Mental Health Support Specialist

The Mental Health Support Specialist provides services, consultation, and programming for Case Western Reserve University faculty and staff as part of the university’s efforts to support the campus community’s health and well-being. 

All current CWRU faculty and staff members are eligible to work with the Mental Health Support Specialist, who is based at University Health & Counseling Services. 

Services Offered

The Mental Health Support Specialist provides brief, solution-focused behavioral health services for CWRU faculty and staff, including: 

  • Mental Health Referrals
    • Identifying appropriate resources and options for: specialty care, individual or group therapy, intensive outpatient services, and in-patient hospital treatment
    • Discussing details of the referral process, including what to expect
    • Facilitating connections to services, and ensuring referrals are addressed in a timely manner
    • Assisting with issues related to health care access, financial challenges, and social/cultural obstacles (such as needs for interpreters, transportation services, prescription assistance, etc.) 
  • Clinical Consultation Services:
    • Helping individuals connect a colleague to appropriate campus resources 
    • Providing crisis or grief support after a significant campus incident
  • Workshops and Training 
    • Helping to raise employee awareness regarding mental health
    • Offering educational sessions about mental health, emotional regulation, relationships, eating concerns, substance abuse, and similar topics 

Frequently Asked Questions

Any faculty or staff member employed by Case Western Reserve University.

Faculty and staff can connect by:

  • Booking an appointment online by going to myhealthconnect.case.edu (will link to instruction page)
  • Calling the Mental Health Support Specialist at 216.368.6612
  • Sending a Secure Message through myhealthconnect.case.edu to Avril Sargeant, LPCC-S

Please know that the Mental Health Support Specialist may take two to three business days to respond to any message. In an emergency, faculty and staff should always call 216.368.3333 if on campus, or 911 if off campus.

The Mental Health Support Specialist follows professional ethical guidelines and applicable federal and state laws that protect the privacy of your health records. These records are confidential and maintained in files that are entirely separate from your personnel file. The Mental Health Support Specialist will not disclose information to any party within or outside the university (e.g., human resources, faculty, future employers, insurance companies) without your written permission—unless one of the exceptions detailed in the answer below applies to the situation.

While the exceptions to privacy and confidentiality are few, they are necessary to protect the well-being of the individual involved and, at times, other people with whom that individual may interact. 

These exceptions include: 

  • instances of imminent risk of harm to self or other(s); 
  • occasions when immediate hospitalization is required; or
  • when a law or a court ruling demands disclosure.

When disclosure is necessary based on one of these exceptions, the Mental Health Support Specialist staff may share limited information with university officials, family members, other health care providers, or other individuals or agencies to mitigate the existing concern.

During the first interaction, the Mental Health Support Specialist will explore the faculty or staff member’s current issues or concerns, assess for safety, and provide recommendations about services that may be a good fit for the individual. 

Faculty and staff leave their appointment with an individualized plan of care that may include a course of brief individual counseling, skill-based workshops, referrals to other types of health or mental health providers, connections to additional resources, or a combination of offerings.

Sessions with the Mental Health Support Specialist are generally brief and solution-focused.

For faculty and staff seeking longer-term therapy, more frequent sessions, a higher level of care and/or more specialized care, the Mental Health Support Specialist will assist in locating appropriate community resources.  

As a part of this transition, faculty and staff may meet with the Mental Health Support Specialist for periodic check-ins (i.e., bridge-care sessions) to make sure that they are connected to the appropriate resources.  

The Mental Health Support Specialist is employed at the university on a part-time basis and is unable to address the needs of every faculty or staff member who wishes to meet. The aim of the Mental Health Support Specialist is to provide services to as many faculty and staff members as possible, rather than long-term counseling for a few. The Mental Health Support Specialist will assist faculty and staff who want or need more services in connection with care options that better meets their needs or preferences.

If you already have an established relationship, you may want to continue to see your provider; however, faculty and staff who would like to meet with the Mental Health Support Specialist—for example, to have familiarity in the event of an urgent need or to receive advice regarding coordination of care. That said, the Mental Health Support Specialist cannot provide ongoing therapy.