November 1, 2018

VSU Counseling Center Offers Telepsychiatry Services to Students

VALDOSTA — In an effort to provide the best possible mental wellness care to students, Valdosta State University’s Counseling Center now offers telepsychiatry, which allows students to receive treatment through confidential video conferences with a highly qualified doctor.

Through telepsychiatry, or telepsych, students can obtain psychological assessments, diagnoses, and medication management from a doctor in a remote location — a doctor who would otherwise be unavailable in the South Georgia area.

This flexibility in location has allowed VSU’s Counseling Center to expand its applicant pool and find a doctor who is the “best of the best,” said Dr. Tricia Hale, center director. 

The VSU Counseling Center is one of only a few university counseling centers nationwide offering telepsych services, according to a recent survey from the Association of University College Counseling Center Directors.

“The VSU Counseling Center has worked really hard to be at the cutting edge of what university counseling centers across the country are doing to keep up with the times and demands,” Hale said. “This is just one more example of how we have worked to bring our students the highest quality treatment with the addition of top-notch technology.”

VSU’s telepsych doctor is Dr. Mobolaji Oyebanjo-Popoola — Dr. O for short — a Harvard-educated medical doctor based in Atlanta who has decades of experience treating mental health concerns and diseases. She specializes in addictions and has worked extensively with young adults to improve their well-being in relation to a wide range of mental health concerns.

“Dr. O is an extremely qualified psychiatrist who brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to our counseling center and to the college student demographic,” Hale said. “She is a perfect fit for our student population. She also has three teenage daughters of her own, so she understands the concerns of this population.”

The telepsych sessions, which take place at the Counseling Center in a private room with a computer and webcam, are Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act compliant, meaning students who use this service benefit from the same confidentiality and security protocols of traditional healthcare formats.

Telepsych services are available to all active and enrolled VSU students. Students can self-pay or utilize insurance to cover the cost of the service.

In addition to telepsych, VSU’s Counseling Center provides a variety of free and confidential services to all students, including individual, group, and couples counseling, workshops and seminars, and ADHD assessments, with the goal of helping students make positive change in their lives.

“I believe everyone should have a counselor,” Hale said. “Life is not always rainbows and butterflies. Life can throw you curve balls, and it is wonderful to have a trained, non-judgmental counselor to talk to. They help you to learn some new skills to better deal with life’s struggles. Sometimes it just helps to see a bigger picture in situations, to gain some perspective, and counselors can help with that. 

“We see the gamut of college and mental wellness concerns at the Counseling Center. We are here to provide a broad range of personal, educational, and wellness services to the university community to assist with personal growth and development.”

The Counseling Center continues to innovate by offering up-to-date online resources, a relaxation room with a massage chair, aromatherapy, and state-of-the-art services such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing and biofeedback.
Services at the Counseling Center are available to all VSU students and are provided free of charge. VSU faculty and staff may visit the Counseling Center for one free referral session. The Counseling Center’s online resources are available to everyone.

Contact the VSU Counseling Center at (229) 333-5940 to learn more. 

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