DePaul hires four temporary part-time counselors between both campuses


Maddy Maes

Students walking in and out of DePaul’s student center, which houses the Lincoln Park Counseling Center.

Four temporary part-time counselors will start at University Counseling Services (UCS) starting between the end of January and early February, UCS Director Tow Yau said.

Three counselors will provide 17 hours in Lincoln Park and one counselor in the Loop for 5 hours.

“We have five candidates who will be joining us this week, and next week, for the full-time position,” Yau said. “So it is busy in the month of January and most likely is going to go into February, as we are actively recruiting, getting the part-time counselors on board and doing training to provide services for our students.”

Yau envisions returning to full staff in the fall of 2022.

In the meantime, Yau is working towards hiring the open full-time positions.

My Student Support Program, or My SSP, will continue to be a resource for students through the end of the academic year.

The Office of Health Promotion and Wellness (HPW), Office for Multicultural Success, the Office of Student Involvement and International Student & Scholar Services have available resources to support students.

“Our professional staff provides individual support which includes general wellness meetings, such as finding a therapist, psychiatrist, connecting to on-campus resources, survivor support advocacy, a confidential resource, and nonjudgmental screenings that help students to learn more about their relationship with substance use,” Director of HPW Christine Augustin said.

Students are still disappointed with the lack of resources relative to what they’re paying for tuition.

“When I called for UCS back in August, they said they were closed for the whole academic year because they needed to structure UCS,” said sophomore Kate Winston. “We pay thousands of dollars a quarter to have access to academics and their services.”

Yau said he wants to take this time to reform counseling services to provide a “time-limited, goal-focused and collaborative approach.”

He will implement some changes: no session limits for students, waiving of additional session fees and specialized counseling for LGBTQ+ and BIPOC students.

“Second initiative is that there is no cause for students to come to see us on a kind of a regular basis,” Yau said. “[Students would have] to pay a certain fee for the ongoing counseling, those are going to be waived right now.”

UCS and HPW will work with students to outsource help that require specialized services.

“We cannot do long-term work or work that requires a higher level of care, so we may work together to provide a better referral for students,” Yau said. “The other thing within that scope of services, we’re going to have a kind of what we call trauma care focus for students, which means that we are able to provide trauma work for survivors of sexual assault, interpersonal violence and stalking.”

HPW will also hold workshops and programs for relationship and sexual violence, substance abuse and stress management.

Yau emphasized that it will take the entire DePaul community to create what he calls “a culture of care.”

“Mental health does not just lie on one person, or one department like Counseling Center,” Yau said. “For example, the whole campus, the faculty, the staff members and also the students here to be part of this community base to create a culture of care [and] well-being.”