Loyola University Maryland

Counseling Center

Identity Affirming Services

Person in a wheelchair holding bundle of balloons on a beach; group of students talking on campus; rainbow flag

Our Approach to the Work 

Our counseling center is comprised of an multidisciplinary team of mental health professionals who are devoted to creating a more just world. At the heart of our work is the understanding that culture, identity, politics, and world events play a dynamic role in student mental health and wellness. We also acknowledge that many communities have unique contemporary and historical relationships to mental health treatment, and we strive to provide services that take these experiences into account.  
 
To that end, Counseling Center staff are engaged in ongoing training and development to increase our understanding and competence in working with students from all backgrounds and life experiences. This is reflected in everything from our clinic’s forms and professional development to our clinical offerings to the campus.

Culturally inclusive language and communication  

  • Use of gender pronouns and preferred names for students as well as staff.
  • Staff names and pronouns listed on office doors.
  • Open-ended options regarding identity on intake paperwork.
  • Regular survey students’ experiences in treatment.
  • Seek direct input from student groups and campus partners about our processes to improve our services.
  • Coordinate with various campus departments to respond proactively to world events that impact student mental health. 

Accessibility 

  • Paperwork
  • Reformatting and accessibility of forms
  • Use of iPads 
  • Braille Signage
  • Language - Currently a variety of staff members can provide bilingual services to students in:  
    • Spanish (Sheila Graham)
    • Fante (Fr. Joseph Ocran)
    • Greek (Daphne Reinhart)
    • ASL (coming soon)
    • Twi (Fr. Joseph Ocran)

Affinity spaces, groups and resources honoring intersectionality

Our center acknowledges that different identities shape and influence not only our life experiences, but our mental health. We provide affinity spaces so that you can connect with staff and other students with shared experiences around identity.

  • Abolishing Racism 
  • Empower
  • In Out and In Between
  • Let’s Connect Now: The Counseling Center is offering a drop-in space to provide support for underrepresented students. This is not a therapy space, but rather a chance for students to have an informal one-on-one conversation with a counselor who identifies as a member of their community. The Zoom link is available on our website. Students can expect to speak with a counselor for about 20 minutes. Since this is not a scheduled appointment, students should be aware that there may be a brief wait before speaking with the counselor, if they have already begun meeting with another student during the drop-in time. Students needing to speak with a counselor urgently should call the Counseling Center at 410-617-2273. After-hours support is available by calling 410-617-5530. Information about additional counseling services can be shared, if needed, during the drop-in session.
    • Let's Connect Now for BIPOC students: The Counseling Center is offering a drop-in space to provide support for BIPOC students. This is not a therapy space, but rather a chance for students to have an informal one-on-one conversation with a counselor who shares this identity. Students can expect to speak with a counselor for about 20 minutes. Since this is not a scheduled appointment, students should be aware that there may be a brief wait before speaking with the counselor. After-hours support is available by calling 410-617-5530. Information about additional counseling services can be shared, if needed, during the drop-in session.
    • Let's Connect Now (LGBTQIA+ Students): Let’s Connect Now are brief, informal meetings with a counselor with an affinity identity for students from BIPOC and/or LGBTQ+ communities.  These services are drop-in in nature and do not require students to make an appointment or complete forms. These sessions are perfect for many situational challenges that may not require more formal counseling. 

Workshops and Outreach

  • Understanding Diversity (ISP)
  • Courageous Conversations about Race (Singleton, 2014)
  • Intersections of Identity in Crisis Response