Counseling Services for Students: THE “C” IN SHCS


Counseling services at Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS) are a well utilized resource that can help students find support and develop tools for leading productive, well-balanced, and fulfilling lives. SHCS has a diverse group of counselors who are experts in the unique needs of graduate and professional students.

Counseling: A confidential space for support, free of cost

All students are eligible for brief, time-limited counseling, regardless of whether they have waived the UC Student Health Insurance Plan.  SHCS counselors understand that UCSF students have busy and dynamic schedules, and we offer flexible scheduling, including evening hours. Our psychiatrists also provide medication consultation/evaluation and medication management as appropriate.

There is no wrong reason to seek counseling

Depression, anxiety, adjusting to life as a UCSF student, academic concerns, relationship problems, loss of a loved and how to manage relationships with faculty are only a few of the reasons students seek counseling.  Sometimes students just need a safe, confidential space to work through a short-term problem.  Others may be going through something more severe.  Scheduling an initial consultation with an SHCS counselor is a great way to pinpoint the issue, obtain some non-judgmental feedback, and develop a plan for action.

Sometimes an SHCS counselor will determine that a student would be best served by seeking long term counseling in the community with a provider who can see them longer than our session limit. In this case, SHCS Counselors and support staff can help facilitate referral to providers in the community, with an emphasis on providers who accept the student’s insurance.

Addressing stigma

SHCS believes that seeking support from others and using one’s resources are signs of strength and important tools for success. SHCS understands that for some students, the idea of counseling evokes fear of being perceived as unstable, seriously impaired, or weak. For others there may be strong cultural or familial beliefs against talking about one’s problems outside of the family. SHCS counselors are sensitive to these concerns and work with students to address them to establish a comfortable experience. We place the highest priority on privacy and confidentiality.

Wellness Programs and Outreach: Bringing SHCS Counselors to you

SHCS offers free workshops, lectures, small group series, and education to improve mental, emotional, and physical wellness. For details, please check our Fall calendar at our website

To schedule a counseling appointment, students can call the SHCS main line, (415) 476-1281, or talk to their SHCS medical provider. If you are a student, and SHCS is closed, and you need urgent support you can speak with a mental health provider 24/7 over the phone via our Mental Health Crisis Line, (415) 476-1281, option 7. If you are experiencing a life-threatening crisis, go to the nearest ER or call 911.