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Personal Developmentandcounselingservices

Personal Development and Counseling

Remember that with all of these opportunities on campus, you are not alone in your journey! The Office of Personal Development and Counseling Services offers a safe and confidential setting where you can discuss any aspect of your life, whether personal, academic, or related to your relationships with others, or brainstorm ways to improve your quality of life and well-being. 

Personal Development and Counseling Services promotes the success of the whole student and fosters the values of self-discovery, attainment of optimal mental health and wellness, and the removal of internal and environmental barriers that challenge students’ success. In order to assist students in achieving their personal goals and to ensure the quality of student life and learning, the department focuses on the combined efforts of academic support, personal counseling, and advocacy services.

Health and Wellness Promotion

We want every Ram to thrive and flourish. Wherever you are in your well-being journey, we’re here to help you connect with the well-being options that are best for you. It’s important for each of us to find intentional ways to focus on our well-being daily. Practicing regular self-care can help prevent the negative impacts of stress or burnout. Just as washing our hands, staying home when we have symptoms of illness, or getting regular flu vaccines can help prevent us from getting sick, doing things like engaging in regular physical activity, getting annual wellness check-ups, getting enough sleep, and getting adequate nutrition can help keep us well.

Counseling Services

The Personal Development and Counseling Services Office aims to provide short-term, solution-focused consultation for students on the best options for their mental health care. This can include any of the following: case management, referral services to a community provider, brief individual and/or group therapy, and resiliency workshops. Students can make appointments by contacting Personal Development and Counseling Services at [email protected]. Services include individual and group counseling.

Immunizations and Health Records

In compliance with the Code of Virginia (Section 23-7.5), VCU requires all full-time students to provide documentation of their immunizations. Immunization forms provided by VCU are accessible via the VCUarts Qatar Intranet. Students should complete immunization requirements prior to the start of classes. This not only ensures a safe and healthy learning environment but will also prevent future registration holds.

Academic Accommodations and Disability Services

We are the designated office on campus charged with fostering an environment where all students have equal access to the University’s programs, services, and activities. We provide support and services for any student with a disability or health-related impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity. 

Examples of disabilities and physical/mental impairments include, but are not limited to: Chronic Health Conditions (diabetes, chronic migraines, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, arthritis), visual impairments (blindness/low vision, retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration), hearing impairments (moderate to severe hearing loss and deafness), mental health conditions (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, anxiety), traumatic brain injuries (recent, moderate, to severe concussions, Post-Concussive Syndrome), neurological disorders (ADHD, learning disabilities, epilepsy), developmental disorders (Autism Spectrum Disorder), and mobility impairments (Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, spinal cord injuries). 

In order to formally receive accommodations or support, a student (as opposed to a parent or professional) should start by scheduling an appointment with the Personal Development and Counseling Services Office to discuss the situation, educational history, and requested needs. There is no official deadline for registering and students may start this process at any time. Please note, however, that accommodations are typically not implemented retroactively, so the sooner you connect with us, the sooner we can work together. 

Personal Development and Counseling Services Peer Mentor Program

The Peer Mentor program provides all students at VCU with quality, well-informed, peer-led education on relevant health issues impacting student well-being. PDCS Peer Mentors strive to create an atmosphere of safety and learning to address current health topics, stay up-to-date on current research and trends in health promotion and wellbeing, encourage open and respectful dialogue, develop strong partnerships with other student organizations, empower students to explore personal identity and development, connect students to existing resources to support their success, maintain trusting, non-judgmental relationships to support student-driven behavior change, design educational and outreach programs that are inclusive and accessible for all students, and reflect the unique needs of VCU students.