We work to create a learning environment where you will feel safe, respected, and valued. Our goal is to encourage you to develop a well-rounded and balanced life including care for self, others, and the world. As the mental health resource for Northland College, this office provides free, comprehensive services to our students.
The professional counseling staff recognizes that the challenges of college life require a variety of personal strengths and problem solving skills. Short-term counseling is available, as well as crisis management and off-campus referral, to assist you to strengthen and develop your abilities to effectively cope with the experiences of living, growing, and learning at Northland.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, appointments are strongly encouraged. Appointments can be made for in-person counseling or for tele-counseling with your computer or mobile device. In-person sessions require a face covering. If you prefer tele-counseling, the counselor will give you details about how to log in prior to your appointment time.
Our college counselor is licensed for diagnosis and treatment of most mental health conditions. In addition, please be aware that having a diagnosable condition is not necessary for receiving counseling through Northland College’s counseling office. Many students take advantage of services to address concerns such as:
- Adjustment to life changes
- Life-goal planning
- Relaxation/stress management
- Behavior change
- Roommate problems
- Relationship concerns
- Second thoughts about college
- Eating issues/concerns
- Trauma, domestic violence, sexual violence
- Family issues
- Suicidal thoughts
- Success skills
- Goal setting
- Test anxiety
- Health anxiety
- Time management
- Sleep problems
- Concerns about a friend
There are several ways to schedule an appointment:
In your initial request for appointment, please include how long you prefer to meet for your first session, and include multiple times/days that could work for you. Please note, email is not always the most secure form of communication; you are not expected to divulge sensitive information in the email or online request.
Appointments are typically scheduled for 30 or 45 minutes.
- Monday: 8 am – 4:30 pm
- Tuesday: 8 – 11 am and 3 – 5 pm
- Wednesday: 8 am – 4:30 pm (tele-counseling only from 12 – 4:30 pm)
- Thursday: by special request
- Friday: 8 am – 4:30 pm (tele-counseling only from 12 – 4:30 pm)
- Tuesday: 11 am – 3 pm, no appointment required
Mental Wellness for Freshmen
Monday’s @ 6 p.m.
Sep 28-Nov 16
Led by Sara Marsh and Sherri Paulsen from Memorial Medical Center, this group is an opportunity for freshmen to have a conversation with licensed mental health professionals as well as peers about common challenges related to managing stress, coping, and staying mentally well.
During groups, students can expect to be able to learn information and useful skills, as well as have an opportunity to ask questions and to feel connected with others facing similar concerns.
This is virtual, using Zoom. Sign up and information will be sent about how to attend the groups. This is free to attend.
Conversations About Coping With Stress, Emotion, and the World
Tuesday’s @ 7:30 p.m.
Sep 29-Nov 10
This is an opportunity for a group conversation about emotional wellness and student needs/concerns of that week, facilitated by mental health professional Jocelyn Langholz from Memorial Medical Center. It is a time where students can learn more about themselves and their mental health, as well as to learn skills for managing stress and coping. Themes over the course of the group will include mindfulness, emotional regulation, chronic stress and the unknown, maintaining balance, managing crisis, and managing relationships.
Additional Group Options
Due to social distancing requirements, there are no in-person support groups planned for the fall of 2020. The counseling office is willing to consider small groups if requested, and there may be programming changes as the academic year progresses. If there is a specific group topic area you are interested in, please let the counseling office know via email or 715-682-1369 and we will consider adding it to our available services.
Email is not an appropriate way to get emergency/crisis assistance.
If you need immediate assistance due to emergency, you should contact campus safety at 715-682-1399, contact 911, or contact the Northern Wisconsin Mental Health Crisis Line at 866-317-9362.
In a crisis, you can also attempt to contact the counselor by calling 715-682-1369 or stopping by the counseling office in the Ponzio Campus Center. Other members of student affairs may be helpful in reaching the counselor if this is unsuccessful. The counselor will make every effort to meet you promptly, but may not always be available for immediate assistance.
NorthLakes Community Clinic
715-685-2200 – Outpatient Psychotherapy
300 Main Street West, Ashland, WI
Memorial Medical Center
715-685-5400 – Outpatient Psychotherapy and Chemical Dependency Treatment
715-685-5370 – Inpatient (Hospitalization in times of mental health emergency)
1615 Maple Lane, Ashland, WI
Counseling and Psychological Services
715-682-4006 – Outpatient Psychotherapy
301 Ellis Avenue, Ashland, WI
715-682-2141 – Outpatient Psychotherapy
715-682-2125 – Crisis residence and mobile crisis unit (You can stay here overnight if you are feeling you are in crisis)
1619 West 3rd Street, Ashland, WI
Northern Wisconsin Mental Health Crisis Line
715-468-2841 – Outpatient Psychotherapy
517 Beaser Avenue, Ashland, WI
Information regarding ongoing bereavement support and education.
Sexual and Domestic Abuse Resources
New Day Shelter
Crisis Line 715-682-9565
Business Line 715-682-9566
Offers assistance with people who have experienced sexual or domestic abuse. Facilitates groups that meet weekly in a safe and confidential environment.
