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Counseling ServicesOutreach & Education

In addition to our clinical services, the Office of Counseling Services (OCS) is committed to mental health promotion, education, and prevention through community engagement and outreach. We strive to be visible and trusted partners to the broader ODU community by serving the campus beyond our offices and being appropriately engaged in all dimensions of university life. Campus outreach efforts allow the OCS staff to connect with students who may not traditionally seek out clinical services or who might not be aware of the services that our office provides. Our outreach efforts aim to educate on, and decrease stigma associated with, mental health struggles, increase knowledge and skills, foster interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships, and encourage healthy psychological functioning. We frequently collaborate with student groups, academic departments, residence life, and other organizations on campus in an effort to engage in discussions about important mental health topics.

Examples of outreach services we provide include:

  • Psychoeducational programming
  • Resource tables at campus events
  • Serving on discussion panels
  • Support services at campus events
  • Liaison relationships and committee memberships with campus units and departments
  • Social media engagement to promote visibility and awareness of OCS services
  • Interviews for student projects on student wellness and mental health topics
  • Debriefing with groups impacted by tragic or traumatic experiences

We offer outreach programming on any topic relevant to mental health that has an impact on the success and well-being of our students. Here are some of the popular topics that are requested:

  • Adjusting to Life on Campus
  • Anger Management
  • Anxiety Management
  • Balancing Work, Life, and School
  • Building Healthy Relationships
  • Conflict Management
  • Coping with Grief and Loss
  • Depression Management
  • Diversity Issues
  • Effective/Assertive Communication
  • Food and Body Image
  • Helping Students in Distress
  • Improving Sleep
  • Managing Perfectionism
  • Mastering Test Anxiety
  • Mindfulness
  • Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
  • Overview of ODU Counseling Services
  • Procrastination/Time Management
  • Relaxation Skills
  • Responding to Crisis Events
  • Self-Care Skills
  • Self-Esteem
  • Social Anxiety
  • Study Skills/Academic Problems
  • Stress Management & Burnout Prevention
  • Substance Use
  • Suicide Awareness & Prevention


Requesting Outreach

To request an outreach presentation or workshop, contact Sarah Kalafsky at skalafsk@odu.edu. Please include a brief summary about the event, including its overall goal/purpose, contact information, ODU affiliation, expected number of attendees, desired date, and location.

Guidelines for Outreach Requests

  • Outreach requests can be made by student groups, ODU staff and faculty members.
  • To increase our ability to respond to your request, we ask that you please give us at least two weeks' notice when requesting an outreach presentation. This will allow for time to properly develop a program that meets your needs, as well as flexibility with any scheduling changes.
  • Our outreach programs are generally 20-50 minutes in length. Requests combining multiple topics, or for longer than an hour, are difficult to accommodate.
  • We value collaborative relationships in reaching out to students, and we welcome requests for outreach and for consultation. Clinical services are in high demand as each semester progresses, however, and our first priority is the provision of direct clinical services to students. As a result, we are not able to meet all requests for classroom presentations or individual interviews, but we may be able to help identify alternate resources or assist in planning your program.
  • We ask for a minimum of 15-20 expected attendees for each presentation.
  • In the event of a traumatic or unexpected event impacting the campus community, OCS staff can offer support and guidance to students, faculty, and staff. Please contact the Office of Counseling Services directly at 757-683-4401 & dial #1 for these requests.

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