Counseling Center

Scope of Service

The USF Counseling Center at the Sarasota-Manatee campus is a resource designed to offer holistic wellness support to help students achieve their academic, professional, and personal goals. We offer prevention, education, consultation, crisis intervention, and short-term, goal-directed counseling services to promote the mental health and wellbeing of our students and campus community.

All students requesting services are offered an initial contact with a clinician to assess current mental health needs and determine an individualized wellness plan, which may include individual counseling, relationship counseling, participation in workshops or “drop-in” groups, engagement with online or community resources or campus partners, or a referral for care outside of the Center. Plans and goals are based on a determination of whether the student’s needs fall within the role and scope of the Counseling Center. While the professional judgement of mental health providers will govern this determination in each case, these guidelines are intended to assist with this process.  

Currently enrolled students can access same-day, single-session consultations during drop-in hours. Initial consultations can be scheduled Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. through our online scheduling system or by calling the Counseling Center. We offer both in-person and virtual services, as appropriate. Students receiving treatment at the Counseling Center are capable of functioning safely in their roles as students and seek Counseling Center services voluntarily. When students require mental health services beyond the role or scope of care of the Counseling Center, appropriate referrals are made to campus and community resources.

Students with the following concerns and characteristics generally fall outside the scope of the Counseling Center: 

  • Chronic, substantial risk of self-harm or harm to others,
  • Chronic mental health conditions that require longer-term, ongoing treatment,
  • Significant or chronic disordered eating symptoms posing medical danger,
  • Significant or chronic substance use/abuse and/or a need for medical detoxification and/or medical stabilization,
  • Symptoms or situations that indicate short-term treatment may be ineffective and/or detrimental, or
  • Abusive and/or threatening behavior toward a Counseling Center staff member.

Additionally, the Counseling Center does not provide services for the following purposes:

  • Return to campus evaluations and/or documentation
  • Involuntary Withdrawal evaluations and/or documentation
  • Documentation for emotional support animals
  • Drug testing
  • Psychological evaluations for employment clearance
  • Psychological evaluations for academic accommodations or disciplinary matters
  • Forensic evaluations
  • University-mandated evaluation and/or treatment
  • Services to fulfill students’ court-mandate assessment or treatment requirements
  • Custody evaluations 

The nature and complexity of a student’s presenting concerns and the overall context are considered in making appropriate treatment recommendations. In situations where a student’s needs require a referral to community resources, the Counseling Center will frequently provide bridging services to help the student in managing their presenting concerns and provide support until the student is able to connect with the appropriate community resource. The Center is also able to coordinate care with the Care Team, in order to provide maximum support with minimum disruption to academic progress.