Polk State College Student Assistance Program
(800) 878-5470 | BayCareSAP@baycare.org
If you are experiencing an emergency, dial 9-1-1 immediately.
Polk State College students are eligible for three free counseling sessions between Nov. 1 and Oct. 31.
The BayCare Student Assistance Program provides free and confidential counseling and referral services for students facing personal challenges which could affect their academic performance, personal lives, or general well-being. BayCare can help students better manage challenges related to several common issues, including but not limited to:
- Grief & Loss
- Conflict Resolution
Resources to Support Your Emotional Wellbeing
BayCare Online Resource Center
NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness
National Domestic Violence Hotline
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
SAMHSA: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association
TAO Connect Mindfulness Exercises
What happens when a student calls BayCare?
- Call the BayCare Assistance Programs confidential helpline at (800) 878-5470.
- During regular business hours (6:30am – 6pm, Monday – Friday), you will be prompted to select 2 for the Student Assistance Program.
- The BayCare agent will ask you for some basic information, including your name, address, phone and email. Please remember this information is confidential and is not shared with anyone without your consent. The only exceptions are in cases of child abuse, elder abuse, or if you are an immediate threat to harming yourself or others.
- The BayCare agent is a mental health professional and is here to listen to your concerns. By telling the agent about the reason for your call, we will better provide you with the most appropriate resources.
- If you are seeking counseling services, you will then be given the names and contact information for several therapists in the BayCare network that match your needs. You will also receive this information via email for future reference.
- Call the referred therapists to request an appointment utilizing your BayCare SAP benefits. If you get a voicemail, please leave a message as the therapists are likely in a session with other clients.
- If you do not hear back from a therapist or cannot schedule an appointment, please call BayCare at (800) 878-5470 or email BayCareSAP@baycare.org for additional help.
- If you call outside of normal business hours, you will be prompted to call back during regular hours for routine administrative needs or stay on the line for immediate crisis support.
Does BayCare share my information with the college?
No, using mental health services is confidential and is not shared with anyone. The only exceptions are in cases of child abuse, elder abuse, or if you are an immediate threat to harming yourself or others.
I have used my free sessions but would like to continue seeing my therapist. What can I do?
Many therapists may offer a sliding fee scale or may accept your medical insurance. If you need assistance accessing services beyond the free sessions provided through the SAP, please work with your therapist, or contact BayCare for support.
What are the counselor's qualifications?
BayCare providers are all licensed professionals with an advanced degree. This includes Mental Health Counselors, Clinical Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Psychologists.
How do I schedule an appointment?
After you contact the BayCare Helpline, you will be given phone numbers for therapists who accept your benefits. You may get the provider’s voicemail, so please leave a message for them to return your call. If you do not receive a call back, please call BayCare at (800) 878-5470 for assistance.
What can I expect when I see a therapist?
Your first visit allows you and your therapist to get to know each other and understand the challenges you are facing and determine a plan of action. Your following sessions will be more therapeutic to help learn tools to resolve your challenges.