Counseling Services

We know that whatever affects the personal lives of students can also affect their ability to learn. Our goal at Student Health and Wellness is to provide access to counseling services that help Grinnell students succeed academically, personally, and interpersonally. Some students seek our services simply because they want to have a confidential conversation with a counselor; others are experiencing significant distress. SHAW uses a spectrum of care model to help Grinnell College students access a variety of resources to meet their needs.

Our counseling team includes:

  • licensed psychologists
  • licensed mental health counselors
  • Licensed marriage and family therapist
  • therapists pursuing licenses who are under the supervision of a licensed staff therapist
  • graduate-level trainees under the supervision of a licensed provider

SHAW is partnering with Thriving Campus to provide an easy-to-use directory for students. Students can find providers in the state they are in (this is a U.S. based service), who take their health insurance, and look at other identifying features and specialties of providers.

Find Providers in the Community

The cost of counseling services is covered by student tuition fees. Thus, you must be an enrolled student at Grinnell to seek our services. We do not provide services to benefits-eligible employees of the College. We also do not treat families, friends, or peers of students who are not enrolled at Grinnell.

Services Beyond Counseling

Togetherall logo with image of student peeking over the bottom. Just the student's eyes are showing. Their hair is a fading dyed pink.


Grinnell College has chosen to partner with Togetherall to provide virtual peer-to-peer mental health and wellbeing support. Togetherall’s online community is clinically moderated by mental health professionals and offers students a safe and anonymous place to express their thoughts, concerns, and triumphs.

Resources are free for students aged 16+ to use and are available 24/7/365. Students can give and get support from others as well as use mental health and well-being courses and resources.

To learn more, watch Togetherall’ short explainer video. If and when you are ready to get and give support, visit and register for Togetherall using your student email address. Select “I’m from a university or college.”

Remember, it’s free, anonymous, and available now!

TAO Connect

TAO logo. Text under logo states: Optimizing Mental Health for All

Therapy Assistance Online (TAO) is a suite of online tools that is designed to provide you with a tool kit of effective evidence-based resources to help you bounce back from setbacks. These psychoeducational sessions, mindfulness sessions, logs, and progress measurement tools are available for free, 24/7/365. It’s like navigating on your favorite movie app…just with content that can make a difference in how you think, feel and function! Learn more about TAO. Grinnell College students have free access (with the use of the Grinnell College email). Sign up for TAO today.


Neolth logo


Neolth’s digital platform and mobile app offer personalized, private stress and mental health support to students through relaxation practices, health tracking, educational videos, student vlogs, and livestream events. With their proprietary crisis referral system, Neolth connects students in real time to life-saving care, including crisis text and voice hotlines and direct referrals to school crisis services.

Join the community today by creating an account at Neolth. Use your Grinnell email for free access.

Need-to-Talk line

You may call the Need-to-Talk line at 641-269-4404 to be connected with a confidential crisis counselor at anytime from any location in the United States. You do not need to be in crisis to call. You can discuss anything from a recent breakup, family argument, or stress over a recent grade — anything that is affecting your mental health. These calls will offer a one-time session to work through a specific concern. Calls will be confidential except in the case of immediate danger, in which case a SHAW-developed crisis process will be followed. 

Virtual Care Group (VCG)

Virtual Care Group is a company that provides virtual health care service to higher education institutes in the continental United States.

Grinnell College Student Health and Wellness 24/7 Physical and Mental Health Services

Activate VCG Account

SHAW recommends all students do this when they can. Being activated saves you a step when needing services when you are ill. Having your account active means you have quicker access to care.

Once activated, you can log in and access your free telehealth services.

Mental Health Appointments

  • You may call the VCG Behavioral Health Line 888-507-3071.

