Counseling & Mental Health

OVERVIEW OF MENTAL HEALTH CARE FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
DISCLAIMER: The video below was produced by internationalstudentinsurance.com. While International Student and Scholar Services does not endorse any company’s insurance plan, we do find the information contained within the video to be helpful as a general overview of mental health care, awareness of mental health warning signs, myths, and ways to seek treatment.

Student Counseling Center

The Counseling Center’s mission is to help University of Alabama students achieve academic success and personal growth through quality brief counseling and psychological services, outreach and consultative services, and training of mental health professionals.  Counseling records are entirely confidential and will in no way affect your stay at the University or in the United States. Such records are released only with your written permission.

The Counseling Center is located at 1000 South Lawn Office Building (1101 Jackson Avenue). You may reach the Counseling Center by calling 205-348-3863 or after-hours at 205-348-5454 or visiting their website http://counseling.ua.edu/

Employee Assistance Program

The University Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offers international scholars and faculty and their families free personal counseling to help with issues such as stress, relationship problems, alcohol or drug dependence, or depression. Even the most successful person may experience considerable difficulty in adjusting to a new environment. The Employee Assistance Program can help with this adjustment. The EAP offers services designed to complement the University’s academic mission by assisting staff and faculty with their personal and professional development through a variety of services. Counseling records are entirely confidential and will in no way affect your stay at the University or in the United States. Such records are released only with your written permission.

The EAP is located at 201 Towncenter Blvd. You may reach the EAP by calling 205-759-7890 or 1-866-840-0750 or visiting their website http://hr.ua.edu/benefits/other-benefits/employee-assistance-program

Culture Shock

What is “Culture Shock”?

Culture Shock refers to the anxiety experienced by an individual when changes occur in his/her environment. These changes include the absence of familiar surroundings, family, and support systems.
Culture Shock may be experienced by any person who spends an extended period of time in a new or different culture. The new culture’s signs, symbols, and social cues can produce frustration and anxiety.
The shock of adjustment is normal and perhaps universal.

Cultural Adaptation Curve

Common Signs and Symptoms of Culture Shock include

Anxiety, sadness, depression
Frustration, despair, disorganization
Anger, confusion, loneliness
Lack of energy
Loss of enjoyment in daily activities
Withdrawal from others
Headaches, stomach pains
Loss of appetite, changes in sleep patterns, tearfulness

How to Cope with “Culture Shock”

Know that your reactions are normal
Speak with an advisor in International Student and Scholar Services
Seek professional help if needed
Participate in adjustment programs like International Coffee Hour