Counseling Services

The last two years have been very hard on some students. Your mental health and wellbeing is very important, and you deserve support

It’s easy to make an appointment with a counselor for in-person, video or phone assistance

  • Self-schedule using our Navigate app
  • Call (608) 246-6076 during service hours (see bottom of page) 
  • Need immediate assistance for an urgent concern? Call (608) 246-6060
  • To avoid delays, please avoid emailing or calling your counselor for scheduling
  • If you have questions only about course planning and selection make an appointment with an academic advisor. not a counselor

Before your first meeting with a counselor, you will be asked to complete the Informed Consent Intake Form in the email confirming your appointment. This will help you understand how counseling works and the brief survey will help your counselor understand your situation better.

For urgent or crisis counseling outside of service hours:

  • After hours, reach out to one of the following:
    • Journey Crisis Line -  (608) 280-2600
    • National Suicide Prevention Hotline - 1-800-273-TALK (8255) 
    • Crisis Text Line - text 'home' to 741741

Some people think there is something wrong with you if you talk to a counselor. This is simply not true. The reality is that talking to a counselor to make things better is a sign of wisdom and strength. It leads to improved mood, communication, self-acceptance and problem solving.

Image of counselor talking with student

 

  • Why would I talk to a counselor?

    Being a student can be pretty stressful by itself. Sometimes, other issues make being a student even harder. Talking to a counselor can support you as you develop a plan to address challenges that come up in your life. Talking to a counselor is a normal part of college life and often  leads to feeling better and to improvement in academic performance.

     

    What kinds of things can I discuss with a counselor?

     

    Just about anything. Students talk to counselors about anything that might distract them from concentrating on school:

    Relationships                     Worry or Anxiety

    Academic skills                  Sadness or Depression

    Managing stress               Family issues

    Career choices                   Financial issues

  • Confidentiality

    Your counselor cannot tell anyone what you share with them unless you give written permission.

    The counselor may need to disclose information to someone else if there is a risk to you or others or if there is a requirement from a court order.

  • Conflict Management Services
    Photo of Counseling Appointment

    Occasionally, a conflict comes up between a student and an instructor or between two students.  This can be a big distraction for students.

    Conflict Management Services (CMS) offers an informal, voluntary process to promote constructive resolution of conflicts facilitated by Madison College Counselors. CMS offers you support to solve the problem constructively to help you focus on the work of the class. CMS can help you learn to address conflict more directly and it helps relieve stress.

    How Conflict Management Services works:

    Student contacts Counseling Services by using the Navigate App, calling 608-246-6076, or emailing counselingservices@madisoncollege.eduCounselors meet with both parties to outline a constructive discussion to try to solve the issue.

    For more information about concerns, complaints, and conflict management services, visit the Dean of Students Webpage.

  • Support for Students of Color

    As counselors, we appreciate and respect the diversity of our student body and the uniqueness of each individual and their experiences. We strive to be mindful of diversity ranging from, but not limited to, race/ethnicity, sexual & gender orientation, socio-economic status, religion, and ability. 

    We acknowledge that our students of color and their communities have been directly impacted by the recent episodes of overt racism in our communities and nationwide. We understand that students may feel traumatized and unsafe due to these repeated actions of violence. We offer a safe space to process feelings and discuss how we can support students through these very difficult times. 

    Additional Resources for Students of Color:

    Black students

    https://www.nami.org/Your-Journey/Identity-and-Cultural-Dimensions/Black-African-American

    https://www.beam.community/

    https://www.mhanational.org/issues/black-and-african-american-communities-and-mental-health

    Native American students

    https://www.mhanational.org/issues/native-and-indigenous-communities-and-mental-health  

    Asian American/Asian students

    https://www.verywellmind.com/mental-health-resources-for-asian-pacific-islander-communities-5116843

    https://www.mhanational.org/issues/asian-americanpacific-islander-communities-and-mental-health  

    Latine/a/o students

    https://www.mhanational.org/issues/latinxhispanic-communities-and-mental-health

     

  • Support for LGBT Students

    As counselors, we appreciate and respect the diversity of our student body and the uniqueness of each individual and their experiences. We strive to be mindful of diversity ranging from, but not limited to, race/ethnicity, sexual & gender orientation, socio-economic status, religion, and ability. 

    We acknowledge that our students of color and their communities have been directly impacted by the recent episodes of overt racism in our communities and nationwide. We understand that students may feel traumatized and unsafe due to these repeated actions of violence. We offer a safe space to process feelings and discuss how we can support students through these very difficult times. 

    https://www.mhanational.org/issues/lgbtq-communities-and-mental-health

    https://www.glaad.org/resourcelist https://libguides.madisoncollege.edu/LGBTQ

  • Helping Someone You are Worried About

    Here are some ideas for helping a friend that may be struggling to maintain their mental health.

    • Describe what you notice non-judgmentally.
    • Listen with empathy / offer hope for improvement.
    • Be patient, giving them time to decide what they want to do.
    • Avoid promising to keep secrets if your friend is at risk for self-harm.
    • Offer urgent/crisis counseling resources as described at the top of the page
  • Counselor Bios
    Counseling Team

    Back Row L to R: John Boyne, Gerard Xavier, Charles Cunningham
    Front Row L to R: Barbara DuCharme, Blanca DeLeon, Deb Olsen

    John Boyne - It makes me happy to help students make a plan to help themselves. I will listen carefully to your concerns and I will let you be fully in charge of choosing which ideas will be most helpful for you. I received my Masters in Counseling from the University of Iowa and I am a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor. I have worked at the college for nine years and have worked at Edgewood College for 10 years before that.   