Center Against Sexual and Domestic Abuse (CASDA)
800-649-2921 or 715-392-3136
Offers supportive services to individuals hurt by domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse. The phone line is operated 24 hours/day
On the Web/Hotlines
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-TALK (8255) or chat online
Provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services by phone or through online chat.
1-866-488-7386 (24 /7/365)
Text TREVOR to 1-202-304-1200 (2-9 p.m. M-F)
Crisis intervention and suicide prevention services specifically for LGBTQ+ and under 25
Trevor Lifeline at
Crisis Text Line
Text “LIFE” to 741741 to connect with a crisis counselor.
Provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services through text.
Provides a peer support hotline run by trans people, for trans and questioning callers who are in a crisis or just want to talk.
NorthLakes Community Clinic
300 Main Street West, Ashland, WI
1001 Main Street West, Ashland, WI
Dr. Matheus from Mainstreet Clinic holds some office hours at Northland College. For more information about this and to schedule appointments while he is on campus, please contact Jennifer Newago, campus nurse, at 715-682 1340.
St. Luke’s Chequamegon Clinic
2201 Lakeshore Drive East, Ashland, WI
Essentia Health Ashland
1615 Maple Lane Suite 1, Ashland, WI
Health Care Clinic
313 W. 3rd Street , Ashland, WI
Huhn Rx Drug
522 Main Street West, Ashland, WI
510 Ellis Avenue South
110 Lake Shore Drive West, Ashland, WI
2500 Lake Shore Drive East, Ashland, WI
These are forms we may review in your first session or may help us to best serve you. If you would like to review them or get started prior to meeting, feel free. This is not a requirement of meeting the counselor for the first time.
The counseling office benefits from honesty and feedback from students on campus. Please feel free to communicate questions or concerns here, as well as your requests and ideas for events, workshops, or groups facilitated by the counseling office. Your feedback here is not anonymous.
If you would like to leave anonymous feedback you may here.
Where is the counseling center?
The counselor’s office is on the second floor of the Ponzio Campus Center.
What is the fee for counseling?
Counseling offered by Northland College is completely free.
When are services offered?
The counselor, Scott Johnson MSW LCSW, is typically on campus and available for individual services. Here are his updated appointment times. There are also numerous off-campus options for therapy who may have different times of availability, and the counseling office at Northland can direct you to these if requested.
Are there times to walk in for counseling?
Find helpful information about appointment or learn about drop-in times.
Are there session limits? How often can I come in for counseling?
There are no specific limits on amount or frequency of sessions, though the counselor sets limits on scheduling he feels are appropriate for the individual student. When the counselor cannot accommodate a student’s needs for frequent and longstanding appointments, he may suggest referrals off campus on a case-by-case basis.
Who goes to counseling? Who is eligible?
Students have come for counseling for a variety of reasons. Sometimes students are unsure who else they can trust with their information, sometimes they want to talk to someone they trust will not judge them, sometimes they are having difficulty adjusting to college or to something stressful, or sometimes they are dealing with mental illness or a substance abuse problem. There is no requirement for students to have any specific type of problem to come to counseling. Based on the situation and the severity, the frequency and length of sessions will vary.
Any student that is enrolled at Northland College is eligible for counseling, although a student who is under the age of 18 will likely need parental consent for counseling services. In some situations, the student and counselor find that there a conflict of interest or a strong potential for one, and at those times the student will be referred for off-campus services as appropriate.
Can I receive counseling even if I don’t think my problems are serious in nature?
Absolutely. You can start counseling by making an appointment or coming to walk-in hours. Sometimes problems that don’t seem serious in nature become serious when ignored, and sometimes they can be addressed quickly when addressed early. Sometimes we are not the best judges of how serious our problems are, and an outside perspective can be helpful. If the counselor feels services are unnecessary or unhelpful, he will let you know and will make suggestions about additional ways to get the help you desire.
If you are thinking about coming in for counseling, feel free to try it out. If you are still on the fence about talking to the counselor but are looking for some information about how serious your concerns are, some screening tools are available at https://screening.mentalhealthamerica.net/screening-tools
How do I make an appointment?
What do I do after office hours or on the weekend?
If you are in a mental health crisis or emergency, please contact campus safety at 715-682-1399 or contact 911. You can also call the Northern Wisconsin Mental Health Crisis Line at 866-317-9362, and additional help can be found by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255), texting “LIFE” to 741741, calling the Trevor Project LGBTQ+ crisis line (1-866-488-7386), or calling the Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860.
Outside of general hours, you should not expect an immediate response to an email or voicemail from the counseling office. For some concerns, you might find that talking with a friend, a mentor, or another staff member at Northland is helpful in getting through a difficult moment, and you can plan to make an appointment or stop by walk-in hours the following day. Some useful information can also be found in a variety of places online, including: nami.org, helpguide.org, or halfofus.com. These websites can be helpful but should not be thought of as a replacement for mental health care with a professional for long term care or crisis assistance.
