Counseling Services

The Counseling Center

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  • Counseling Services

    The Counseling Center offers SFU students the opportunity to talk privately about personal issues and concerns in a safe, confidential setting. Support and consultation are also available to faculty and staff who have concern about the psychological and emotional well-being of a student.

    Counseling Center

    Office Location: 120 Francis Hall
    Phone: 814-472-3211
    Office Hours: Mon-Fri, 8 am-4 pm
    evening hours by appointment


    counseling@francis.edu 
    IMPORTANT NOTE:The SFU Counseling Center does not maintain 24-hour access to email correspondence and cannot guarantee that emails will be read in evenings and on weekends. If you have an emergency, please contact a mental health crisis counselor (24-hour, on-call status) at 877-268-9463.

    Our Services

    The Counseling Center, located in Saint Francis Hall, provides confidential counseling to students, including individual, marital and group counseling. If assistance is needed in arranging for mental health services in the community, the Center staff can assist students with referral to local treatment providers.

    Students in need of services are encouraged to call for an appointment during regular office hours. The Center is staffed two evenings per week. Resident students who desire to speak with a counselor after regular office hours should contact the Resident Assistant on duty. Commuter students should contact the Department of University Police at 814-472-3360.

    Programming on relevant psycho-social and developmental issues is provided and sponsored by the Center throughout the year. Topics include stress management and relaxation training, sexuality, eating disorders, dating, substance abuse and family issues. Resource information on mental health issues, chemical dependency and health and wellness is available at the Center and is provided to students upon request.

  • Resources for Students

    For current students seeking assistance, we have assembled a listing of counseling resources to help connect individuals with the support they need.

    First Year Students

    First-year students (and parents!) may be interested in browsing transitionyear.org for guidance in dealing with common issues families encounter as students embark on the college experience.

  • Resources for parents

    The counseling center works with many parents as well providing consultation, information, and referrals. Here are answers to few questions you may have.

    How does the counseling center help students?

    The Counseling Center is part of the University's mission of helping students to develop into healthy, well-rounded individuals. Counseling Services assist students in meeting the personal and developmental challenges they face during college. Students seek counseling for a range of issues from adjustment and relationship issues to managing emotional and behavioral issues, such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and substance abuse.

    How can the counseling center help parents?

    Counselors are available for consultation with parents. We can provide additional information about the types of services available through our Center and help parents to identify off-campus resources when appropriate. We can discuss your concerns with you and help you to make decisions about the appropriateness of a referral to the Counseling Center and ways to discuss this with your son or daughter. The counselors are also very familiar with additional support resources on campus and can help you to assess ways to connect your son or daughter with those resources.

    What is counseling center's approach to confidentiality?

    Confidentiality is an important part of establishing trust in an effective counseling relationship. confidentiality laws also prohibit us from sharing any information about a student's counseling contact without written permission. However, confidentiality considerations do not prohibit us from discussing ways in which parents can be helpful in dealing with issues their sons and daughters are confronting. In most cases these discussions are held with a counselor other than the one working with the student in question.

    Do you have any wellness tips I can recommend to my child?

    • Facilitate good decision-making skills.
    • Stress the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
      • Healthy sleeping pattern -8 to 10 hour a night
      • Healthy eating habits - 3 meals a day of nutritional value
      • Exercise
    • Discuss how often you will keep in touch
    • Assist student in creating a budget to manage finances.
      • Discuss responsible use of credit cards.
      • Gift cards are a good alternative to credit.
    • Talk about your concerns regarding the use of alcohol & drugs.
    • Become familiar with Saint Francis University website and the many campus resources available to assist your student.
    • If student has a chronic illness or is on medication, assist student in making arrangements for continuity in their care.
    • If student is involved in counseling prior to beginning college, do not discontinue services. Encourage student to schedule an appointment for fall break and maintain appointment even if student seems to be making a positive adjustment to transition.
    • Be patient with student and yourself. This transition can be a time if great ambivalence for you both.
  • Counseling Center Staff

    To contact the Counseling Center staff, email counseling@francis.edu.

    Drug & Alcohol Counseling Staff

    For more assistance with Drug & Alcohol related issues, please contact Lynne Banks
    814-472-3002
    lbanks@francis.edu.

    Dave WilsonDavid P. Wilson, M.A., C.A.A.D.C., L.P.C., Director

    Susan ObarskySusan M. Obarsky, M.A., B.C.P.C., M.S.W., L.S.W., Counselor

    Barbara BartoBarbara Barto, B.A., Administrative Assistant

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