The Counseling Center

Counseling Services at the University of the Virgin Islands offers a full range of mental health to all UVI students. Our focus is on the mind, body, and spirit of our students. The Counseling Center is staffed by mental health counselors who are sensitive to many of the issues affecting today's college student. We provide individual and group counseling to UVI students who would like help dealing with personal crisis situations. You may also contact us if your academic area or department has a special request. Please remember that students may choose to accept or reject these services.

Outreach and Community Support

When an unexpected crisis occurs (such as the death of a student), you may wish to invite Counseling Services into your residence halls, classroom, or organization to provide community support. We can assist you with discussing such trauma and its impact on your class or organization. We also welcome your interest in allowing us to provide educational programs on topics such as stress management, depression, listening and communication skills, and other subjects relevant to your group.

Consultations

If you are concerned about a student or situation but are not sure how to proceed, contact counseling services at:

St. Croix Campus:

Mrs. Patricia Towal
Phone: (340) 692-4187
E-mail: ptowal@uvi.edu
Ms. Anyha Lord (340) 692-4180
Phone: (340) 692-4187
E-Mail: alord@uvi.edu


St. Thomas Campus:

Ms. Dahlia Stridiron
Phone: (340) 693-1136
E-Mail: dstridi@uvi.edu
Ms. Melissa Williams
Phone: (340) 693-1134
E-mail: mwillia5@uvi.edu

The counselor will assist you in helping to determine an appropriate course of action. Consultations are a regular part of our services and are frequently used by concerned parents and roommates as well as faculty and staff.

Talking with Students

Advising students can sometimes take on a counseling-like quality. Academic advisors and staff members may vary in their experience and comfort level or adapting to being placed in the counselor role. These tips will help you establish rapport with students and better understand their concerns:

  • Meet with the student in a private setting
  • Listen carefully
  • Show interest and express concern
  • Demonstrate that you have understood the student's concern by paraphrasing it back to them
  • Respect the students values and belief, do not be judgemental or minimize their perceptions
  • Use empathic words and phrases: "Sounds like you're going through a difficult time
  • Use "I" messages: "I noticed you've been missing a lot of classes....."; "I am concerned about resent decline in your grades this semester..."

Many students will appreciate your willingness to listen and if the situation demands, you will have established the trust and rapport necessary for an effective and successful referral to Counseling Services.