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Frequently Asked Questions About Health & Counseling

Answers to many common questions are provided below. You might also find it helpful to review our forms and quick links & resources.

General Questions

I have questions about COVID - who do I ask?

For the most updated pandemic information, review Geneseo's COVID19 Guidelines.

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 with any provider in the Student Health and Counseling, your student account will be charged a $25 no-show fee. Appointments can be canceled by logging into your student health portal at

What if 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, Noyes Urgent Care (50 E South St, Geneseo), or RRH Geneseo Urgent Care (4302 Gateway Drive, Geneseo). 

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.

If I drive to Lauderdale Health and Counseling, 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 website, please contact our webmaster.

Do I have to have health insurance?  

We do not require health insurance to be treated.

If you do not currently have private health insurance coverage, you can contact the 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.)

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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 the 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?

Make an appointment via your health portal at

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

Go to Scroll down the menu and 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).

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 Student Health and 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.

How can I get my prescriptions if I don't have transportation?

The College offers LATS bus service to students; the buses run to both Wegmans and Walmart in Geneseo.

In addition, the Wegmans in Geneseo delivers prescriptions to the main Lauderdale Health Center building Monday-Friday during our business hours.  New prescriptions must be received by 2 pm in order to be delivered that same day.  To initiate this service, you must first complete this paperwork and turn in to Wegmans or to Lauderdale.  Note that these forms will authorize Wegmans to keep your credit card on file.

Other things to know:

  • You must opt out of automatic refills; instead, inform Wegmans to deliver to Lauderdale when you call for a refill.
  • Before picking your prescription up from Lauderdale, you must first call to request this, as walk-ins are not permitted at this time.
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.

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 I 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 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. 

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.

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Counseling Services

How do I request a counseling appointment?

You can request a counseling appointment online via the student health portal at  This online "Counseling Appointment Request Form" is intended both for students brand new to our office AND for students who are returning from a prior academic year.  (Students already connected to a counselor can secure message their counselor directly for rescheduling.)

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

We generally respond to appointment requests submitted to the student health portal ( within 24-48 hours (2 business days). We make every effort to accommodate students as soon as possible.  We contact students both by phone and by secure messaging, so be sure to answer calls from our 585 number and to check your Geneseo email for notifications of secure messages from Student Health and Counseling.  If it has been more than 3 business days since you submitted your request, you may send a secure message to Emma Wolford, Director of Counseling Services to inquire.

How do I access my teletherapy appointments?

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

What if I need a same-day appointment?

Same-day appointments are available for urgent concerns. Follow the instructions above for requesting a counseling appointment online, or for more urgent matters, call our main office directly at 585-245-5716.

Can I ask to see a specific counselor?

Yes.  Please feel free to write your request in the "additional information" box of the online counseling appointment request form available at

Can I switch counselors?

Yes.  You will need to complete a new counseling appointment request form available at  You can include the details of your request for a new counselor in the "additional information" box.

Do you have locations outside of the main offices in Lauderdale Health Center?

Yes. Pam Kosmowski, AOD Program Coordinator, is located in Onondaga 203-South. She sees students and provides programming from that location.

Do you have a psychiatrist?
What happens if I need psychiatric medication?

We have a consulting psychiatrist working one day a week on Mondays as well as every other Wednesday. Psychiatric services via Student Health and Counseling are available for students who have an established, ongoing relationship with one of our counselors. If you have an off-campus therapist OR you are looking for medication treatment only (i.e., not interested in pursuing therapy), review this list of off-campus psychiatric referral options. 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.  For more information about responding to urgent situations, visit our Crisis & Emergency Resources page; also review our Counseling Services Quick Resource List for additional options. You may also use SUNY Crisis Text Line - text GOT5U to 741-741.

Will I have to pay for my Counseling Services appointment?

No. Our services are covered by the mandatory student health fee which all registered students pay with tuition.  Students who seek mental health or other services off-campus will be required to utilize private health insurance coverage and to pay any additional fees not covered by this insurance.

Does Counseling Services limit the number of times that a student can meet with a counselor?

No. Counseling Services does follow a short-term, goal-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 that 1-3 sessions provide 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 the Student Health and Counseling department are strictly confidential by law. For more information, review our Privacy Policies.

What should I do if I think I might be depressed (have an eating disorder/am anxious/have concerns about my substance use)?

You can request a counseling appointment online via the student health portal at

What should I do for my friend who is depressed (has an eating disorder/is anxious/has a substance problem)?

Geneseo students often turn to friends as the 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 triage counselors are available during business hours to talk to students about how to assist a friend; to request a callback from a triage counselor, call our main office at 585-245-5716. 

Students can also 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.    Also, if you would like to improve your own skills for assisting a friend in distress, consider Kognito, a free interactive online program that uses simulated conversations to help you learn intervention strategies.

Can I schedule an appointment for a friend?

No, we request that students schedule their own appointments. You can walk your friend through the process of requesting a counseling appointment online via the student health portal at Also, if you would like to improve your own skills for assisting a friend in distress, consider Kognito, a free interactive online program that 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 Mental Health Referrals and Resources page and see our Counseling Services Quick Resource List for 24/7 hotlines, campus resources, and additional referral information.  Our Coping with Covid page provides additional information on finding an outside therapist, including resources specific to BIPOC and LGBTQ individuals.

Do you offer peer counseling?

No.  Alternatives 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 Geneseo Pathways, a peer-to-peer advocacy program; peer advocates are student volunteers who successfully completed intensive training in helping skills.

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 diagnosis 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 Student Health and 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 website 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 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, Pam Kosmowski.  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

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