In Response to Race-Related Violence

We stand in Solidarity with our Black students, faculty, and staff.

To our BIPOC clients and community at UMKC,

The UMKC Counseling Services staff grieves the violent deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, who recently lost their lives in a relentless series of violent acts, including police brutality. We strongly condemn the racism and systemic injustices experienced by Black individuals and other communities of color, who suffer from the harmful effects of stereotyping, discrimination, hate, and intolerance.

As we navigate through the challenges of a pandemic and the fallout of police brutality, we recognize that we do not have the answers on how to perfectly proceed from here, but what we do know is that we want to commit to this cultural change in whatever form it comes.

As therapists, we are in a unique position to support this movement. We hear first-hand accounts from students at UMKC who have been profiled, discriminated against, and disparaged with racist attacks on and off campus. To know this and to not do anything about it is complacency. Thus, we commit to becoming active participants in dismantling racism and white supremacy within our communities, within academia, within our profession, and within ourselves.

We believe that being “non-racist” is not enough, and that we have an inherent responsibility as privileged mental health professionals, to advocate for structural change, to engage in anti-racist work, to practice cultural humility, to participate in our civic duty to vote, to shed our complacency, and to continually check ourselves.

Before we jump into action on a broader scale, we need to start change from the inside. We have been challenged with the hard, but necessary work of addressing our own potential to perpetuate harm when our own implicit biases go unchecked. We have engaged in necessary conversations about privilege and race, reviewed our guidelines to promote these conversations among staff, and developed a list of action items that we commit to enacting. At UMKC Counseling Services, we are committed to providing a space that is affirming and welcoming of all identities.

We commit to the following actions within ourselves:

  • Require each of our clinicians at Counseling Services to expand our knowledge and understanding of multicultural issues through ongoing conversations about race and diversity issues, training sessions, readings, and other experiential learning opportunities.
  • Practice and engage in cultural humility, and accept feedback from clients and coworkers about our knowledge deficiencies.
  • Engage in anti-racist work through civic engagement and advocacy.
  • Commit to doing this work beyond the lifespan of the racial justice movement or its presence on the news cycle.

We commit to the following actions within our office at Counseling Services:

  • Make an open invitation to all students who have accessed our services to provide us with feedback for any time you felt misunderstood or mischaracterized by your therapist and you felt unable to speak up. Client Feedback
  • Provide therapy groups exclusively for minorities on campus, and be a resource for community-initiated conversations.
  • We are currently advocating to recruit more Black, Indigenous, and/or POC (BIPOC) therapists to join our team.

We recognize the inadequate representation of individuals of color in our field, and therefore commit to the following actions on campus:

  • Work closely with campus leaders to make the Counseling and Clinical Psychology programs more accessible to underrepresented students, including financially.
  • Provide an open house for urban-core high school students to inspire them to pursue a career in mental health.
  • Provide training programs to different departments on supporting the mental health of BIPOC, LGBTQ, and students with disabilities.
  • Reach out and collaborate with student organizations to support their anti-discrimination efforts, and amplify their voices in any capacity possible.
  • Collaborate with the counseling and clinical psychology programs to enhance recruitment efforts towards hiring more BIPOC professors, and to increase recruitment and retention rates of BIPOC students.


UMKC Counseling Services


Resources for Black Individuals and Communities:

Resources for Allyship and Anti-Racism Efforts:

Social Media Accounts:


  • @blairimani (Blair Amadeus Imani)
  • @mspackyetti (Brittany Packnett Cunningham)
  • @dr.rheedawalker (Dr. Rheeda Walker)
  • @Rachel.cargle (Rachel Elizabeth Cargle)
  • @Ckyourprivilege (Check Your Privilege)



UMKC Counseling Services: COVID-19 News and Updates

Latest Updates from UMKC Counseling Services

Updated 8/6/20 – Welcome all UMKC Students to Fall 2020!

We at UMKC Counseling Services are here for students during this time of uncertainty and to support you throughout the fall semester and beyond! The UMKC Counseling Services is open from 8 AM – 5 PM Monday through Friday, with some, limited evening hours. There will be rotating staff Monday-Friday, 8-5 with different staff working in the office and others working remotely using HIPAA Compliant Zoom. The majority of appointments will be conducted remotely using Zoom, but for those students meeting in person, appointments will be staggered so that no more than 2-3 students are in the waiting area at one time. Other safety measures such as private, individual offices for in-person appointments, a barrier at the front desk for interactions, and changes with seating to facilitate physical distancing are in place. Everyone is required to wear a mask at Counseling Services unless otherwise approved.

