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Consultation & Referrals

Consultation & Referral page

Consultation & Referrals

Consultation: MCC Counseling Staff is often called upon to provide consultation regarding mental health issues and students of concern, or to assist students in managing crises or distress. Friends, parents, faculty, and staff often consult with our office when they are concerned about a student. Because we value the privacy of the individual seeking counseling, we may not be able to provide individuals details, however, we can always take information and provide guidance regarding how to help the student in question.

Even if someone knows that a student is being seen at MCC Counseling, we cannot provide any information about the student without their consent. This consent must be signed with the counselor as the MCC Release of Information form does not meet the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Any records created through the Counseling Center are not part of your education record and are private medical records with One Health.

Referrals: Most of the services provided through Counseling at the MCC location or who have received an approved direct referral to a counselor off campus are paid through fees already paid as part of tuition. Some students prefer to seek counseling off campus and utilize insurance or other payment methods for services. . If you are still having trouble finding a provider, please call the Vice President of Student Engagement at 406-874-6226 for assistance in finding a qualified professional in the community.


Information for Faculty, Staff, and Parents

Counseling Services at Miles Community College is provided through a partnership with One Health, a local medical and counseling provider in Miles City. Counseling at MCC provides free and confidential counseling services for students, faculty, and staff on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:00am to 12:00 pm. during the academic year when the College is open. At times, students may be better served by community resources, and in those situations, the Vice President of Student Engagement and Counseling Services will work closely with students to facilitate that referral. If a student is unable to attend the times counseling is available, the Vice President of Student Engagement may arrange for another community partner to assist in meeting; however, these appointments are limited to no more than three sessions.

        Students of Concern

          What to Do
          At MCC, we strive to create a culture where we support students who might be struggling. This includes reaching out if we see a student having difficulty, and knowing how to refer a student for support if they come to us for help.
          • Respond with care, concern and empathy
          • Be direct. Ask how they’re doing and share specific concerns and observations
          • Tell them you are here to support their personal and academic success and offer whatever reasonable support within your role.
          • Ask directly if they have had recent thoughts of suicide. Asking someone about suicide doesn’t put the idea into their head, and will let you know the nature of the crisis and level of intervention needed.
          • Listen non-judgmentally. Allow them to express how they feel. Don’t discuss whether suicide is right or wrong or whether their feelings are good or bad.
          • Get help. Call the Vice President of Student Engagement, a crisis line, or the police, especially if the student is in imminent risk
          • Offer hope that support and treatment can be helpful, and aid in getting them to Counseling or other resources.
          • Don’t act shocked, uncomfortable, or irritated.
          • Don’t be sworn to secrecy. You and the student will need additional support. You cannot manage someone’s suicidal thoughts or mental health issues on your own.

          Who to Call:
          Counseling staff is available to faculty/staff to answer questions about how to assist a student of concern, including how to intervene and refer them to counseling or additional support resources. Submit a report on the Report A Student of Concern form at or contact the Vice President of Student Engagement at 406-874-6226.

          If you are helping a student who is in imminent risk (threatening immediate suicide, self-harm, or harm to others), or are unsure if they are safe, call Miles City Police Department Dispatch at 406-232-3411.

        Emergency Response

          Counseling Services is available for crisis intervention and risk assessment in emergency situations by calling the Dean of Student Engagement during business hours. After hours, you can contact the Residence Hall Staff on-call who can reach appropriate staff. The on-call duty phone is 406-951-0043. Remember that a student staff member will answer the phone and ask to have the Director of Student Life and College Housing or the Vice President of Student Engagement to contact you and the student staff will relay the message. In the event of a student death or campus crisis, Counseling Services provides on-site grief counseling, crisis intervention, and walk-in services, as well as consultation regarding student notification, grief/loss, education, and available campus resources.



          Enrolled students can receive free counseling services at Counseling Services on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:00am to 12:00 pm. To schedule, they can go to the Student Services Office to schedule an appointment. For those that cannot attend during these scheduled times, they may receive a referral. These referrals are on a limited basis and are limited to three appointments. To get a referral the student should contact one of the following:

          Richard DeShields
          Vice President of Student Engagement
          Phone: (406) 874-6226

          Holly Selk
          Director of Student Success and Retention
          Phone: (406) 874-6151

          Financial Aid Specialist
          Phone: (406) 874-6208

          Jill Olson
          Nursing Administrative Assistant
          Phone: (406) 874-6189

        Referral Services

          Because of the high demand for counseling services, we utilize a short-term counseling model that aims to resolve the student’s major concerns in about 6-10 sessions. Should students need additional services, they may be able to receive them at Counseling Services, while at other times a referral to community agencies/providers might be provided. Such decisions are based on the resources available at the time and the unique needs of the student. For off campus referrals, there may be a cost associated or insurance needs.

          Continuation of Counseling or Medication Referral/Management
          Many new students have had prior counseling or take medication. Students are encouraged to meet with a Counselor to determine the best course of action for establishing care at Counseling Services. Because our Counseling Services Office is connected with One Health, they may make a referral for medication management. Medical Services are not directly provided as a resource at MCC and MCC does not oversee the medical staff.

          Students in Distress/Emergency Situations

            Counseling Services is available to students and MCC staff in emergency situations. If you are worried about your student, you can receive consultation from the Vice President of Student Engagement to discuss your concerns, learn how to be supportive, and discuss ways to encourage your student to seek help. Additionally, we work with concerned parties to determine appropriate resources for students in distress.


            MCC students 16 years or older are legally considered adults and therefore granted the legal right to obtain confidential mental health services.

            Services at the Counseling Center are confidential, and Counseling staff are legally and ethically bound to maintain students’ confidentiality. This means that the Counseling staff cannot disclose whether or not a student is receiving services, details of their concerns, or what transpires in counseling to anyone, including parents. Such disclosures can only be made if the student grants written permission at the time of services allowing us to do so.

            In emergency or life-threatening crisis situations, confidentiality can be broken in order to protect the student. This can include College staff, community responders, or parents, depending on the nature of the situation and the needs of the student. In such cases, the information disclosed is limited only to what is necessary to protect the student and disclosed only to those who are best able to help. Efforts are made to help the student utilize all available resources, including parents and family.