We're here to help.
Our professional counseling staff provides a safe, supportive and confidential setting for you to explore your concerns and work toward improving your emotional, physical and academic well-being.
Scheduling an Appointment
The purpose of the Counseling Center is to utilize effective and efficient therapeutic strategies to meet the needs of our clients. Cases are continuously reviewed for extension appropriateness and recommendations or referrals for further counseling will be provided if necessary.
The Counseling Center provides free services to enrolled students at Concordia University Chicago. If you are a Concordia University Chicago student, you must complete the Traige Support paperwork to request a non-emergency appointment at the Counseling Center. Office staff will respond to your request as quickly as possible, usually within 24 hours, within our office hours Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. (CST). During this uncertain time the best method of contact will be emailing; you are welcome to contact us with questions, concerns, or request for support at counseling.services@CUChicago.edu.
Please do not use the form to access immediate support. If you are considering suicide, get help by calling 911. or go to your nearest emergency room. You can also contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline number at 800.273.8255 or the Crisis Textline by texting HOME at 741-741. If you are on Campus you can contact DPS at 708-209-3039, The Counseling Center provides crisis care support during normal business hours.
The purpose of the Counseling Center is to utilize effective and efficient therapeutic strategies to meet the needs of our students. Cases are continuously reviewed for service appropriateness and recommendations or referrals for further counseling will be provided if necessary.
Cancellation/No Show Policy
The Counseling Center wants to increase students’ access to service. When a student fails to keep an appointment or cancels at the last minute, professional time goes unused and other students fail to get timely service.
Cancelling an appointment: It is important to contact The Counseling Center as soon as possible. Due to heavy demand for services, 24-hour notice of cancellation is strongly requested in order to best make use of staff time and help other students that may come in. A 24-hour notice gives time for other students to schedule an appointment.
Missed appointments with a counselor (no-show or cancellation with less than 24-hour notice): If you miss a scheduled appointment with a counselor, please contact us to let us know the reason. Repetitive no-shows or late cancellations may result in an inability to schedule an appointment until the following semester.
Use these helpful links to learn more about a number of counseling center topics.
Addiction and Substance Abuse
Marijuana Use Self-Evaluation
Want feedback on your use of marijuana?
Complete the free, confidential Marijuana e-CheckUpToGo survey to see what your use looks like on an individual scale and in comparison to national averages.
What is Marijuana e-CheckUpToGo?
The Marijuana e-CheckUpToGo is an interactive web survey that allows college and university students to enter information about their marijuana habits and receive feedback about their use of marijuana. The confidential assessment takes about 20-30 minutes to complete, is self-guided, and requires no face-to-face contact time with a counselor or administrator.
What does it do?
When you access the Marijuana e-CheckUpToGo, you will be prompted to enter information about yourself. In addition to demographic information, it will ask you to enter information about your use of marijuana, spending patterns and lifestyle. After all information has been entered, you submit the form. The information you entered is validated and then processed. The Marijuana e-CheckUpToGo calculates a number of variables and compares your responses to national and local college norms. Then, your personalized feedback is displayed in an easy-to-read format.
Anxiety and Stress Management
- Anxiety and Depression Association of America
- College Student Stress Management
- Mayo Clinic Stress Reduction Website
- Meditation Oasis
Attention Deficit Disorder and Learning Disabilities
Bipolar Disorder and Depression
- The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)
- DSA Illinois
- Bipolar Hope: Nonjudgmental forums and community
- Bipolar Support: Nonjudgmental forums and community
- Eating Disorders Awareness and Prevention: A nonprofit organization that provides a toll-free information and resource line for educators, health professionals, and families of people with eating disorders
- Student Eating Disorder Awareness Guide
- Eating Disorder Hope: Eating disorder treatment resources for college and university campuses
General Mental Health
- Mental Health America
- National Institute of Mental Health
- Go Ask Alice: A popular site by a team of Columbia University health promotion specialists, health care providers, and other health professionals addressing health and wellness issues, including mental health topics
- U.S. Government: Health and Human Service Information
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- College Students and Suicide Fact Sheet
- Survivors of Suicide Fact Sheet
- Helping Survivors of Suicide - What Can You Do?
