FAQs Regarding the Provision of Personal Psychotherapy for Students Living Outside of Colorado
MSU Denver’s Counseling Center is staffed by licensed psychologists, psychotherapists, and qualified trainees who operate under Colorado state laws pertaining to the provision of psychotherapy. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, and the shift to remote services, questions have arisen regarding the Center’s services to students who live outside of Colorado. The information below is intended to help clarify how the various considerations related to the applicable laws impact service delivery. Additionally, currently enrolled students living outside of Colorado may call the Counseling Center for further clarification or to obtain help connecting to local mental health services.
1. Can I be treated at the Counseling Center if I reside in another State?
It depends on the regulations of the Psychology Board in the State where you reside. Each state has different rules and regulations for the provision of psychotherapy services. Many states lifted their regular requirements at the start of the pandemic so that psychologists could provide uninterrupted treatment if they had already established a therapeutic relationship with the student. These regulations are changing (state-by-state). With that in mind, current MSU Denver students living outside of Colorado who want therapeutic services are encouraged to contact the Counseling Center to learn more about specific regulations applicable to their situation.
Note that in some instances and due to the above-referenced laws, MSU Denver students residing outside of Colorado will not be able to receive clinical treatment from the MSU Denver Counseling Center. However, other services, including referral assistance are available (see below).
2. How do you determine whether a student can receive treatment if residing outside of Colorado?
We check the applicable state’s Psychology Board regulations every time that a request comes in to ensure that we are operating with the most recent guidelines. For instance, some states require that a psychologist apply to their Board for a temporary license prior to providing services to someone residing in their state. If that is the case, we will determine if the MSU Denver employee can or should apply for such a temporary license, and offer treatment accordingly. Application requirements, timelines, and costs are variable and so these cases will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
3. What options do students residing outside of Colorado have for receiving treatment if the Counseling Center is not able to provide clinical treatment?
All students can utilize our robust library of self-help resources, including online screening tools and materials designed to facilitate self-care – regardless of their state of residence. Several apps for stress management, relaxation, and more are also available on the Counseling Center’s website. Students residing outside of Colorado may also register for any of our group workshops on topics such as academic skills, diversity, personal growth, and substance abuse.
We also strongly encourage students living outside of Colorado to utilize mental health services in their local jurisdictions. Staff in the Counseling Center are available to provide assistance to students in identifying options for local mental health services/resources.
4. Can my professor(s) or I appeal to the Counseling Center to provide services as an exception to the laws if I live outside of Colorado?
No. Counseling Center staff are required to abide by all relevant mental health laws. They are not able to independently dismiss the regulations; however, Counseling Center staff can help students identify options for local mental health services/resources within their state of residence.
5. What if a student living outside of Colorado has a mental health crisis?
This is an excellent question. Students are encouraged to identify mental health services soon after arriving in their new state of residence and to program these numbers in their phones for unexpected emergencies/crises. Within the United States, calling 911 is another way to quickly connect with emergency responders and to get help for emergent and acute mental health concerns.
There are also a few national emergency lines that students living outside of Colorado may utilize:
The National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Veterans Crisis Line (For Veterans): 1-800-273-8255, Press 1
National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673
United Way Crisis Helpline:1-800-233-HELP
SAMHSA National Helpline: 1-800-662-4357
LGBT National Hotline: 1-888-843-4564
The Trevor Project (for LGBTQ Youth): 1-866-488-7386