VCG Psychiatry

While VCG does offer psychiatric services, Grinnell College does not cover the cost of them. This is not a free service for Grinnell College students. If you chose to utilize VCG psychiatry you will be required to enter a credit card number. You will be charged around $215 (initial) or $100 (return). Students will get a receipt that they can submit to their insurance company, but services must be paid for out-of-pocket at the time of service. If interested in paying for VCG psychiatry, please call 866-533-1827.

SHAW has a telepsychiatry option available in partnership with the University of Iowa. Call SHAW at 641-269-3230 to schedule a consult about this free service.

Questions or Concerns

VCG partners with many colleges and each has their own contract. Students should never have to enter a credit card or insurance card for any of the basic services. If you have any questions or run into any problems, VCG and SHAW are here to help. We recommend contacting VCG directly. However, you can always let SHAW know about your experience.

Healthiest You

Available for free to students on the student health insurance, UnitedHealthCare Student Resources.

During the dates of your student health insurance coverage, you have access to mental health providers through a national virtual counseling service. Psychiatrists, psychologists and licensed therapists are available to you through a variety of communication methods, including phone and video.

When you sign up, you'll complete a questionnaire, choose your provider and select a date and time for your appointment. Appointments are available 7 days a week. Visits are secure, discreet and confidential, and you have ongoing support with the same provider. Students insured with UnitedHealthCare Student Resources will not have a consultation fee for this service. Every communication with a provider is covered 100% during your policy period.

Visit Healthiest You Student Portal to access this service. You can learn more about this benefit and how to use it in My Account

Visit the SHAW programs page for a current list of workshops, group therapy, and other programs put on by SHAW staff.

Counseling Appointments at SHAW

Please call 641-269-3230 to schedule a counseling appointment at SHAW.
You will need to arrive 30 minutes early to complete paperwork before the first appointment of each semester.

While most appointments will be available in person, your provider may schedule a virtual appointment with you.
For virtual appointmentscheck in via our online portal.

  1. Sign in using your Grinnell College username and password.
  2. Complete Duo Authentication.
    If you have any difficulties, contact the ITS department for Duo assistance.
  3. Once you log in: on the left navigation, click on Appointments. Your appointment should be listed. There may be an option to Complete Questionnaire.
  4. If there is, please click on and complete those questions first. Once that is done, you will be returned to the Appointment page.
  5. Click on Appointment Check In.
    1. Confirm your location.
    2. There may be other questions. If so, please answer those.
    3. Click OK. You will be directed back to the Appointment page.
  6. There will now be a link called Join Meeting. Click on this to join from your computer.

You will be on hold until the counselor starts the visit. You will know because they will appear on your screen!

Campus Partners

SHAW works with a variety of other departments on campus to help students succeed while at Grinnell College. 

Student Support and Advocacy
The goal of Student Support and Advocacy is to support and guide students in prioritizing their wellbeing. Student Support and Advocacy is able to provide assistance in meeting physical and psychological health needs, navigating financial stressors, processing familial concerns, addressing food/housing issues, and exploring leave of absences and withdrawals. With appropriate releases, SHAW is able to collaborate with Student Support and Advocacy to create a plan for student's individualized needs.

Disability Resources 
Students may benefit from requesting accommodations. If a student needs support or accommodations for longer than a week, they are generally referred to this department as they are the experts on what is available to support students . They regularly work with faculty, dining, housing, and more. Students do not have to meet with SHAW to obtain accommodations and can go directly to this department. However, they do have the option of signing a release to allow the two departments to share information to better provide support for students.

Academic Advising
SHAW knows that health can directly impact academics. Students who work with SHAW may also benefit from working with someone in Academic Advising who can assist students with nearly any academic concern. Support they provide can include resources for study skills and time management, peer tutoring, support for managing academics while dealing with a personal challenge, clarification of academic policy, or applications for a leave of absence.

Athletics Department
SHAW and the athletic trainers have a unique and effective relationship. Athletes sign a release that allows the two departments to discuss and work together on health concerns. 

