Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Please take a look at the questions below before you contact us. You might find a helpful and clarifying answer there. If, after going through this list, you still haven't found the answer you were looking for, then feel free to contact us at studentwellness@tc.columbia.edu


About the COVID-19 Pandemic and Services

Find updated and additional special resources for coping with this pandemic here.

Yes, absolutely. Columbia's Counseling and Psychological Services Center on main campus (CPS) is still active and having phone appointments. You can reach out to them at 212-854-2878 to schedule a call with a counselor. Outside of office hours, you can still call 212-854-2878 to speak with a counselor on call 24/7. 

We are currently operating in a hybrid format, with some hours in person, and other remote. We strongly recommend that you complete a contact form request to make an appointment with us. This will help us determine if an in-person or a hybrid visit might be best suited for your needs. Students may make a remote appointment with the Student Support Team by filling the Contact Form on our website. For general Inquiries, rescheduling or cancellation of appointments students, faculty and staff can reach our office during business hours at studentwellness@tc.columbia.edu.

Welcome to TC!! We are excited to have you joining our community!

There are many ways to be connected to other students and faculty beyond classes as well as receive the support you need.

  • On the Orientation website, you will find specific information for new students. You can also contact orientation@tc.columbia.edu
  • On the TC Preparedness website, you will find updates and official announcements regarding COVID-19 and TC's initiatives to care for all our students, faculty, and staff
  • On our Important Contacts page, you will find contact information of relevant TC offices and departments
  • On the Health & Immunization website, you will find important information about Columbia health insurance, Columbia health fee (see below the difference between them), and how to enroll. You can also contact health-immunization@tc.edu
  • On our Resources page, you will find different tips and resources within TC, Columbia University, and NYC
  • Enrolled students can request a first phone/video conferencing appointment with our team by completing this form.

About Mental Health...

Mental health is the care of our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

Mental health disorders are conditions that affect a person’s thinking, feeling, mood or behavior. Such conditions may be occasional or long-lasting (chronic) and affect someone’s ability to relate to others and function each day.

 It’s important to remember that a person’s mental health can change over time, depending on many factors.  When the demands placed on a person exceed their resources and coping abilities, their mental health could be impacted. For example, if someone is working long hours,Cdc-pdf caring for an ill family member or experiencing economic hardship they may experience poor mental health.

Experiencing a mental health disorder does not define who you are, what your path is going to be or how your life is. Seeking help to understand, manage, and work through it as best you can is fundamental.

Depression is one of the most common forms of mental health issues in the United States, occurring recurrently on average in about 15 percent of the population. In all its different variations, depression can occur just one time in a person’s life or over and over again, lasting for months, years, or even a lifetime. Depression can occur at any point in a person’s life and doesn’t discriminate against age, race, or gender.

Depression is considered a mental health disorder that is often invisible but significantly impacts daily activities such as studying, working, concentrating, sleeping, eating, enjoying their lives, and/or feeling good about themselves. Learn more about signs of depression here.

Anxiety is the most common mental health issue, but it’s also one of the most treatable. Because anxiety can produce a wide range of symptoms, different techniques and therapies can be used to treat your anxious thoughts, behaviors, and feelings. More specifically, anxiety is a natural fear reaction to situations. It often involves both physiological - such as breathing, heart beating - and emotional - such as intense fear, worry - reactions. For many people, intense anxiety affects their mood, sleep, appetite, concentration, and ability to engage in certain activities such as taking a test or going to crowded places. Learn more about signs of anxiety here.

Research shows that our physical  and mental health significantly affects our work performance, and counseling is definitely a tool used  to work on your mental wellbeing. Here are some additional tips for you to manage graduate school while caring for your well-being.

  • Take good care of YOU
    • Your physical and emotional health are as important as your degree! Self-care includes: doing things you enjoy, working out, reading a book, connecting with other people, eating healthy meals, and taking breaks from work from time to time..
  • Time management
    • Time is a valuable resource during graduate school. Be aware of your deadlines and plan ahead according to your style (e.g., “morning” person or a night owl) and preferences (e.g., work in a group, work individually). 
    • Prioritize. It is important to keep your work and studies organized by creating a priority list of all the things you have to do. This may involve a priority list of activities, a conversation with your academic advisor, or saying “no” to more responsibilities.
  • Communicate
    • Attending graduate school can be stressful. TC faculty members and staff are available to help you navigate this moment of your life. Use faculty office hours and student services to ask questions and receive support. Schedule an appointment by email with faculty members. If you have questions related to wellness, please send an email to our team at Student Support  at  studentwellness@tc.columbia.edu.

