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AskBwog: Finding The Best Help

Bwog is here to help

Bwog is here to help

Dear Bwog,

These past few weeks, a lot has been going on in my life and I want to speak to someone about it.  I called Furman but they put me on a wait list for an appointment and told me I probably won’t get one before the end of the semester. Are there other resources students can use at Columbia/in New York when CPS/Furman have no available appointments? Are there even other useful/free options?  I’d really love to speak to someone.



Dear Overwhelmed,

Finals time and the end of the semester can be especially stressful and challenging, so it’s always important to reach out for support.  But this is also the time when CPS/Furman get a large quantity of requests, and so they can fill up quickly.  Luckily, there are a couple of options for you—and other students—to get the help you want.

  • Nightline: Nightline is an anonymous, non-judgmental peer-listening service open to all Columbia and Barnard students.  It is absolutely free, and you can call them any night between 10 pm and 3 am.  They are available to talk about anything you like and they are really wonderful.  Just call 212-854-7777.
  • CPS Drop-in Hours: CPS offers drop-in counseling Monday to Friday in the evening.  The hours and location differ depending on the day, but you can find out all the info you need right here.
  • Furman Listening Hours: Furman offers a similar drop-in service on Monday and Thursday evenings in Plimpton and Elliott, respectively.  Check out this page for more information.
  • Clinician-on-Call: If you are in a crisis and need to speak to a counselor immediately, there is an emergency number available for after-hours care.  For CPS, the number is 212-854-9797.  For Furman, it is 866-966-7788.
  • The College Student Program at Columbia Psychiatry offers outpatient therapy at a low cost for young adults.  They are located in an office in midtown.

However, drop-in hours can be similarly busy during this time, so you might want to look somewhere else.  There are a number of options outside Columbia, although these tend to have even larger waiting lists than CPS or Furman.

  • Check other universities with graduate programs in psychology or social work.  They often have an affiliated clinic or know of local clinics that can see people at a low cost.
  • Go to a therapist-in-training at a local training institute in psychology and social work.  These are typically offered at a low cost, and the student counselors are supervised, so you will be in good hands.  You can use the search services at the American Psychological Association or the National Association of Social Workers to find a counselor.
  • Here is a list of some free and low-cost health clinics in NYC if you’re still looking for other options.  However, these often have very long wait lists, so beware.

And last—don’t forget that you can always speak to your friends, advisors, family, or RA.  Reaching out can be so difficult but it is so important.  Stay well!



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1 Comment

  • Hilary Colenso says:

    @Hilary Colenso Students who are seeking counseling also have the option of requesting a one time appointment to get a referral to a therapist in the local area who will provide therapy that is covered by their insurance.

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