- How to Be There for a Friend
- Omvana: 500+ tracks of world’s top transformational audios to enhance every area of your life
- Mediation Oasis: list of meditation apps each for a specific concerns
- Addiction Avert
- AlcoDroid Alcohol Tracker: Alcohol consumption tracker, drinks diary and blood alcohol content calculator
- SoberApp: Alcohol Calculator
- Med Helper Pill Reminder: Compliance helper and tracker
- Medisafe Pill Reminder & Medication Tracker: Apple - Android
Emergency or Crisis Resources
Quick access to emergency and crisis resources.
- 911 Emergency Services
- Concordia-Chicago Public Safety
- Thrive Counseling Center
Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for mental health crisis assessment and management.
- National Suicide Hotline
(For individuals experiencing suicidal thoughts)
- Suicide Text Line - txt4life
text “LIFE” to 61222
- Crisis Text Line
text “HOME” to 741-741
- IL Warm Line
(For individuals seeking emotional support)
Mon-Fri 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; From main menu select option #2, then option #5
- National Sexual Assault Hotline
- Trevor Project LGBTQ Lifeline
Counseling Center Staff Information
Get to know our care providers.
Danielle Walejeski, MA, LCPC
Director and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor
Kreft Center, Room 130B
Note from Danielle: Welcome! I view therapy as a collaborative process and strive to tailor treatment to reflect those goals most important to you. I aim to create a safe, non-judgmental space to encourage self-exploration, curiosity and growth to facilitate lasting, meaningful change. Throughout the course of therapy, we will together identify skills necessary to manage current life stressors, while also delving into deeper rooted issues potentially manifesting in problematic areas present today.
I am an independently licensed clinician with over seven years of clinical work with diverse populations. I particularly focus on providing support for individuals coping with anxiety, depression, perfectionism and relationship/boundary concerns.
As your therapist, I will remain fully dedicated to strengthening the resiliency needed within to reclaim yourself through connection, self-compassion, and self-love.
Nicole Strimel, M.Ed. LPC
Licensed Professional Counselor
Kreft Center #130D
Note from Nicole: Hello! I completed my undergraduate degree in Psychology and Sociology at DePaul University in Chicago. After a few years in the professional world, I returned to DePaul and completed my Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. I have experience working with people at all stages of life, from early childhood to late adulthood, in individual, group and family counseling.
My approach to counseling is based on the unique needs of each individual that walks through my door. I am looking forward to providing students a safe and supportive environment that empowers each individual to achieve their personal, academic and professional goals.
In my free time I enjoy art of all mediums, spending time with family and friends, exploring new places, and most importantly, spending time with my dog Kira!
Questions, choices, concerns and changes are all a natural part of life. These aspects, however, can feel particularly prevalent during your college experience. You are learning, perhaps for the first time, what it means to be on your own and how to prioritize the seemingly competing demands placed on you while attending school. In the past, you may have been able to work through the struggles you encountered on your own or with the support of family, friends or a significant other. Though you may have planned well and have been eager about the new adventure of college life, often there can be a sense of apprehension after the first phase of excitement wears off.
Whether you are experiencing something uncomfortable for the first time, having a reoccurring problem that you now feel unsure about sharing with someone close, or feeling isolated from your support systems, it’s important to know you are not alone. Talking with a Counseling Center professional can provide a safe, supportive and confidential setting to explore your concerns and work toward improving your emotional, physical and academic well-being.
Our counselors strive to support students in helping increase their resilience and positive well-being by employing effective coping and problem-solving skills. The mental health services provided by the Counseling Center are available at no cost to actively enrolled students.
If you are a staff, faculty, parent, significant other or student who is worried about a distressed student, the Counseling Center also offers consultation to support in determining how you might best help.