Students can make an Initial Consultation (first-time) appointment by contacting our front desk at 816.235.1635. If in crisis, students can attend an in-person Crisis Walk In Consultation appointment at 10 AM or at 2 PM, Monday – Friday. Our office will also be providing ongoing individual therapy, Mind Over Mood Workshops, a variety of Group Therapy, Psychological Assessment, BASICS Alcohol/Substance Use Evaluations, and Outreach Programming, primarily using Zoom, but at times in-person, as well.

Please contact UMKC Counseling Services Director, Dr. Arnold Abels, with ideas or suggestions as to how we can best meet your needs, at this unique time.

Updated 8/5/20 – Please join us for a COVID-19 related Self-care Opportunity via Zoom on 8/19/20 at 11am! Check the link for more details.

Updated 6/25/20 – The UMKC Library has compiled a list of music and media resources to help support your mental health and well-being.

Updated 6/16/20 – BODY WELLNESS WORKSHOP: A supportive environment for UMKC students to explore your relationship with food and your body

3 part series beginning TUESDAY, 6/23 at 10am Workshop will meet via Zoom for 50 minutes     Come to 1 or to all 3…whatever you can make!

Email Sherri at for details or to sign up!

Updated 6/10/20 – While UMKC Counseling Services continues to see clients via Zoom, Take a deep breath.

STRESS SNEAKS UP AND ROBS YOUR ENERGY, YOUR FOCUS. A few minutes tuning into your mood and body can make a big difference! Join timeout@twelve on Thursdays from 12 to 12:20 to practice noticing your stress and managing it with deep breathing and meditation.

Offered via Zoom; email Dr. Teresa Huff-Pomstra huffpomstrat@umkc.edufor the link.

Updated 4/28/20- Open Art Studio (Drop-in Zoom session on Wednesdays between 4PM-6PM) : This virtual workshop was developed for UMKC students looking for creative outlets to manage stress during the quarantine. Students are welcome to bring in their own personal art projects to work on and share. This workshop is designed to use art materials that students may already have at home, but adaptations will be presented by the art therapist in order to accommodate for everyone. Artistic talent is not required to participate. If interested, RSVP to Melanie at to receive zoom link.

Updated 4/14/20 – Check out our NEW resources posted below in the coping resources section of this post! And check back regularly for the latest additions!

Updated 4/8/20 – Mind Over Mood (MOM) workshop NOW online! UMKC Counseling Services’ 3-part MOM workshop is now available online. This workshop is one of our post popular services and is designed to help you feel better fast by introducing skills and tips to help you quickly learn to manage unwanted or unpleasant emotions. In our office, this workshop is provided over 3 consecutive weekly sessions, meeting for 1 hour each week. This online version allows you to follow along with the video instruction and downloadable workbook at your pace. Please also see the ADA compliant transcripts for each video.

If you are interested in participating in MOM once UMKC Counseling Services returns to typical operations, please call 816-235-1635 to make an appointment.

MOM session 1:

MOM session 2:

MOM session 3:

MOM Student Workbook

Updated 3/24/20 – Whole Body Healing, UMKC Counseling Services’ trauma sensitive yoga practice, is temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Please check back here or to UMKC Counseling Services’ website to be notified about the practice’s return.

Updated 3/18/20 – Given the recent outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, UMKC Counseling Services is determining what services we can offer in the midst of situations that are rapidly changing.  Considering our current clinical demands and limited resources, we have had to make the difficult decision to temporarily discontinue initial appointments and are no longer taking new clients.  Instead, individuals seeking mental health services are being referred to the community. 

Here is a list of wide ranging mental health services offered in the KC area, including places that offer reduced-fee services and/or work with health insurance. If you have any questions or need assistance accessing community services, please let us know and we are happy to help. 

Please check back regularly for changes and continued updates as this situation continues to be fluid.

Coping Resources

Check out the Midwest Alliance for Mindfulness! Their website has many free mindfulness, meditation and yoga resources including guided meditations (in several languages, for people of color, and for the deaf and hard of hearing), a research bibliography, instructional videos, and information about mindfulness in recovery. They also are offering a number of free lunchtime meditations, weekend seminars, and evening classes on mindfulness for wellbeing and resilience via Zoom.

A 3-Step Approach to Manage Uncertainty – YouTube 

For help with falling and staying asleep:



Being Well Podcast: Coping with Quarantine



In Case of Emergency

Updated 3/18/20 – At this time, UMKC Counseling Services remains open. If you are in crisis, you can utilize our Crisis Walk-In Consultation times at 10am and 2pm Monday-Friday. If you find yourself to be in crisis outside of these times, please call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room.

National crisis hotlines and online services:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
  • The Trevor Project (LGBTQ Suicide Hotline): 1-866-488-7386
  • Trans Lifeline: 1-877-565-8860
  • Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741