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Counseling Services

At the Counseling Center, we offer the following services:

The Counseling Center and Relaxation Lounge

Counseling Center

The Counseling Center, located on the ground floor of the student union, consists of the mental health coordinator’s office, a session room, a work/storage room, and a lobby that serves as a relaxation lounge. Featuring comfortable seating and low lighting, the Relaxation Lounge is meant to be a quiet place where students can sit, scroll, have a snack, color or just take a break. Students are not only welcome here, but they will often find free snacks and drinks waiting for them! The session room, when not in use, can be reserved for taking a rest on what is largely agreed to be the World’s Most Comfortable Couch!

Short-term Sessions and Referrals

The Counseling Center offers a series of short-term sessions, usually consisting of an initial intake session and three working sessions. Many times, students find that their concerns are resolved within these sessions. If additional support is needed the Mental Health Coordinator is available to assist the student with a referral for off campus services.

Pause for Paws

Pause for Paws

Pause for Paws provides weekly opportunities for staff and students to experience the mental health benefits of interacting with emotional support animals (ESA) through the following:

  • Regularly scheduled group ESA visits
  • ESA participation in individual student sessions
  • Volunteer and training opportunities
  • Community collaboration

The mental health benefits of ESA interaction include:

  • Decrease of depression, stress and anxiety – the most common mental health concerns cited by students
  • Increase of “happy hormones” that boost and stabilize moods
  • Decrease feelings of loneliness
  • Increase social connectedness – the most important factor in student retention

Hospital Transitions and WRAP/Team Support

In the event that a student needs in-patient care for mental health, the Mental Health Coordinator will communicate with hospital/facility social workers as needed to help make any needed arrangements for the student’s transition back to school and campus life. Very often, this means forming a support team with the student which usually consists of the coaches, professors, friends, team mates, family members, or others who are involved in the student’s life. The Mental Health Coordinator will schedule a Wellness Action Recovery Plan (WRAP) meeting, in which the team uses a color-coded system to develop a plan for how to support the student based on the student’s insight and wishes. A “code red crisis plan” is included as well as a process for debriefing and follow up after a crisis.

Monthly Outreach Activities

On a monthly basis, the Counseling Center sponsors educational outreach activities that encourage students and staff to interact with the topic at hand. Some examples include jumbo coloring posters to encourage short mental health breaks and celebrating World Mental Health Day by highlighting mental health concerns among elite athletes. The Counseling Center has also sponsored a fruit and yogurt bar to encourage healthy eating habits as a way of supporting mental health, and an interactive hand print activity to allow students to respond to the Black History and Mental Health display created by the Counseling Center for Black History Month. We are always looking for creative ways to educate and advocate!

Yogurt Bar


The Mental Health Coordinator is available to supervise internships for William Penn University students. Interns work closely with the Mental Health Coordinator to create, plan and work on displays, activities and trainings as well as assist with some of the day to day functions of the Counseling Center. Philosophical training from the perspective of working in the broader field of mental health and human services is a main focus. Interns also have the opportunity to experience some of the coping skills and values determination activities that many students work through in counseling sessions.


The Mental Health Coordinator can assist with trainings for faculty and staff as well as students. There are two mental health training programs available including the detailed Mental Health First Aid and the shorter, anti-stigma based Make It Ok presentation. Both programs can be offered to staff and students alike. Other trainings include new student orientation on mental health as well as MVP for consent and domestic violence training.

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Monday- 8:00 AM-5:00 PM
Tuesday- 8:00 AM-5:00 PM
Wednesday- 8:00 AM-5:00 PM
Thursday- 8:00 AM-5:00 PM
Friday- 8:00 AM-5:00 PM

Schedule a session here!


Dana M. Atkins Memorial Union
R Avenue West
Oskaloosa, IA