How many students use the counseling center?
Over the course of a typical year, between 15 and 25 percent of students usually seek services through the counseling center, with additional students seeking counseling through off-campus providers.
What are the credentials of the counselor?
Scott attended the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities to earn his Master’s Degree in Social Work (M.S.W.). He is licensed to practice clinical social work in Minnesota (LICSW) and Wisconsin (LCSW). Clinical social work is among the professions within which Wisconsin recognizes members as mental health professionals and allows to provide treatment and assessment for mental health concerns. The social work profession is defined by its six core ethical values: service, social justice, the dignity and worth of the person, the importance of human relationships, integrity, and competence. Source: National Association of Social Workers. (2017). NASW Code of Ethics, Preamble. Retrieved Aug 12, 2019.
What is the counselor’s area of specialty?
Outside of experience working with students for counseling, the current counselor is familiar with the full scope of diagnoses identified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM V) including, but not limited to: generalized anxiety, major depression, post-traumatic stress, obsessive-compulsive, bipolar, schizophrenia, substance abuse, and personality disorder. Treatment of anxiety disorders and PTSD, are particular areas of specialty for him.
What do people talk about in counseling?
People talk about anything in counseling, depending on what brought them in and what they are hoping to accomplish. For some, they are looking for skills to solve a problem they are having with sleep, test anxiety, making friends, or planning for the future. For others, they are looking to better understand something about themselves or to process something that recently happened in their lives. Some people have a diagnosis of a specific mental illness, and counseling follows a defined treatment plan to improve management of the illness and reduce the symptoms.
What happens when I meet with the counselor for the first time?
Typically, the first time meeting with a counselor is spent getting to know each other, asking each other questions to learn about each other, and trying to establish why you are seeking help. If you have a specific goal you want to accomplish that day, let the counselor know and that can take precedence. You will have an opportunity to ask questions about what to expect in future meetings, you might talk about any history you have with counseling or mental illness, and you might make a treatment plan over the course of the meeting.
How is therapy different than talking to a friend?
Some friends are great listeners and give great advice. However, as opposed to the average friend, therapists spend years training to understand emotions and mental health. They are obligated to keep what you say confidential, they can offer an objective view of the problem, and you are not expected to reciprocate when a therapist listens and tries to help you.
How does confidentiality work?
Mental health care providers at Northland College are required by law and ethical standards to maintain the privacy and security of your protected health information. In most situations, if you are the age of eighteen or older, we will not share your information with others unless you give consent in writing. This privacy also extends towards members of Northland College’s staff or faculty unless they are directly responsible for healthcare operations. However, by law, there are exceptions to confidentiality. Exceptions include the following:
- If you appear to present an imminent danger to yourself or someone else, we may need to disclose your information to prevent the threat to your health and safety or that of another person.
- If you share information regarding harm or neglect of a minor which meets conditions mandated reporting laws, we may need to share this information and where we obtained it with relevant parties.
- As consistent with standard professional practice, your counselor may consult with other mental health providers regarding your treatment. In such circumstances, your privacy will be safeguarded by not disclosing identifying information.
Counselors sometimes function in other roles at the college. To protect your confidentiality, we will not acknowledge a relationship with you should we see you or interact with you outside of the counseling offices. Also, to protect confidentiality, counselors will not engage in social media relationships (such as Facebook) with students. The counselor may correspond with you over email to coordinate appointments, but will not include your private health information in emails. However, if you choose to share sensitive information over email, please note this may not be a secure way of communication and your information may be at risk.
I’m worried about a friend—where do I go/what do I do?
You can set up a time to see the counselor, or drop by walk-in hours, even if all you are looking for is information or guidance about how to help someone else.
What if I need to take medication?
There are several medical providers in town who can help with medication needs. If you need help finding one that is best for you, or if you want help setting up an appointment, please get in touch with the counselor or the campus health nurse.
What if I prefer to be referred to a provider in the community?
(Or…What if I don’t like the counselor? Or…The only counselor available is a male and I’m not sure if I’m comfortable with that. What do I do?) If you desire a referral to a community provider and would like the counselor’s help, feel free to ask for it. Our counseling staff understand that counseling/therapy is a deeply personal exercise, and there is not one person, style, or philosophy that fits every person seeking help. They will either direct you to where you can find information about community providers or help you get set up with an appointment. If you have tried counseling with the counselor at Northland, there is no need to feel guilty or worry about offending the counselor. Sometimes there is just a poor fit, whether you can pinpoint a reason or not, and sometimes no matter what you do, you can’t feel comfortable with that person as your counselor.
That said, therapy is often uncomfortable, and sometimes we look for explanations for that discomfort in the style, identity, or characteristics of the therapist. Some people find that it is the vulnerability and openness of therapy that is the true source of that discomfort, and that it gets easier with time. Still more find that talking with the counselor about the discomfort itself (or the dislike, etc.) can be a great relief, and you may find counseling to be easier following this conversation.