Counseling Center Mission Statement

The Amherst College Counseling Center provides effective, brief mental health treatment to students, using a variety of modes of care including individual and group counseling, psychiatry, case management, urgent care, and 24/7 crisis phone counseling. We also provide consultation, training, and mental health promotion and prevention services to all Amherst College community members to create and enhance psychological wellbeing.

We do this in order to (1) facilitate student’s academic success and engagement, improve mental health and cognitive functioning, and enhance personal development, (2) to reduce suffering and increase flourishing in our community, and (3) to promote a culture of positive mental health and well-being.

Counseling Center Core Values

Compassion

We work to infuse compassion throughout our work, recognizing and working to alleviate distress and suffering in others, and we strive to cultivate self-compassion throughout our student body.

Student-Centered

We hold students’ needs at the core of the decisions we make, and consider the students’ needs our top priority.

Social Justice

We understand mental illness and mental health as social justice issues, and work to create more justice and equity by increasing awareness and decreasing stigma about mental illness, and working to decrease barriers to fair and effective treatment. We understand that mental health is critically tied to other issues including economic, political, and social rights and opportunities, and hence partner with others across campus and beyond to create equitable and just systems and practices throughout the Amherst community.

Professional Excellence

We strive to do ordinary things extraordinarily well, holding to the highest standards and best practices of our varying professions. We seek to conduct high-quality mental health care in ethical ways, with affirmation of others involved in the work.

Flourishing

We seek to create a culture and community in which all students thrive in their academic pursuits and experience high levels of psychological well-being.

Hope

We strive to foster hope within all students and across the Amherst Community that change, growth, and well-being are possible and within reach.

Commitment to Diversity

The Amherst College Counseling Center is deeply committed to the principles and practice of equity and inclusion. We recognize that students who seek our support come to us with varied backgrounds and experiences specific to their race, ethnicity, cultural, gender, sexual identity, class, abilities, and the various intersections of these identities. In all of our programs and services, we celebrate the rich diversity of the Amherst College community and strive to create a welcoming, supportive, and inclusive space where all students can feel safe to express themselves in honest and authentic ways. We acknowledge that there have historically been barriers to these services for many communities (particularly, communities of color).

As experienced clinicians and support staff, we understand that everyone benefits from a thoughtful, empathetic, respectful, and equitable approach to mental health services. Our staff members plan, lead, or are involved in a variety of diversity-related programs on campus and make themselves available to provide guidance to departments or campus groups on issues related to equity and inclusion.    

We recognize, too, that our equity and inclusion work is on-going, evolving, and part of a larger process and initiative. We continuously work to expand our knowledge and understanding of the role multiculturalism plays in the task of developing and providing culturally sensitive services to Amherst students, so that they may continue to thrive at the college and beyond, contribute to the Amherst community in meaningful ways, and enjoy the best possible educational experience.