Rush University Counseling Center

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please contact the following:
Northwestern Memorial Hospital psychiatric emergency line:  (312) 926-8100

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-8255
LGBTQ suicide hotline: (800) 488-7386

Feeling stressed is common — especially when you are juggling the demands of academics, work and relationships. Asking for help may lead to personal growth and constructive resolution of the issue that has caused stress.

One source of free, confidential help, located right on campus, is the Rush University Counseling Center. The center is  staffed by clinical psychologists who can help you address a wide range of issues, from stress and anxiety to relationship problems, depression and more.

To make an appointment, call (312) 942-3687 on weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. 

Who’s eligible

  • Currently enrolled students
  • House staff members

All discussions and information are held in the strictest confidence. We do not maintain electronic medical records, and no one at Rush has access to information about who uses our services.

Counseling staff

  • Hilarie Terebessy, PhD, direct line: (312) 942-3013
  • Kunal Sachdev, PsyD, direct line:    (312) 942-3405
  • Meghan Kean, PsyD, direct line: (312) 942-5726
  • Emily Carter, PsyD, direct line: (312) 563-1949

Rush Wellness Assistance Program

The Rush Wellness Assistance Program is a comprehensive resource for all Rush University students and their families, which provides offerings in three areas:

  • Work: Professional and personal development through “Skillbuilders” — free 30- to 45-minute online tutorials that address numerous topics including, managing stress, emotional wellbeing, along with improving study skills, concentration, test‐taking, writing and much more.
  • Life: 24/7 confidential, short-term counseling services for students and their families — at no cost.
  • Home: Connecting Rush University students to healthy cooking recipes and assistance with locating home‐life services like financial planning, child‐care/elder‐care, or legal services.

The Rush Wellness Assistance Program will address several important university-specific needs including:

  • After-Hours Counseling: Providing after-hours, video-conferencing counseling support accessible by mobile phone or tablet from the comfort and privacy of home.
  • Distance Learners: Extending counseling services and support to our distance and online learners who would otherwise be unable to access the Counseling Center

To access services, visit the Rush Wellness Assistance Program page on Inside Rush.

Helpful Monthly Tip 

Make it through Finals

The end of the semester is here. You might be feeling stressed, anxious, or just ready to be finished. Regardless of your experience of finals, your well-being does not need to suffer during this high stakes period of the semester. Here are some tips to ensure that you maintain your level of mental health functioning throughout finals.

This is temporary: Remind yourself that finals season is temporary. This is not your new normal, this is a finite amount of time where the demands are high. Remembering this fact can motivate you to keep going and use the finish as an end point to work towards.

Don’t neglect you: Yes you are busy and there is a lot to get done. Now is not the time to abandon your needs and your self-care. In fact this is the time you need it most: continue to exercise, eat well, relax, and get enough sleep. You will work at your optimal best when you still make you a priority.

Take a break: You cannot drive across country without stopping for gas; you cannot train for a marathon without a rest day. Preparing for finals is no different: you need to give yourself time to rest so you can maintain your stamina to the finish and not burnout. Taking a break also aids in crystallization of information and long term potentiation (moving information from short term memory to long term).

Seek out supportive people: Studying for finals can be an isolating time but you still need to be around people, especially if you are experiencing stress. Reaching out to friends and mentors for support and encouragement can help mitigate the stress and normalize what you are experiencing. Social support is the number one coping strategy during times of stress.

See the forest for the trees: Your mental well-being is the most important thing. It is more important than a grade on a project or a score on a test. Your worth should not be tied to your grades. What grade you receive does not define you. Strive to do your best and be your best but not at the expense of your mental and physical health.

Remind yourself of your past success: Look back on your success especially success similar to a future obstacle. Reflecting on your past success reminds you that you can and likely will be successful in the future. Ask yourself what you did in the past and apply those strategies toward your future obstacle.

Reward your success: When finals are over, do something relaxing and rejuvenating. Plan a trip, a massage, a day to sleep in, time alone, time with family…whatever helps you reset.

To schedule an appointment to meet with a confidential clinical psychologist at the Rush University Counseling Center, call please call 942-3687. The Counseling Center is available to currently enrolled students, residents, and fellows.

Reference Thrive Global How to Protect Your Mental Health During Finals Season

Tips For Managing Holiday Stress

The holidays can be a time of great excitement and happiness. There is celebration of the year and hope for what the New Year will bring. And let’s not forget the abundance of food and family time! While the holidays can be verypositive and meaningful, they can also be stressful and complicated. Here are some tips to help you reduce stress during this holiday season and afterwards.

Sleep: try to go to bed and get up at the same time. Try to get 7-8 hours of sleep.

Exercise: try to get moving at least one half hour per day. This can help with stress management and burn off that extra piece of pecan pie we know we will have.

Good food choices: you should indulge in the sweets of the season but also try to do so in moderation while also eating fresh fruits, vegetables and lean proteins. Your mood will thank you!

Set boundaries: limit what you commit yourself to and what you say “yes” to. Sometimes saying no can reduce stress especially around the holidays.

Make time for yourself: schedule some time alone or engaged in an activity that helps you recharge and renew so you are ready for the holiday festivities.

Limit tense discussions: this can be difficult but steering clear of topics that may create tension or negativity. Topics such politics or religion can be emotionally charged and create a negative tone for the gathering.

Set realistic expectations: We all want to make the perfect holiday memories or get the perfect gift for a person. But these goals for perfectionism can put even more pressure on us during the holidays. Being flexible and let yourself roll with what comes your way; this approach will make for a more pleasant experience for all involved.

Have fun! Enjoy your time with friends and family, time off from school and work, and enjoying the spirit of the season.

Eat well, laugh often, take a break, and remind yourself of what has gone well for you this year.

Happy Holidays!

Source: Daphne Lurie, Ph.D. of the Counseling and Psychological Services Department at The Scripps Research Institute.

Resources and Tools

Click here for online resources related to stress and mental health, plus documents that can help you prepare for a Counseling Center appointment.

Other useful links:

American Association of Suicidology

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention


Hope Line

Jed Foundation            

Mental Health Screening Suicide Prevention

Stop Soldier Suicide, or call (844) 889-5610

Suicide Prevention Resource Center  

U Lifeline                   

Contact Information

Kidston House
630 S. Hermitage Ave., Suite 701
Chicago, IL 60612
Hours: 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Monday–Friday
(312) 942-3687 (phones staffed 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.)