Campus & Community

PBSC expands student access to mental health counseling

Palm Beach State College students who need mental health counseling now have access 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The College has partnered with BayCare Behavioral Health to provide broader and more convenient access to counseling and other services for its 49,000 students on five campuses. Through the partnership, students can call 800-878-5470 and speak confidentially to an experienced mental health professional who will listen to their concerns and connect them to licensed counselors in their geographic area.

PBSC opened the Student Counseling Center on its Lake Worth campus about 10 years ago. However, the College decided that more support was needed for students because of limited staffing at the Student Counseling Center and challenges with access for students on the other campuses and when the College is closed.

“Palm Beach State College is trying to be proactive and address the holistic needs of our students by partnering with BayCare in this program,’’ said Dr. Peter Barbatis, vice president of student services and enrollment management. “Our current staffing patterns are not sufficient to meet the needs of our students.”

Jeannie Hoban, a licensed clinical social worker and director of the Student Counseling Center, said many students work full-time jobs and are raising families, which can create additional stress and affect their ability to succeed in college. “We want to help them as much as we can,’’ she said.

Hoban has run the center for eight  years with the help of interns who are recent graduates of master’s degree programs in fields such as counseling and social work. For the 2016-2017 academic year, they served 436 clients for 967 sessions. In addition to counseling, the center operates a food pantry and connects students with resources in the community.

Students who need mental health counseling services can also email For more information about the Student Counseling Center, visit

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3 comments on “PBSC expands student access to mental health counseling”

  1. Excellent move on the part of PBSC; 24/7 availability will help our students when they need the help. How will this availability be made known to students? Just relying on counselors to inform counselees is not enough, because not all students who need help seek help now due to their schedules. Thank you for providing this expanded service.

    1. Thank you Dalila! This initial News Center story and a news release announcing the partnership are among many tactics in a comprehensive communications plan developed to ensure students know about the expanded access to mental health counseling. That plan and the timeline have been discussed with Student Services leaders. Collectively, the tactics will ensure that students get the information, and we will measure the results of the communications campaign. Please contact College Relations and Marketing if you’d like additional details.

  2. Offering a Parenting Support Group, where students can gain support from peers and learn parenting strategies along with community resources would be a HUGE contribution to our students today and their children, who may be students in years to come. Providing support and information is different from providing counseling, so the faculty adviser of such a “club” would not have to be a licensed mental health worker.

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