Spectrum of Care

We want our students to sustain healthy minds and healthy bodies both during their studies and once they leave Grinnell. Learning how to take care  of oneself and utilize services as needed are vitally important life skills we want to help develop in students. SHAW uses a spectrum of care model to help Grinnell College students access a variety of resources to meet their needs. The spectrum of care approach focuses on empowering the student to be a proactive and self-advocating consumer.  

Components Within the Spectrum of Care

Students can meet with a counselor for a brief consultation session to determine which resources are the best fit for their presenting issues. During this meeting students share an overview of their concerns and goals. Students are provided with information and recommendations regarding relevant resources at SHAW, online, and in the community, and they work together with a counselor to determine a plan for moving forward.   Initial screenings are required prior to participation in group and individual therapy and telepsychiatry services.


Students are strongly encouraged to develop personalized and sustainable wellness habits while at Grinnell. They will not only feel better but will also perform better as a student if they do so. Grinnell offers many opportunities to grow and enhance a student's wellness via programming and opportunities across campus to build their physical, emotional, intellectual, social, and spiritual facets. SHAW offers resources via the webpage, in-person, and through referrals to other campus resources to support student wellness.

SHAW works closely with multiple partners across campus to support student mental health. Interdepartmental referrals are provided for students who could benefit from support from offices such as the CLS, Health, Wellness, Academic Advising, Disability Resources, CRSSJ, and Housing, to name a few. In addition to meeting with contacts in other offices, students can participate in outreach and tabling provided by SHAW throughout the year.

A range of online tools and workshops are available for students who want to build skills and improve resilience. Neolth, a new interactive online tool, helps students build emotional resilience and reduce stress. Workshops offered through SHAW focus on skill-building on a variety of topics, including stress and anxiety reduction, mood management, healthy relationships, and wellness. Students can be referred to workshops or they can self-refer based on interest. 

Need to Talk? is an agency service provider that offers a 24/7 counseling hotline for Grinnell College students to have immediate access to counseling services. Students can call the hotline at any time (even when SHAW is open) to speak with a trained counseling professional who is also familiar with the range of resources available at Grinnell College. 

Group counseling can be the most effective in-person counseling offering for many presenting issues. SHAW offers broad-based process groups where students have an opportunity to share concerns, support one another, learn skills, and practice healthy coping.  A similar offering, support groups, are less structured in nature but offer students a chance to get and give support regarding a more focused topic, such as grief and loss. This services is confidential and free for students.

Short-term, goal-directed individual counseling at SHAW is available to enrolled students with concerns that fall within SHAW’s scope of practice. Students will be paired with a counselor that best helps them meet their goals. The counselor and the student work collaboratively to reach those outcomes. This service is confidential and free for students.

Virtual Care Group — this new service provides free telecounseling 24/7 to all Grinnell College students once their account has been activated. Students can go online, text VCG to 635483, or call 866-533-1827 with last name, date of birth, and school zip code of 50112.


Students who would like to see an off-campus provider can complete an online referral form or meet with SHAW’s mental health nurse who can help students find mental health and medical resources off-campus. SHAW will do our best to find a referral that best meets your request, although we might not be able to find a therapist within your exact exact specifications. If you have questions about referrals and/or referral process, please call SHAW at 641-269-4988.

Students seeking open-ended counseling or specialized services not within SHAW’s scope of care can work with SHAW’s mental health nurse to find emotional health resources in the community. Students seeking consultation related to medication for mental health concerns can arrange to meet with a provider through the College’s partnership with the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. This is a telehealth visit that is accessed at SHAW and organized by the mental health nurse.  

Determining a Referral for Off-Campus Services

SHAW may not be able to provide services under some circumstances.  Decisions concerning these limitations may be made at the time of the initial screening, or during any subsequent stage of service. Clinical consultation and clinical judgment, in conjunction with the goal to provide the greatest benefit in the shortest amount of time are considerations taken when a referral is made. SHAW will continually strive to provide services to all students requesting services that are within SHAW’s “role and scope” and fall within the mission of SHAW. When a community referral is the most appropriate option for a client, the options should, to the best of the clinician’s ability, address client circumstances regarding insurance, finances, and transportation.



