Posted on June 17, 2020
VCU students who are experiencing a mental health emergency can now contact University Counseling Services after hours and on weekends through ProtoCall, a specialty telephonic behavioral health service.
Previously, students called VCU Police to speak with a crisis clinician. Starting in May 2020, students can now call University Counseling Services at (804) 828-6200, day or night, to speak with a trained professional.
“We made this change to provide our students with 24/7 access to mental health services,” said Jihad Aziz, Ph.D., director, University Counseling Services. “One of the concerns students requested was limiting police involvement in mental health concerns. This new service helps to eliminate students having to go through VCU Police to contact a mental health professional.”
When a student calls the counseling center after hours, on holidays, or during school breaks, the calls will be answered by ProtoCall’s team of trained professionals who can offer risk assessment and crisis stabilization for students experiencing a mental health concern.
Students will take part in a guided clinical assessment and create an immediate safety plan. These services focus on brief, solution-focused intervention to assess a student’s current situation and arrange for appropriate follow-up care and referral depending on their needs.