Concordia University Chicago's Counseling Center is a place meant to support the personal growth and development of its students. College life can be stressful and demanding, and although we all deal with stressful circumstances throughout our lives, there are times when reaching out for help can make a big difference. The Counseling Center is here to foster a strengths-based environment where students can empower themselves to achieve both academic and personal goals, not only during their tenure at CUC but also in their life beyond. Although the hope is to be able to provide preventative care, before the concern has become impactful negatively, we also provide corrective services, such as when there are student conduct concerns.
The Counseling Center policy on confidentiality abides by the ethics code set forth by the Illinois Board of Psychology and the American Counseling Association. Other than authorized Counseling Center staff, no one will have access to your mental health records without your signed consent. Furthermore, they will not be a part of your academic record. In rare circumstances, a counselor might be legally required to break confidence; these instances include if you are assessed to be a danger to yourself or others. In this situation, the Center is legally obligated to inform the appropriate authorities. Please feel free to ask any questions or concerns you may have regarding this policy with your therapist or with Danielle Walejeski, LCPC, Director of Counseling Services.
Eligibility for Services
Counseling Center services are available to all actively enrolled students at Concordia University Chicago and are provided at no cost.
The Center provides services both in the Counseling Services department as well throughout campus including residence halls, classrooms and other communal areas.
Counseling allows an individual to explore his or her concerns with an objective, non-judgmental and trained professional, and to work toward a better understanding of self. Student concerns can consist of a wide range of issues related to relationships, identity, family, depression, victimization, anxiety/panic attacks, academics, grief and loss, socialization/isolation, food/body image and/or chemical use/abuse. For counseling to be effective, it is necessary for students to take an active role in the process. Students should be informed that participation involves listening, being honest, discussing concerns, completing outside assignments and providing feedback to their counselor.
While there is no set number of sessions each student is allowed at the Counseling Center, we do operate on a short-term therapy model. As such, the Counseling Center provides goal-oriented counseling that utilizes effective and efficient therapeutic strategies to meet the needs of our clients.
Your counselor will develop and discuss with you a plan that is tailored to your needs and will discuss the number of sessions most appropriate to serve you. For some it may be appropriate to be referred to a clinician in the community for more extended care.
The Counseling Center staff will offer educational programs on a variety of mental health topics relevant to University students, including both for students and for those working with students at CUC. In addition, Counseling Services sponsors or participates in programming throughout the academic year geared toward preventative mental health. The focus of these presentations may involve topics such as stress management, depression, adjustment issues, healthy relationships, anxiety, how to help a distressed friend/colleague/partner/student and mental health screenings.
Adhering to the ethical and legal obligations on confidentiality, wherein information about specific students—including confirmation that a student is a client at the Counseling Center—cannot be disclosed without a valid, signed Release of Information Authorization Form, counselors are available for consultations with students, faculty, administrative personnel, residence hall staff, and parents regarding questions or concerns.
Psychiatric and Other Services
The Counseling Center does not provide psychiatric services. Referrals to outside psychiatric resources (for needs including diagnosis, prescriptions and medication management) can be obtained by talking to your primary care physician, calling your insurance company or asking for the assistance of a counselor at the Counseling Center.
Students can at any time log onto ULifeline for an anonymous online screening tool, to gain more information about specific mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, eating disorders and PTSD.
Clients may request a referral to another provider or off-campus agency at any time and the staff will work to help provide appropriate resources to ensure accessibility of linkage to services. Likewise, if the Counseling Center staff deem the client will be better served by another resource, staff may terminate counseling and refer the client to an appropriate provider. Some services not available through the Counseling Center include psychological testing, assessments and diagnosis for learning disabilities and accommodations, group counseling, and court-mandated counseling. Any changes in treatment will be discussed with the student before they take place in order to attempt to be as financially and/or mobility conscientious as possible. Students are financially responsible and must arrange for any services received by an off-campus provider.