  • Need to Talk 24/7 crisis hotline — 641-269-4404
  • Psychology Today provides a service to allow you to search for a local provider. Use the “Find a Therapist” feature and search by zip code (50112 for Grinnell). This does not mean that providers are covered by your insurance. Please check your insurance provider for covered providers.


Finding a Local Mental Health Provider

For students who would like to pursue mental health services locally, there are a few ways you can go about searching for a provider.

This is probably the simplest, most streamlined way to find providers. For most people, it will be the most efficient option.

  1. Go to your insurance carrier’s web site and search for a provider, or call and ask for a list of providers.
  2. Call or mail those providers to ask about current openings.
  3. Ask to schedule a consultation to determine goodness of fit.

Start your search from a site where providers can be found, such as Psychology Today and/or GoodTherapy. This may be the preferred option for folks looking for specialty care.

  1. Search based on location, insurance carrier, and any specialty areas of focus you would like your provider to have.
  2. Create a list of providers you’d like to contact and reach out.
  3. Ask to schedule a consultation to determine goodness of fit.

If you are struggling to find an available provider in your insurance network, you have other options.

  • Many areas have low-fee, sliding-scale community mental health agencies with qualified providers. Reach out to determine whether you are eligible for the services they provide.
  • Some mental health providers offer sliding-scale options based on financial need. If you’d like to work with someone who doesn’t state they offer a sliding scale, ask directly if they have that option, and if not, if they have any referrals who do.
  • Web sites such as Open Path Psychotherapy Collective allow you to search for providers in private practice who have committed to providing low fee, sliding scale mental health services to clients who meet financial need.
  • Apps such as BetterHelp and Talkspace can connect you with providers offering online services who are licensed in the state you’re residing in. These providers typically charge less per week than a full-fee individual session would cost in private practice. Bear in mind that these platforms are primarily a way to connect providers and clients, and that the mental health provider is still ultimately responsible for your care, rather than the company.
  • Students in remote parts of the country with limited access to mental health providers may find greater access now as many, if not most, providers transition to providing services remotely. As such, you might expand your search to cover a wider area, for example, or set your search for the nearest urban areas.
  • The first provider you make contact with may not be the best fit, or may not be available. Ask for referrals. Not all skilled providers have an online presence.
  • Many providers are offering mental health by videoconferencing for the first time in their careers. Brace yourself for some technical difficulties and general awkwardness as folks adjust to new modalities.
  • Many mental health providers will offer a free 15-minute or longer phone or video consultation to ensure goodness of fit. If they don’t offer, ask. A large body of research indicates that the relationship between client and provider is one of the most important factors in effectiveness of psychotherapy. It will benefit you to put some effort into finding someone you feel comfortable talking to.
Other Counseling Resources
Eyerly Ball Mental Health Mobile Crisis Response Team


The service is available to all ages in Poweshiek County. Anyone experiencing a crisis can access the crisis line, whether it is adolescent behavioral issues, depression, anxiety, substance use, suicidal thoughts and everything in between. Trained phone responders will assess the situation and deploy the Mobile Crisis Response Team if an in-person response is deemed to be necessary or helpful.

NAMI on Campus at Grinnell The National Alliance of Mental Health has an on-campus club.
View details on their Facebook page.
Grinnell Student Advocates (24 hrs; text or call) 641-260-1615
Crisis Intervention Services (local and 24 hours) 1-800-270-1620
Visit the Crisis Intervention Services website for more information.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
Visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for more information.
Psychology Today

Psychology Today provides a service to allow you to search for a local provider. Use the “Find a Therapist” feature and search by zip code (50112 for Grinnell).

This does not mean that providers are covered by your insurance. Please check your insurance provider for covered providers.


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