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Frequently Asked Questions

For COVID-19-related questions, visit our main Student Health and Counseling pages or the Restart Geneseo pages.

Answers to many common questions are provided below.  You might also find it helpful to review our Forms and Quick Links & Resources.

What is the department's email address?

Current students can send secure messages to Health & Counseling professional staff members at Anonymous feedback can be submitted online to our Student Health Advisory Committee. General health or counseling questions can be submitted to

How do I schedule an appointment?

Most appointments (both health- and counseling-related) can be scheduled via the online student health portal at

What is your policy for missed appointments?

If you miss a scheduled appointment in the Student Health and Counseling department without cancelling, at least 2 hours in advance, a fee of $25 will be charged to your student account. This charge applies to ALL Health and Counseling appointments, including those in Health Services, Counseling Services, and sessions with our AOD Coordinator and Psychiatrist.  Appointments can be cancelled by calling the relevant office or logging into the student health portal at

What do I do when Student Health & Counseling is closed?

There are various resources available for evening and weekend health-related concerns including our Nurse Advice Line (585) 245-5736 and Noyes After Hours Care (50 E South St, Geneseo, NY 14454). Please visit our Crisis & Health Emergency Resources page for more information.

How do I know that you will keep my health information confidential?

The Department of Student Health and Counseling strictly protects the privacy of information related to your personal health information (PHI) and any care you receive from Student Health and Counseling.  For more information, review our Privacy Policies.

Are Student Health and Counseling staff "real" professionals?

Health services are provided by a licensed physician, licensed nurse practitioners, and licensed nurses. Counseling services are provided by licensed psychologists, social workers, and licensed mental health counselors. Other Student Health & Counseling staff include a masters-level Coordinator of Health Promotion, a licensed consulting Psychiatrist, and various support staff. To learn more about the staff, visit our Staff/Mission Statement page. For more information on counseling staff degrees, see What Do Those Degrees Mean?

If I drive to the Lauderdale Health Center, where can I park?

Parking is available in lot "C" at the far end of the lot, there are two spaces designated as "Health Center Patients." Please note that if you park in one of these slots, you must inform the front desk (Health Services) or risk being towed.  We are building #20 on the Campus Map. Patients in need of handicapped parking can park in lot "G" behind Lauderdale.

I need a ride to an off-campus medical appointment and/or require transportation back from a local hospital--what do I do?

Geneseo's Parking & Transportation office has compiled a detailed list of transportation options for Medical Needs; please see their page for details.

How can I submit a comment, complaint, suggestion, or compliment?

Suggestion boxes can be found in all exam rooms and waiting rooms throughout Student Health & Counseling's various locations. The Student Health Advisory Committee (SHAC) responds to all comments and suggestions; they are then forwarded to the Principal Administrator for appropriate action. If you have specific comments about our web site, please contact our webmaster.

What if i want to purchase health insurance?  

If you do not currently have private health insurance coverage, you can contact New York State of Health for more information about family or individual health insurance.  (Please note that this is different than the Student Health Fee.)

What is Geneseo First Response (GFR)?

GFR is a volunteer, student Emergency Medical Services organization made up of approximately 40 students with various levels of training and experience. Working in conjunction with University Police and Health Services, GFR provides 24 hour on-call response to campus emergencies as well as stand-by assistance for major campus events. For more information about GFR, including how to apply, visit the Geneseo First Response home page.

How can I find out about employment opportunities/job openings at Student Health & Counseling?

If you are looking for a full-time professional position, visit Geneseo's Human Resources page; or, if you are a student searching for employment, go to the Student Employment Service home page.

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Health Services

What do I do if I have a health problem and Health Services is closed?

Many common health issues do not require immediate attention. We encourage you to call Health Services when the office reopens to schedule an appointment; in the meantime, you may want to visit our Common Health Concerns page for self-care strategies. A Nurse Advice Line is also available for consultation during evening and weekend hours when Health & Counseling is closed (simply call the Health Services number at 585-245-5736 and you will be automatically forwarded). For more information about this service as well as what to do in the case of an urgent situation, please visit our Crisis & Health Emergency Resources page.

What medical services are available for students?

Our services include primary care, as well as health promotion and disease prevention services. Health Services provides primary care for acute and episodic illnesses as well as the monitoring of chronic illnesses. We do not replace the students’ home health care provider but work in conjunction with her or him. For more information, visit the Our Services page.

What do I do if I get sick?

You are encouraged to make an appointment--appointments are generally available within 24 hours or less. Students who arrive at Health Services without an appointment will be given the opportunity to speak with a registered nurse; the nurse and the student will then review the options for care. For other issues such as colds, headaches, minor pain, and minor wound care, you may want to begin by checking out one of our Self-Care Centers (1st floor of Lauderdale and Onondaga South 203) or by visiting our Common Health Concerns page.

