The Office of Counseling Services provides mental health counseling for students needing help working through and overcoming personal problems. Counseling sessions are free, private and confidential. Sessions are tailored to accommodate each person’s needs. Students are encouraged to ask any questions they may have about treatment. We do not prescribe psychiatric medications, but we do have a referral network of local providers who conduct medication evaluations and write prescriptions if needed.

Counseling services are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. by appointment.

To schedule an appointment send an email to or call  863-874-8652.

The Counseling Process

Counseling is a collaborative effort between the client and counselor that involves teamwork based on mutual respect. Each student is the expert of their life. Although the student may meet with a qualified and trained mental health professional, it is ultimately the student who knows themselves best.

The student is an active participant in counseling, and the counselor functions as a consultant and teammate. We encourage the student to feel free to share feedback with the counselor. Students should feel empowered to let the counselor know if anything needs to be changed about the counseling sessions, or if there is anything that the student believes the counselor could do to be more helpful and meet individual needs.

Whatever is discussed with the counselor is private and confidential, with just a few exceptions. By federal and state law, a counselor is required to break confidentiality if there are any reasonable indications that a client poses an imminent risk of harm to themselves or others, or if there is any information disclosed about potential child abuse, dependent and vulnerable adult abuse, or elderly abuse. Court orders and subpoenas may also require the release of confidential records. In addition, students under the age of 18 need parental consent for any treatment.

The counseling process begins at the first meeting. An initial intake session gives the student a chance to discuss their issues or concerns, and for the counselor to ensure that these concerns would best be served by short-term rather than long-term treatment. Counseling at the Florida Poly is intended for a short-term basis only, so any concerns that require long-term, intensive or inpatient treatment will be referred to one of our local community providers. Also, students who need prescription medication as part of their mental health treatment will receive an external referral as well.

Assuming short-term counseling is appropriate for the situation, the student and counselor would then schedule to meet on a weekly basis for appointments that would last approximately 45-50 minutes. Sometimes a student may not need multiple sessions, in which case he/she and the counselor may decide together to meet only for one or two appointments or, if preferred, to have just one or two check-in sessions on a monthly basis.

Need Help?

If you are in crisis and need immediate help, dial 9-1-1 or visit Lakeland Regional Medical Center’s emergency room.

If you are experiencing a psychological crisis and it is during normal business hours, visit the Health Clinic immediately. In the event that crisis counseling is not immediately available, contact an after-hours provider listed below.

If you are experiencing a psychological crisis outside of normal business hours (or other help is not currently available) call:

  • Lakeland Regional Medical Center’s 24-hour Crisis Hotline: 863-687-1112
  • Peace River Center’s 24-hour Mobile Crisis Response Team in Lakeland: 863-519-3744
  • National Suicide Prevention Life-Line: 800-273-8255
  • 9-1-1 at any time to have help sent directly to your current location

Veteran Services in Polk County

The following resources are available to students who are active or former members of the military:

  • Polk County Veteran Services, which serves as a clearinghouse in linking veterans to services that include compensation, education, training, home loans, life insurance, military pensions, survivor benefits, voc-rehab and burial benefits.
  • The Veterans Crisis Line connects veterans in crisis and their loved ones to confidential support that is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
  • This service, offered through the Department of Veterans Affairs, includes:
    • Toll-free hotline
    • Online chat
    • Text
    • Call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1, to chat online or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential and immediate support.
  • Support for deaf and hearing-impaired individuals is available.