VCOM Internal Counseling Services
Academic Counseling services are provided free of charge on each campus. The Academic Counselors hired by VCOM have a degree in Educational Counseling, PhD, or a PsyD degree. They are available for students who are experiencing academic difficulty but are also available to advise those students who are experiencing challenges in their personal life that may be affecting academic performance. Occasionally, a student might be recommended or required by VCOM administration or the Promotion board to meet with an Academic Counselor due to an inability to make academic progress or if identified as needing academic assistance. When an Academic Counselor recognizes a need for clinical counseling the counselor may recommend outside services. More information regarding mental health services is below.
Academic Counseling is confidential and information is not shared with administration, faculty, staff, or other students unless the safety of a student is in question.
Students are informed prior to the Academic Counselor sharing student information.
Meet the VCOM–Auburn Director for Academic and Counseling Services
The Director for Clinical Counseling Services is Mary Ann Taylor, PhD. Dr. Taylor provides counseling for students who need assistance with mental health including relationship issues, anxiety, life transitions, organizational skills, and stress management. These are the most common issues medical students tend to encounter; however, this list may include anything else that surfaces as a barrier to success in medical school like substance use, grief, and perfectionism. Sometimes students just feel overwhelmed and are unsure of the next best steps to take. Dr. Taylor can assist with problem-solving and also provide recommendations for outside services that may be beneficial. No issue is too big or too small, so don’t hesitate to reach out to him; his doors are always open! Appointments may be conducted as in-person meetings or via SKYPE if a student is located away from campus. To schedule an appointment, students should call or email Dr. Taylor or contact the Student Services Department or The Center for Institutional, Faculty, and Student Success for assistance.
Mary Ann Taylor, PhD
Email: mtaylor [at] auburn.vcom.edu
Dr. Taylor is a clinical faculty member who specializes in behavioral medicine. She provides academic and student counseling at the VCOM-Auburn campus, lectures on various topics in professionalism, ethics, and psychiatry and serves as the humanistic expert for the Standardized Patient program. Dr. Taylor holds a PhD in Educational Psychology and a BS in Education from Auburn University and an MS in Counseling and Human Development from Troy University. She has over 25 years in higher education with a focus in teaching, learning, counseling, and evaluation. She has worked in private practice counseling and her areas of interest are motivation and learning in adult student populations.
Access to Counseling Services Across Campuses
Students may also Skype or have phone sessions with VCOM's Directors of Academic and Counseling Services from any of the three campuses regardless of student’s home campus.
- Ed Magalhaes, PhD, VCOM–Virginia Director for Counseling Services
- Natalie M. Fadel, PsyD, VCOM–Carolinas Director for Counseling Services
- Mary Ann Taylor, PhD, VCOM–Auburn Director for Counseling Services
External Counseling Services
In addition to the mental health counseling services provided on-campus, VCOM also contracts with external mental health providers in the community to offer VCOM students readily accessible mental health services by a provider outside of the institution. Students may request the referral to off-campus counseling provider through CIFSS. The purpose of the counseling services needed may remain confidential during this referral. VCOM pays for the first four visits per issue and further follow up is at the expense of the student. Students may use mental health services outside of these agencies at their own expense.
Counseling is confidential between the student and counselors of these agencies. Only in cases where the student is required by the Promotion Board, Professional and Ethics Standards Board, or Campus Dean to seek counseling for the purpose of student safety or patient safety is communication required between the counselor and VCOM administration.
Auburn Psychology Group
For VCOM–Auburn students, VCOM has contracted with Auburn Psychology Group as the local mental health care provider (contact information below). Auburn Psychology Group will provide mental health services to VCOM students and their immediate families (e.g., spouse and children who reside with the student). Upon the request of a student and/or their immediate family, Auburn Psychology Group will provide the necessary number of sessions. The fee for the first four visits, per issue, is covered by the agreement between VCOM and Auburn Psychology Group and is free to students and their immediate families. Visits beyond this will be at the expense of the student (or the student’s family member).
Auburn Psychology Group (be sure to identify yourself as a VCOM student)
861-D North Dean Road
Auburn, AL 36830
To make a non-emergency appointment, call: 334-887-4343
For 24 hour emergency care, call: 334-524-5858
VCOM has also contracted with WellConnect to offer confidential, voluntary counseling and resource referral services, to VCOM students and their immediate families (e.g., spouse and children who reside with the student) and is available 24 hours per day. The program is specifically designed to help students manage and improve their mental health as they work to achieve their academic and career goals. WellConnect is also used for OMS3 and OMS4 students to assure they have 24 hour access.
WellConnect provides confidential solutions to address:
- Anxiety, stress and depression
- Anger management
- Substance use
- Relationships and parenting
- Student life balance
- Housing and transportation issues
- Financial and legal assistance
With a digital platform and a library of resources at https://wellconnect.personaladvantage.com/, students can obtain the help they need no matter where they are. Students can take advantage of in the moment support (telephonic), local face-to-face counseling through WellConnect’s extended network of licensed mental health providers or structured telephonic counseling. VCOM students and their household members have up to 5 free sessions per issue, per year. Multiple modalities reduce barriers such as distance, complex schedules or customary time commitments. With WellConnect, students are equipped with vital resources at their fingertips, 24/7, to ensure they have the support they need.
WellConnect (be sure to identify yourself as a VCOM student and to provide the access code previously provided to you)
For 24 hour emergency care or to make a non-emergency appointment, call: 1-866-640-4777
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text 741741 to talk with a Crisis Counselor. For additional resources regarding suicide prevention, please visit: www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org