Reach out to Columbia Health for more wellness tips.

Columbia Health Fee & Insurance Plans

For additional information specifically related to Columbia Health Fee and the TC Health Plan for students, please contact Health & Immunization

The Columbia Health Fee grants students access to health resources on main campus such as physicians, nutritionists, and the Counseling and Psychological Services center.

This fee is mandatory for all full-time (12 billable credits) students, students living in the residence halls at Teachers College, and/or international students (regardless of full-time or part-time status). If you are part of any of these groups this is an automatic payment.  

For part-time students, the Columbia Health Fee is not required. You may opt into Columbia Health and have access to these resources voluntarily. You can also submit a payment for the Columbia Health Fee at any time in the semester via accessing myTC portal under Student Resources. Please visit the Health and Immunization Records page or contact health-immunization@tc.edu  for more information.

The Columbia Health Fee is not an insurance plan and is a separate service from the Aetna Student Health Plan.

 

CPS is the Counseling and Psychological Services center on main campus, where counseling, individual therapy, psychiatric consultations, psychological evaluations, and support groups, are offered to Columbia students, including Teachers College. 

As a general service for all Columbia schools, CPS is one of the main resources you have  access to through the Columbia Health Fee. This fee is mandatory for all full-time (12 billable credits) students, students living in the residence halls at Teachers College, and/or international students (regardless of full-time or part-time status). If you are part of any of these groups this is an automatic payment.  

For part-time students, the Columbia Health Fee is not required. You may opt into Columbia Health and have access to these resources voluntarily. You can also submit a payment for the Columbia Health Fee at any time in the semester via accessing myTC portal under Student Resources. Please visit the Health and Immunization Records page or contact health-immunization@tc.edu for more information.

The Columbia Health Fee is not an insurance plan and is a separate service from the Aetna Student Health Plan.

 

Teachers College offers the Columbia Student Health Insurance Plan, in partnership with Columbia University and Aetna Student Health  This service is available to all full-time registered students enrolled in degree-granting programs. 

The current plan offers consistent co-pays of $20 for mental health services with most providers that operate with the Aetna network.  For more information about this or the plan in general, please visit the Office of Student Affairs page or contact health-immunization@tc.edu for more information.

What if I am Hospitalized?

If you are admitted to a hospital or were recently discharged, you may be concerned about your academics as well as your student experience at TC. There are resources available at Teachers College to assist you in navigating your individual situation as you focus on recovery.

We encourage you to reach out to your instructors and/or academic advisors to discuss your individual circumstances. If you would like assistance in navigating the situation, please contact our team at studentwellness@tc.edu. We are available to work with students to discuss available support resources, and help facilitate faculty communication.

 If you require disability-related accommodations due to either a brief or chronic medical issue or illness are needed, students should reach out to the Office of Access and Services for Individuals with Disabilities (OASID) at oasid@tc.edu.

No. This is your private information and you may decide if you would like to share it with the College.

However, It is always a good idea, whenever possible, for you to contact your academic department or program directly to discuss your individual situation.

If you would like assistance in navigating your situation, contact the Office of Student Health and Wellness at studentwellness@tc.edu. SH&W is available to work with students to discuss available support resources, and help facilitate faculty communication.

You are not required to inform your instructors about your hospitalizations. However, it is always a good idea, whenever possible, for a student to communicate with their academic area (instructors, academic advisor, etc.) directly to discuss how to make up work and/or a class (or classes) that was missed

Yes. A hospitalization does not prevent students from remaining enrolled. As you plan for your return to TC, you will want to consider how the time away from your classes will impact your ability to make up any work you have missed. An extended amount of missed classes may cause a significant impact on your studies. Your academic advisor can assist you to determine what options are available as you navigate your academic circumstances.

 

 

There are multiple options for navigating a medical situation while completing academic coursework.

  • Discuss with your instructor if flexible grading options may be available.
  • Connect with OASID at oasid@tc.edu to discuss whether you may be eligible for disability-related accommodations.
  • Students may consider a Medical Leave of Absence to get medical support and return to school when recovered.
  • Consult with your advisor to discuss how recovery is impacting each class and consider options such as withdrawal or dropping a class.
  • Consider financial aid, enrollment status and degree when making decisions about each class.

*Some excerpts contain definitions and nomenclatures taken from the official Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Columbia Health websites.

 
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