    Gerard Xavier - I have been with Madison College since September 2000. I have a Masters degree in Rehabilitation Counseling Psychology and have a Licensed Professional Counselor credential through the State of Wisconsin. I am passionate about and committed to helping our students accomplish their goals and to provide supportive counseling to help students with stressors, e.g. mental health concerns, relationship difficulties, economic/financial stressors etc., that may have an impact on their academic goals. I welcome the opportunity to meet with you.

    Charles Cunningham - I am delighted to work with students on accomplishing their academic, career and personal goals. My number one goal in working with students is to help you become the best student you can be! I truly enjoy seeing students thrive despite unexpected obstacles, barriers or challenges that may be occurring in your life! I look forward to helping you succeed here at Madison College.

     

    Barbara DuCharme - As a first-generation college student and with 27+ years of experience working in higher education as a counselor and faculty member, I am a strong advocate for all our Madison College students. I believe it is my responsibility to help students grow and learn by creating an environment where they feel safe and supported. Both in my own journey and in the lives of my students, I have seen individuals flourish when they feel welcomed, respected and challenged in a safe learning environment. Learning and growth demands that students step outside their comfort zone and try new things, accept new ideas and embrace a new way to look at themselves and the world. In the right environment, students can do just that – feel free to ask more questions, take more risks and see missteps not as a failure, but merely a learning moment. 

     

    Blanca DeLeon - I am a licensed psychotherapist (LCSW) with a passion in helping students with their educational goals. I was a first-generation college student, and I understand the barriers students face when they are the first one in their family to pursue a college degree. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in social work with an emphasis in psychology and a Master of Social Work degree specializing in clinical mental health. I have a strong interest in social justice and working with traditionally underrepresented groups in higher education. My clinical background includes trauma-informed care as well as using an eclectic approach to counseling. I have instructed courses at St. Norbert College and Marquette University prior to coming to Madison College in 2015. I look forward to helping you meet your goals and/or teaching you in one of our College Success courses! 

    Deb Olsen - I received my Master's degree from UW-Madison and am a licensed professional counselor. Prior to coming to Madison College, I lived in Botswana for four years and taught Guidance and Counseling at the University of Botswana. At Madison College, I enjoy our hybrid position as counselor and teacher. Not only do I work 1:1 with students when they need to talk with someone, but I also teach courses such as College Success. I love the variety of relationships this allows me to have with students, supporting them to meet academic, career and personal goals. 

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    What do counselors at Madison College help with ?

    Counseling is a service provided for Madison College students and provide services for a variety of issues that include: time management, coping with anxiety/depression, relationship concerns, career decisions, dealing with conflict, building motivation and other concerns.  Avoid waiting until there is a crisis!  It takes courage to ask for help!

    However, Counseling Services is not a clinic and we do not have a medical practitioner on staff.  When this service is necessary, Counselors will make appropriate referrals to community resources.

    Is there counseling at night/weekends?

    Counseling Services are primarily during business hours from 8-4:30, with later service until 6:00 on Mondays and Tuesdays. 

    During the summer, there is same day and appointment services with limited staff so students may have limits in terms of frequency and/or availability for ongoing appointments.

    What is the difference between counseling and academic advising?

    At Madison College, counselors focus on academic counseling (study skills & motivational support), personal counseling (dealing with anxiety and depression and other mental health concerns) and career decision-making.  Often, students coming directly from high school, met with a Guidance Counselor to help with course selection. 

    At Madison College, academic advisors provide specialized assistance in program and course selection. You will have an assigned advisor after applying directly to a program.

    What is the difference between academic counseling and advising?

    Academic counseling focuses on developing study skills and/or motivational strategies that will improve academic performance.  Counselors provide academic counseling assistance.

     Academic Advising is related to program choice and course selection toward career goals.  Once admitted into a program, you will have an assigned advisor that will help you.

    Are there costs to meeting with a Counselor?

    No, this is a free service for all Madison College students.

    Will my family know if I see a counselor?

    No, without a signed release statement from the student, meeting with a counselor is confidential.  This applies to family members, employers, friends, instructors, etc.  (One exception: By law, counselors must report if there is concern for safety of the individual or others, family members might be notified.)

    How many sessions may I see a counselor?

    Generally, this is determined by the counselor and the student.  If it is determined that ongoing,            long-term care is necessary, the counselor will assist the student in accessing resources within the community.

    Can I see someone in the community for counseling?

    Yes!  If you need referrals, counselors at Madison College can help you.

    How do I start talking about my concerns?

    The counselor will help provide the structure. You will be asked to complete an online intake form that asks questions about your overall well-being which might be where the counselor would start the conversation.  However, it is a fluid process depending on your needs.

  • Resources for students who are parents
  • Student Stories

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YN69VIDKBFs

    http://juliaschmalz.com/2017/12/29/facing-anxiety/

    After taking the Career Development course: “Thank you for opening up the conversations - I actually wanted to follow up about access to mental health services. I just got the courage to start looking for therapy-the stigma is real in my community.”

    After receiving personal counseling:  "I will continue to use my knowledge on mindset because it has definitely changed me!”

    After receiving academic counseling:   "thank you for all your help and getting back to me so quickly when I needed it. You all offer such wonderful support and resources to your students and I'm grateful for that. I'm very much looking forward to a successful 4th semester!