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The Antelope

The Antelope

The Antelope

UNK makes big improvements in mental health services

Photo illustration by Antelope Staff

As students, we’ve seen and experienced the loads of change, stress and difficulties that come with entering college. Many challenges arise, but navigating college isn’t meant to be done alone. We believe that having someone to talk to is important for a student’s mental health.

UNK Counseling helps ensure that students have that support system. 

We support UNK Counseling’s decision to make sessions free outside of the initial Student Health and Counseling fee.

Prior to this semester, the fee included at the beginning of the semester covered the first three sessions. Visits beyond the first three cost an additional $10 per session.

Now, all visits to UNK Counseling are covered by the Student Health and Counseling semester fee. This fee of $138 is applied to a student’s tuition and fees at the start of each semester. Kiphany Hof, associate director of counseling, said the additional fee was eliminated as it might be keeping students from visiting and getting the services they need.

While it may seem hefty, the Health and Counseling fee covers a variety of services beyond counseling. Hof said the fee also covers most Student Health services, programs offered by the Health Promotion office and Pure Wellness educators as well as outreach services. 

According to, the average price for counseling with a therapist in Kearney is between $100 and $300. With the initial fee students pay costing the same or less than one off-campus counseling session, the change is a welcome improvement to campus mental health services. 

Removing the visit fee helps make counseling more attainable for everyone. The center allows a convenient route for students to find counseling services on top of being more affordable than outside options. Counseling and therapy can be expensive, so providing an on-campus option can help ease the strain of the price.

We recognize the accessibility provided by UNK Counseling. Hof said a student might have to wait four to six weeks to see a counselor for the first time in the community. The campus’ counseling center tries to get students in within five to seven days. Students could see a shorter wait time with UNK Counseling than they would off campus. 

Telehealth sessions have returned to UNK Counseling after originally being offered during the COVID-19 pandemic. We see how this can benefit students who may not be able to make it to an in-person session or feel more comfortable meeting that way. Hof said the online service comes in handy for student teachers who may be living out of town or for those traveling when the weather is bad.

The Antelope supports UNK’s dedication to students’ mental health.

Our staff encourages students to use UNK Counseling’s services. Counseling can help students manage the transition to college, cope with life’s difficulties and build tools that can help them throughout life. Counseling services come with being a student at UNK, so don’t hesitate to take advantage of them.

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