for off campus services, call 319-895-4292.

 

CORNELL COLLEGE RESOURCES

Resources for Students

Dean of Students Office
Old Sem // 319-895-4234

Student Health Services
Ebersole Center // 319-895-4292  -call before coming in

Counseling Center
Ebersole Center // 319-895-4292  -call before coming in

Resources for Faculty/Staff

Employee Assistance Program — Morneau Shepell
877-851-1631

Human Resources
Old Sem // 319-895-4243

Adapted from:  Amherst College – “Counseling Center: COVID-19 News and Updates” (https://www.amherst.edu/campuslife/health-safety-wellness/counseling/covid-19-news-and-service-changes), University of Indianapolis – “Psychological Tips for Managing Coronavirus Concerns” (https://www.uindy.edu/studentcounseling/scc-news-updates) & American Psychological Association- “Five Ways to View Coverage of the Coronavirus” (https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/bird-flu)

Make an Appointment

The Counseling Center is open when school is in session and hours for Blocks 7 and 8 are as follows:
Monday through Friday 8am to 4:30pm

Call 319-895-4292 to make an appointment. 

You can email us with questions about our services or comments about our website, but we do not schedule appointments via email because email is not considered a confidential communication. Additionally, staff members may not check e-mail with regularity or frequency, and do not access email outside of Counseling Center hours. For the most timely and confidential communication, or to schedule an appointment, please call the Counseling Center at 319-895-4292.

Online Mental Health and Anxiety Screenings

These free screenings are made available to all Cornell students and are taken anonymously. The screenings are provided so that you may find out -- in a matter of minutes -- whether or not professional consultation would be helpful to you.

Online Mental Health Screening
This link offers online screenings for depression, bipolar disorder (aka manic depression), anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (aka PTSD), alcohol, and eating disorders.

Online Anxiety Screening
Click the link above to go to "Freedom From Fear", which offers an online screening for anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety, social anxiety, post-traumatic stress, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and panic disorder, as well as online screening for depression.

Anxiety and National or World Events

Natural disasters, or illness including COVID-19, may affect you and/or your loved ones.  Racism, discrimination, violence - including mass shootings, and threats of violence in our nation and around the world are harmful to everyone's physical and mental health.  Resources are available on and off campus as well as online.  

Mission

The Cornell College Counseling Center complements the college’s academic mission by assisting students’ personal and educational development through short-term counseling, consultation, educational outreach, and referral.  We seek to help students develop effective problem solving and decision-making capabilities, in order to make satisfying life choices and maximize their capacity for continued emotional growth.