Free, Confidential Support
The Counseling Center provides free and confidential support and mental health services to all Buffalo State students. Support may include individual and group psychotherapy, workshops, educational outreach, consultation, and referrals to resources on campus and in the community.
Call us at (716) 878-4436 during office hours.
24-Hour Emergency Numbers
Call or text 988 from anywhere in the US
SUNY 24-hour Crisis Text Line: text GOT5 to 741-741
What to expect in Your Initial Phone Screening Appointment
A counselor will call you at a time that fits with your schedule
Be sure that your phone settings accept calls from private/restricted numbers
The counselor will gather some basic information and explain confidentiality
You will talk about what led you to contact the Counseling Center
If the Counseling Center is the right fit for you, we will:
- Schedule a follow-up to start working on your goals
- Or schedule a more comprehensive assessment to go deeper about your needs/goals
- Connect you to additional on-campus resources such as Weigel Health Center, Student Accessibility Services, Career and Professional Education, Academic Success, and other departments
If the Counseling Center is not the best fit right now, we will:
Refer to whatever will be the best fit, such as an off-campus treatment provider, doctor, or hospital, and support you while you link with the best care for your needs
Concerns that may be addressed by The Counseling Center:
Academic Problems, Alcohol and Drug Use, Anger Management, Anxiety, Concentration Difficulties, Depression, Discrimination, Eating Disorders and Body Image, Family Problems, Grief Reactions, Homesickness, Irritability, Low Self-esteem, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Panic Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Pregnancy, Racial/Ethnic Identity and Stress, Rape/Sexual Assault, Sexual Orientation Concerns, Sexually Transmitted Disease, Sexual or Physical abuse, Stress from Chronic Health Conditions, Interpersonal Conflicts, Stress Management, Sleep Problems, Suicidal thoughts as well as thoughts of harming others, Test and Seminar Anxiety... and many other concerns which may interfere with your success at Buffalo State College.
If you are not sure where to start, the Counseling Center is a great first step on the path of recovery and health.
Stepped Care Model
The Stepped Care Model is a multi-tier system of programs that seeks to meet students where they are in the change process, while promoting autonomy and empowerment. The most effective yet least-intensive intervention is offered first, then care is stepped up to the next level based on evidence of required need. The Stepped Care Model ensures more rapid access to care through brief screenings and options for single solution-focused sessions that offer solutions immediately with only minimal assessment.
Urgent Care Crisis Intervention
Emergencies and psychological crises are always considered the highest priority for clinical services. Emergencies are defined as any situation involving personal, psychological, or physical trauma including the potential threat to self or others. The Buffalo State Counseling Center is staffed by trained mental-health professionals who can assist students in times of personal crisis.
If you or someone you are assisting is experiencing a life-threatening emergency, and you are off campus, call or text Crisis Services at 988 or call 911 immediately; if you are on campus, call the Counseling Center at 716-878-4436 or come directly to the Counseling Center.
This service is when you meet with a professional counselor for regularly scheduled sessions. The sessions are usually limited in number and average five sessions, since we typically operate in a short term therapy model.
In group counseling you will meet with 4-10 other students and professional staff members to discuss common concerns (e.g. relationship issues, managing anxiety or depression, stress). For more information about groups, see our Group Counseling page.
Special Focus Workshops:
The center offers practical, skills-based workshops on an ongoing basis. The themes of these workshops include stress management, sleep health, suicide prevention and crisis intervention, and interpersonal communication skills. For examples, see our Workshops page.
Referral to Community Resources:
Our services are limited to short-term counseling, typically every-other-week, weekly groups, and workshops. The Center can help you with a referral to and connection with community services for long-term, more frequent, or more specialized assistance, such as medication management.
Your Success is Our Priority!
Making Your First Appointment:
All current students at SUNY Buffalo State University (full or part-time) may seek counseling support at the Counseling Center. There is no fee for services at the center. To schedule the initial phone consultation, call the Counseling Center at 878-4436 during office hours. The receptionist will ask for your name, address, and phone number, and will schedule a time for you to talk with a member of our staff. For more information about what to expect during your free and confidential introductory session, check out what to expect during our initial phone screening.
Your counselor may suggest testing as a means of understanding yourself better or getting specialized accommodations. We partner with Student Accessibility Services and community providers for testing. Typically the most cost-effective option is the UB Psychological Services Center (PSC), which does not require insurance and operates on a sliding-scale fee system.
Missed Appointment Policy:
A missed appointment is when a client misses an appointment without canceling it. Unless you call to cancel, a failure to be present at the time of a scheduled appointment will be recorded in the client’s chart as a “no-show”. This includes arriving 15+ minutes late for your scheduled appointment start time, which may result in your appointment being rescheduled. If classes are canceled due to weather or other emergency, Counseling Center appointments are also canceled and will need to be rescheduled.
In fairness to students wanting to secure timely services from the Counseling Center, students who miss an appointment without notifying the counselor will typically be allowed no more than one additional consecutive “no-show” or three “no-shows” in one semester before the Counseling Center considers them disengaged from service and their files will be closed. This may also apply to repeated late cancelations. You will be notified of this status in writing and a copy will be placed in your chart. To reengage with services, you will be required to meet with the Clinical Manager of the Counseling Center to assess your treatment needs at that time. Additionally, you will be provided with referrals off-campus that may have hours that are a better fit for you. Urgent Care services at our office will always remain available to all registered students during regular business hours. Community crisis services are also always available, and can be reached by calling or text messaging 988.
We are a Counseling Center, and therapeutic support is our goal. We do not have a prescriber (psychiatrist) on staff, so we cannot offer medication prescription or refills. We do sometimes talk with students about how medication may help support their mental health, but we could never force someone to take medication. For students who are interested in medications, we will talk about options in the community. These options may vary depending on the student's insurance, what type of medication is needed, or other factors.
Buffalo State is also part of a new SUNY initiative to increase access to psychiatric medications for students. This program is still in development but we are hoping to offer it soon.
We are partnering with BetterMynds, a group of online therapists who specialize in working with college students, to offer more flexible options for therapy. BetterMynds sessions are available nights and weekends and are paid for with credits through the Counseling Center. The first step is the same as any support through the Counseling Center - call 716-878-4436 or come to Weigel Health Center 2nd floor to schedule a brief phone screening.