Can I make Health Services appointments online?

Yes!  You can schedule most nurse and provider appointments online at; you can use My Health to check appointment times, to cancel appointments and to send secure messages to Health & Counseling staff as well.

What should I do if I miss class or work because of an illness?

Our staff does not "excuse" students from class or work. However, you can obtain a confirmation that you had an appointment. Go to Scroll down the main menu to click on Visit Summary.   Review the list of visit summaries.  Click on View for the date you need. Once the summary is open, you can print this information (CTRL+P).

NOTE: We are unable to provide confirmation/any details of your visit unless you sign an Authorization to Release Information form granting us permission to provide this information to a specific person.

What happens if I need to be admitted to a hospital or see a specialist?

Occasionally a student will need to be sent to a hospital for a serious illness or injury, or to a specialist for services not provided by Health & Counseling. Our staff maintains an extensive referral list of hospitals and specialists in the local area. You will be referred, at your own expense, to these providers when necessary, which is a good reason to be sure that you have health insurance.

Can I get my prescription filled at Health Services?

No, Health Services is not a dispensing pharmacy, so the office cannot fill prescriptions written by off-campus physicians.  However, Health Services does maintain a formulary of various medications, and so if one of the Health Services clinicians has written a prescription for you, they will most likely provide you with that prescription at no additional charge (assuming that you have paid your health fee in full). Other prescriptions can be filled at several local area pharmacies (a list of which is available here).  Please note that Wegmans Pharmacy delivers to campus Monday-Friday and prescriptions can be picked up from Lauderdale's front desk.

Can I receive allergy shots through Health Services?

As of January 2013, Health Services no longer provides allergy injections; students requiring this service are referred locally to AAIR.  For more information, visit the Our Services page and see the section on Allergy Information.

What does the health fee cover?

All students pay a mandatory health fee as part of their tuition. The mandatory portion of this fee covers visits with our health care providers (as well as both counseling services and health education) who can meet all of your primary health care needs. A voluntary portion of the fee covers additional services, such as medications stocked at Health Services, in-house laboratory work, and supplies such as dressings, ace bandages, etc. More information can be found on our Health Fee page.

What does health insurance cover?

All students are advised to have health insurance and should bring a copy of their insurance card with them to campus. You should be sure that your insurance provides "out of area" coverage, as you may need to use your private health insurance for any treatment that you receive off-campus-- for example, having a prescription filled at a local pharmacy, being seen by a local specialist, or visiting a local hospital.  Those who do not have health insurance through their parents may purchase the optional Student Health Insurance Plan. An explanation of the health fee versus health insurance can be found on our New Student Information page.

How can I obtain copies of my health record?

Review our Privacy Policies for details on making this request, which must be in writing.

What do I do if need to get a physical for graduate school, work or volunteer programs?

Health Services performs physical exams for study abroad, employment and volunteer activities that require physicals. For a small fee, we also do physicals for Geneseo students who will be entering graduate school at another institution or working a non-Geneseo-related job ($35).

Does Health Services provide dental and vision care?

Health Services does provide vision tests for DMV driver's license renewal, but we do no offer any additional vision or dental services at the present time. Therefore, you may want to review our Referrals page for information on local dentists, oral surgeons and ophthalmologists/optometrists.

Does Health Services provide services for faculty and staff members?

The Health & Counseling department's mission is to provide services to students.  However, Health Services clinicians are available to provide basic first aid to faculty and staff members when needed. For more information, visit our Faculty & Staff Information page.

What if I need to go to the hospital?

Health Services refers to several local hospitals.  In the case of an emergency/urgent situation, transportation by ambulance will be arranged (billed to your health insurance). Other information on transportation can be found via the Parking & Transportation page on Medical Needs.

What if I have a problem and Health Services is closed?

In the case of a medical emergency, please contact University Police on campus at 585-245-5222 or 911 off-campus.  You may also wish to consult with our Nurse Advice Line; this service available during evening and weekend hours when Health & Counseling is closed (simply call the Health Services number at 585-245-5736 and you will be automatically forwarded). For more information about this service as well as what to do in the case of an urgent situation, please visit our Crisis & Health Emergency Resources page. 


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Counseling Services

How long will I have to wait for an initial appointment?

We generally respond to appointment requests submitted to the student health portal ( within 2 business days. We make every effort to accommodate students as soon as possible.  Availability may vary due to scheduling conflicts and the time of the semester. 

Can I schedule a counseling appointment online?

As of 8/31/20, you can request a counseling appointment online via the student health portal at  This online "Counseling Appointment Request Form" is intended for students new to our office as well as those who have previously connected to one of our counselors.

I am confused about accessing teletherapy appointments--what do I do?

Teletherapy appointments are access via the student health portal at  For more information, review our page on Accessing Teletherapy Appointments.

