Campus Life

Embedded Counselors Bring New Level Of Care To Aggies

Learn about Texas A&M's embedded counselors, who are working to make mental health care more accessible for students.
By Lesley Henton, Texas A&M University Division of Marketing and Communications February 28, 2024

No Aggie Stands Alone, Embedded Mental Health Counselors On Campus,


College can be overwhelming at times for students, but help is available and may even be closer than you think. Texas A&M University Health Services (UHS) has embedded counselors who work within colleges, schools and departments, aiming to establish a “community of care” for Aggies.

With Mental Health and Suicide Awareness Week under way, we checked in with some of the professionals behind the effort.

No Aggie Stands Alone. Find help at

Dr. Nancy Fahrenwald, UHS associate vice president, explains the embedded approach.

“Embedded mental health therapists are situated within locations across the university, such as a college, library, or other service area that is comfortable to students and where the therapist can become more deeply engaged with the population,” she said. “Embedded counselors also have connections with faculty and staff, helping to upskill our community to better support students.”

The commitment, Fahrenwald said, is to “establish Texas A&M as a community of care, using a public health model for mental health and well-being. Caring for our community is about reaching people where they are, developing systems of support, and making resources more accessible to students.”

Between the College Station, Fort Worth and McAllen campuses, there are currently 11 embedded counselors in academic units and University Libraries, and one in the University Police Department. Fahrenwald said she anticipates 16 new embedded counselors to be in place by 2026

Meeting Students Where They Are

Embedded therapists not only help students in varied locations and contexts, they also tailor programs and discussions in hopes of creating an environment more supportive of overall student well-being.

At the Harrington Byrne Student Success Center in the School of Education and Human Development, students can speak with Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor (LPC-S) Joycelyn Anderson who says since the embedded program makes support more accessible, the convenience alone encourages more students to seek help when needed.

“Embedded counselors can also provide ongoing support and follow-up care, establishing a consistent relationship with students over time,” Anderson said. “This continuity fosters trust and allows counselors to better understand students’ needs.”

The state of Texas with Fort Worth, McAllen and College Station. Fort Worth, Law, Christy McDonald; College Station, Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Abbie Satterfield and Tyler Baker-Wilkinson; Engineering, Carmen Mota; Graduate and Professional, Dr. Esther Wright; Office for Student Success, Dr. Maame Coleman; Education and Human Development, Joycelyn Anderson; McAllen, Higher Education Center at McAllen, Claraly Pena-Leal; Agriculture and Life Sciences, Molly McCann; Arts and Sciences, Angela McDonald; Libraries, Sandra Olshak; No Aggie Stands Alone


Stress and anxiety are what she’s seeing most in the students who seek her services, Anderson says. Additionally, there are issues common in fields where professionals help others, like education. “Individuals in the helping professions are at increased risk for high levels of exhaustion, compassion fatigue, depleted capacity and secondary traumatic stress, all of which could lead to burnout,” she said.

LPC-S Angela McDonald is embedded in the College of Arts and Sciences, operating out of the Academic Building. She said she’s excited to be serving a college student population, as well as administrative leaders, to improve mental health and well-being. Read more from McDonald and college leaders on their support efforts.

The full roster of embedded counselors, as of this date, are:

Additionally, UHS officials say an embedded office is in the search phase for the School of Dentistry in Dallas.

Need Support Now?

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Media contact: Lesley Henton,

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