Embedded Therapist Services

In the News:

Embedded therapist joins College of Veterinary Medicine (Cornell Chronicle, November 2, 2023)

Cornell is joining a growing number of U.S. college campuses in introducing embedded therapist services, in which ongoing mental health support is provided from “satellite” offices located within the academic colleges.

The goal is to supplement the Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) offerings at Cornell Health with convenient, on-site services tailored to a specific student audience. 

In November 2023, Cornell Health counselor Genel Gronkowski began providing mental health support to College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) students in Schurman Hall to pilot expanding embedded therapist services at Cornell. Learn more about:

About the embedded therapist model 

Advantages of embedding positions in the academic environment:

  • Furthers progress on our health-promoting campus goals as stated in the Mental Health Review and supported by our signing of the Okanagan Charter to become a Health Promoting Campus.
  • Increases awareness of mental health services due to promotion within embedded locations
  • Provides students additional access points for clinical support services
  • Allows the CAPS therapist to get a better sense of the culture and resources within the college
  • Gives students access to a provider with more in-depth awareness of their unique educational environment
  • Deepens quality of mental health discourse, education, and programming for students, faculty, and staff

What other schools have this kind of model?

Versions of embedded clinical services exist at many colleges and universities for the advantages stated above. Some of these institutions include Michigan State University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Stanford University, University of Georgia, University of Iowa, University of Michigan, University of North Carolina, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Who can use the services provided at an embedded site? 

As part of an extension of support available to students in their college/field, the services offered at a particular site are intended for students in that college. However, students from colleges with an embedded therapist may still choose to use services at Cornell Health or from another local provider. 

What services will be available at an embedded site?

The embedded therapist will provide individual counseling services, as well as some psychoeducational programming, advisement for faculty and senior administration on emerging mental health issues and academic integration. Students wanting other mental health services (e.g. group therapy, workshops) can still access these services from the CAPS staff located in Cornell Health. All students seeking individual counseling (at Cornell Health or at an embedded location in the college) will begin with a CAPS Access Appointment.

How will this role consult with faculty and staff in the college?

The embedded therapist may field questions from faculty and staff or proactively serve as a guide when emerging mental health trends surface. Faculty and staff may also reach out to the embedded therapist to request expertise as it relates to communicating mental health information and/or services to students. The embedded therapist will also partner with some staff and faculty to create and deliver psychoeducational programming, as well as partner on annual events such as orientation or other academic transitions.

How does this initiative support the Health Promoting Campus Initiative?

Embedded clinical services are one of several new efforts currently underway for Cornell Health, Student & Campus Life, and the academic colleges to contribute to our Health Promoting Campus. By “meeting students where they are” and providing clinical services in these spaces, mental health providers can learn even more about these environments and provide further insights that support the recommendations outlined in the student Mental Health Review and our commitments as a Health Promoting Campus.



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