Do you see students for same day appointments?

Yes, this is available when warranted.  Please follow the above procedures for requesting a counseling appointment, or for more urgent matters, call our office directly at 585-245-5716.

Can I ask to see a specific counselor?

Yes, you are welcome to request a specific counselor.  Your initial triage appointment will be with one of our  triage counselors, and you can make any specific treatment needs known at that time.

What if I want to switch counselors?

To request to see a different counselor, we ask that you complete our Counselor Change Request form.  Receiving this form provides us with more information about what wasn't working for you in order to make the best decisions about your ongoing treatment.

I live on the south side of campus and have noticed a counselor there--do you have a satellite office?

Yes, we do!  South Village Counseling Services is available for all students, but this office is especially convenient for first year students and others who live in South Village; the office is staffed by Dr. Beth Cholette, Assistant Director of Counseling Services.

What if I need psychiatric medication?

Our licensed counselors cannot prescribe medication to students, and as a first line of treatment, we will work to explore alternate therapeutic avenues with clients. We have a consulting psychiatrist in our office one day a week on Mondays as well as every other Wednesday.  He works with students being seen for therapy via Counseling Services only. For more information, see our page on Psychiatric Services.

What if I have a problem and Counseling Services is closed?

In the case of a psychological emergency (danger to self or others), please contact University Police on campus at 585-245-5222 or 911 off-campus.  You may also wish to consult with our Nurse Advice Line; this service available for during evening and weekend hours when Health & Counseling is closed (simply call the Counseling Services number at 585-245-5716 and you will have the option to be automatically forwarded). For more information about this service as well as what to do in the case of an urgent situation, please visit our Crisis & Health Emergency Resources page. 

Will I have to pay for treatment through Counseling Services?

No. Our services are covered by the mandatory student health fee which you pay with your tuition. If you seek mental health treatment off-campus, however, you will be required to utilize your private health insurance coverage and to pay any additional fees not covered by this insurance.

I've heard that Counseling Services limits the number of times that a student can meet with a counselor--is this true?

No, this is not the case.  Counseling Services does follow a short-term, solutions-focused intervention model that is appropriate to both Our Philosophy and our Scope of Services.  We offer various types of short-term services based on the needs of the individual. Many students find a single session provides them with direction to address their concerns on their own.

Will my contacts with Counseling Services become part of my academic record?

No. All student contacts with Health and Counseling Services are strictly confidential by law. For more information, review our Privacy Policies.

I think that I might be depressed (have an eating disorder, etc.)--what should I do?

First, you can request a counseling appointment online via the student health portal at If you're not quite ready to take that step, you might want to read our Common Mental Health Issues page.  Another option is to take one of our free, anonymous online screenings for depression, eating disorders, and many other conditions; these screenings can be accessed via our Self Help & Self Care page.

I have a friend who may have an eating disorder/be depressed/have an alcohol problem/etc.--what should I do?

Geneseo students often turn to friends as a first line of support, so this is a great question!  Assuming that your friend is not in urgent danger, there are many options available.  Our professional counselors are available during business hours to talk to students about how to assist a friend via calling our main office (585-245-5716) and asking to consult with a counselor.  Students can also drop into one of our Let’s Talk sessions (available every week day when classes are in session) to problem-solve with a counselor about how to proceed.  Similarly, students can refer a friend to request a counseling appointment online via the student health portal at Another option is to suggest that your friend take one of our anonymous online mental health screenings for anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and other issues.   For more information, see the "Helping a Friend" section of the Common Mental Health Issues.  Also, if you would like to improve your own skills for assisting a friend in distress, consider Kognito, a free interactive online program which uses simulated conversations to help you learn intervention strategies.

Can I schedule an appointment for a friend?

No, it is our policy that students schedule their own appointments. You can show your friend how to request a counseling appointment online via the student health portal at For more information, see the "Helping a Friend" section of the Common Mental Health Issues. Also, if you would like to improve your own skills for assisting a friend in distress, consider Kognito, a free interactive online program which uses simulated conversations to help you learn intervention strategies.

How can I find a therapist off-campus?  What if I want to see a therapist at home over the summer?

Our counselors are happy to assist you with getting connected with off-campus mental health resources.  Feel free to call our office at 585-245-5716 and ask to speak with a counselor to discuss your options.  Alternatively, visit our Off-Campus Referral Resources page for more information.

Do you offer peer counseling?

No, we do not.  Alternates include the Geneseo Healthguards, a student group of trained health ambassadors who work with our Coordinator of Health Promotion to provide health-related outreach programs and events.  Also, you may want to consider Pathways, a peer-to-peer advocacy program run by students.

I have/think I have Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD, formerly ADD)--can I use your services?

