Behavioral Health Services

Student talking to counselorIndian Hills Community College provides behavioral health counseling free of charge to all current students. Both college and personal life can be complicated and stressful. If you have any personal issues that are interfering with your progress and success in your personal or academic goals, a counselor can help you deal with the challenges you face. It is important to remember that no two people look at and experience the world in exactly the same way.

Behavioral Health Services is in the Student Health and Wellness Center, on the first floor of Trustee Hall on the Ottumwa Campus. Appointments are available Mondays, 1:00 – 4:45 p.m. and Thursdays, 7:15 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.

Common Concerns

Here are some common concerns that bring students to the Behavioral Health Services Center:

  • depressed mood or mood swings
  • worry and stress
  • anger and irritability
  • feeling alone and isolated
  • problems sleeping
  • grief and loss
  • poor concentration and focus
  • low motivation
  • thoughts of self–harm/self–harming behaviors
  • negative addictive behaviors
  • time management and organization problems
  • interpersonal conflicts including problems with roommates, friends, or a current romantic relationship
  • family issues
  • problems associated with eating and maintaining a health body image
  • dating and relationship issues
  • sexuality issues
  • difficulty adjusting to the college, whether you are a new or returning student

Stressed StudentCounseling can include any of the above issues, or any other issues pertinent to your experience. Counseling is for you, and you alone. You will visit with a licensed psychologist or social worker trained in providing you with the specific help you need.

Behavioral Health Services provides a confidential setting, for you to explore concerns and achieve a better understanding of yourself — your feelings, attitudes, and strengths.


Confidentiality is the basis for trust between a counselor and a student, and is a priority in any counseling situation. When you see a counselor at Behavioral Health Services, you can trust that your privacy will be protected. Confidentiality allows you to feel safe in discussing your thoughts and emotions with full confidence that what you say remains between you and your counselor. Your visits to Behavioral Health Services are not part of your school records. Because confidentiality is the basis for any therapeutic approach, the counselor will explain to you your rights regarding confidentiality, in the very first session.

Services Offered

Individual Counseling

At this time, Behavioral Health Services offers short–term individual counseling. A counseling session lasts for approximately 50 minutes. During the initial counseling session, your counselor will assess your needs and, in collaboration with you, make a treatment plan tailored to your needs based on his/her professional opinion.

You and your counselor will work together to decide how frequently and for how long a period it is necessary to meet. You may decide to take no further action at that time — you are not obligated to continue counseling once you’ve attended an initial session. If you have any questions about the first appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact Behavioral Health Services.

Crisis Response and Intervention

Sometimes, stress can be overwhelming, and you become too distraught or upset to think. If you feel panicky or suicidal, you can walk directly into the Student Health and Wellness Center, during operating hours, and someone will be there to listen and, if necessary, refer you to the appropriate resources. If you feel you need professional help before 8:00 a.m. or after 5:00 p.m., you can call a local crisis line staffed by trained counselors, social workers, nurses, or a psychologist. The number in the Ottumwa area is (641) 682-8772. If you would prefer to see someone in person, after hours, please go to the Emergency Room at the Ottumwa Regional Health Center.


At any time, you may call (641) 683-5336 to make an appointment at the Student Health and Wellness Center. Appointments are available on Mondays from 1:00 to 4:45 p.m. and Thursdays from 7:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

When you make an appointment, you will meet with Dr. Kathleen Murray, a licensed psychologist. Dr. Murray is contracted by Indian Hills Community College to provide counseling services to help students achieve their academic and career goals.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. How can I benefit from counseling?
    Counseling can help you in managing personal problems or difficult situations, learn new coping techniques and stress management skills, increase self–esteem, decrease anxiety and depression, stay more focused, improve your relationships, and adjust to college life.
  2. Will my information become part of my academic records?
    Your information will be kept in a locked file in an office that is off–campus; it is not accessable by anyone other than your counselor. It does not become part of your academic records at Indian Hills Community College, in any way.
  3. Will my instructors, parents, spouse, or friends know that I am counseling?
    Counseling is confidential and, consequently, only the people you tell will know you are in counseling. You will be informed about any limits to confidentiality.
  4. When is a referral to another professional made?
    Professional referrals are made when medication is requested or long–term therapy is recommended.


Behavioral Health Services
Kathleen Murray, PhD, Licensed Psychologist
phone: (641) 683-5336 or (800) 726-2585, ext. 5336

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