If you have documentation of your AD/HD diagnoses via testing results, you can work with the Office of Accessibility Services on campus for academic accommodations.  If you are taking medication for your AD/HD, please be advised that Health & Counseling does NOT provide these medications; review our AD/HD medication policy for more information.  If you think you might have AD/HD, you will need to seek testing in order to obtain a diagnosis. Counseling Services can assist you with referrals for AD/HD testing; our web site also provides testing resources.

How can I get an emotional support animal?

This is an accommodation that must be requested via the Office of Accessibility Services.  Student Health and Counseling professional staff members cannot provide documentation for students to have emotional support animals (ESA).  An off-campus provider may be willing to discuss the possibility of having your animal become registered as an ESA.  You can review the college's policies on ESA here.

How can I become more active in promoting mental health on campus?

Counseling Services is proud to support the Geneseo Mental Health Advisory Committee.  The goal of the this committee is to utilize a campus-wide approach to support student mental health.  If you are interested in becoming involved with this group, visit their web page and/or email the Chair, Laura Swanson, LCSW.


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Sexual Health

Are my records confidential?

All records of examination, treatment and lab work are confidential. No one has access to these records without the student's expressed written permission.

Does Health Services provide emergency contraception?

Yes, Emergency Contraceptive Pills (ECPs) are available through the Health Services during business hours. (Please note: ECP can reduce the risk of pregnancy up to 120 hours after unprotected vaginal intercourse. However, the pills work best when taken within 72 hours; during this time, they can reduce the risk of pregnancy from 75-89%.)

I am interested in starting birth control pills. Where do I go?

You need to have an annual gynecological exam before a prescription for pills can be provided. This would be done through the Reproductive Health Center, a service provided by Livingston County Health visiting campus twice per week.

I just had an exam at home from my regular doctor, can I get pills at school?

You can have your doctor write a prescription for you to be filled at a local pharmacy, but if you would like to receive pills from the Reproductive Health Center, you must have another exam in order to become a current patient.

I think I have a vaginal infection. I am worried it is an STI. Where do I go?

If the infection is your primary concern, then you can make an appointment at Health Services. If you are due for a pap smear/annual exam, this can be taken care of through the Reproductive Health Center.

If I become a patient at the Reproductive Health Center, will I be able to get the same brand of birth control that I am currently using?

Most likely, you will be able to stay on the exact pill you are currently using or else you will be provided with a pill that will very closely match your current one; you should not experience any difficulties in the switch. New Reproductive Health Center clients will not be able to receive NuvaRing. However, a written prescription can be provided so that you can purchase NuvaRing at a local pharmacy.

I am confused! When do I call the Reproductive Health Center and when do I call Health Services for my problem?

Basically, the Reproductive Health Center (585-243-7540) will provide annual gynecological exams and contraception for women, whereas Health Services (585-245-5736) will provide all other sexual health and primary care health needs for both men and women.

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Health Promotion

What is Healthy Geneseo?

Healthy Geneseo, or "Wellness Happens Here," is the title for the comprehensive health and wellness programming offered by the Health Promotion office.

Who do I contact about outreach programs?

Review Healthy Geneseo to find out more about ongoing health promotion programming.  For general health education programming information, contact our Coordinator of Health Promotion, Dana Minton by phone at 585-245-5747 or email her at

What are the Geneseo Healthguards?

The Geneseo Healthguards are student wellness ambassadors sponsored by Student Health and Counseling and supervised by the Coordinator of Health Promotion.  The mission of the Healthguard program is to enhance the health and well-being of SUNY Geneseo students through student-driven outreach programs focused on positive health promotion. The Geneseo Healthguard program serves as a vital link between Geneseo students and the resources available at Student Health and Counseling.  Learn more by going to the Geneseo Healthguards page.

How can I become a Geneseo Healthguard?

If you are interested in becoming a Geneseo Healthguard, contact Dana Minton, Coordinator of Health Promotion, at 585-245-5747.

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Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Program

What happens if I have been referred for a mandated appointment?

If you have been referred to the AOD Coordinator by Judicial Affairs, the Dean of Students, or another College official, please be sure to have your referral letter with you when you call to schedule an appointment. When you call our office (585-245-5716), you must inform the receptionist that you are coming in for a mandated Choices or BASICS appointment with our Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) Program Coordinator, Sarah Covell.  For a BASICS appointment, you must also take the required BASICS screening questionnaire prior to your appointment (you will be sent an email with a personalized link to do this). We also have AOD Advocates, a group of students trained in having meaningful conversations with their peers about alcohol and/or other drugs. To make an appointment, email

I heard something about a therapy dog--do you really have a dog?

Yes!  Our AOD Coordinator Sarah Covell owns Sophie, a Certified Therapy Dog.  Sarah brings Sophie to her second floor Lauderdale office on some Tuesdays and Thursdays. 


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