Health, Counseling, Wellbeing, and Safety
Health and Wellness Support Services Fee
By paying an annual Health and Wellness Support Services Fee, all students gain access to the Student Health Services, Rice Counseling Center, the Student Wellbeing Office, and the SAFE Office. Detailed information on the care and services each provide is available from these centers. The Health and Wellness Support Services Fee is a required fee for all enrolled students, except those in "away" status. See Tuition, Fees and Expenses for more information.
Student Health Services
Student Health Services, an outpatient medical clinic, is located in the Morton L. Rich Health Center. The clinic is staffed by primary care physicians, nurses, and ancillary support staff. More information can be found at https://health.rice.edu.
Clinic hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, during fall and spring semesters. For after-hours and weekend medical care, students may choose among a number of local clinics and hospitals (guidance on self-care as well as local healthcare options can be found on the website). The clinic is open full-time from the first day of Orientation Week until the day before commencement. It is closed during Thanksgiving and the winter recess. The clinic also is open for reduced hours during the summer months. Visits to the clinic are covered by the services fee, however, students must pay for all medical care outside the clinic’s purview, including blood tests, x-rays, and outside physician consultations. Should such medical care be necessary, students are urged to review their insurance coverage and pick the best available option.
Care at the clinic is arranged through appointment at 713-348-4966. In emergencies, students should call the Rice University Police Department at 713-348-6000. This number also reaches Rice Emergency Medical Services (REMS), which provides emergency care on campus.
The Student Health Service provides the following:
- Medical care for illness and injury with referrals to specialists when needed
- Maintenance of health records for all students
- Immunizations and other preventive services
- General information for all students
- Contraceptive counseling and routine Pap smears
- Physical examinations
Confidentiality for Health Services
The Student Health Service physician–patient relationship is a confidential one. Medical records will be released only on receipt of written authorization from the student or as required by law or when the patient poses a significant risk to herself or himself or another person. Physicians with Student Health Services are considered confidential employees under Title IX, meaning that should a student wish to speak about domestic or sexual violence or stalking with a physician, the student's information is confidential and will not be released without their expressed written consent. The only exception to this is for students under the age of 18, whose information can be shared with their parents or guardians in certain circumstances.
All registered students are required to maintain health insurance coverage while enrolled at Rice University with the exception of visiting students, auditors, students enrolled in the Glasscock School of Continuing Studies (excluding full-time MAT for new teachers) and all students enrolled in online or hybrid programs.
Students are required to either enroll in the Rice student health insurance plan administered by Aetna Student Health, or complete an online required waiver application demonstrating comparable insurance coverage. Every eligible student will have the insurance premium fee placed on their account until they have actively enrolled in insurance coverage or submitted a waiver. The student's tuition bill will be updated based on successful completion of enrollment or their demonstration of comparable insurance coverage is approved. Insurance and waiver information, as well as specific dates for enrolling, frequently asked questions, and more can be found on the Rice Student Insurance website: https://studenthealthinsurance.rice.edu.
The fall student insurance open enrollment period will begin on July 1, 2023, and end on August 31, 2023. The spring student insurance open enrollment period will begin on December 1, 2023, and end on January 15, 2024. Please note that students have until August 31, 2023, (Fall) or January 15, 2024, (Spring) to remove the student insurance charge by submitting a successful waiver application. All students who have not taken action to enroll in or waive coverage by the open enrollment deadlines will be automatically enrolled in the student insurance annual plan. The premium amount will not be prorated. Once enrolled in coverage, students are unable to cancel coverage for any reason. Please note the automatic enrollment process does require additional processing time. You may have to pay out of pocket for medical services until your enrollment has been processed. Once processed, you will be able to file a claim for reimbursement. To avoid this inconvenience, please submit your enrollment application online as early as possible.
For questions concerning the Rice plan, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (713) 348-5544.
NOTE: Students may enroll in an annual plan or by semester only. If you waive coverage in the fall open enrollment period, you are still expected to have insurance coverage for the spring. If you enroll in the fall only plan, you may enroll or submit a waiver for the spring semester plan. If you are auto-enrolled in the fall, you will be enrolled in the annual plan and will not be able to waive spring coverage. If you experience a qualifying life event and need to enroll in coverage mid-year, please email email@example.com.
International students that have an F1 or J1 visa are subject to the Rice University International Student Health Insurance Policy. For more information on the policy, the approved alternate insurance option through Wellfleet as well as the enrollment application and rate information, please visit the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) website.
Wellbeing and Counseling Center Services
Center Contact Information
The Wellbeing and Counseling Center provides confidential counseling treatment as well as wellbeing case management services for graduate and undergraduate students. The Center also provides mental health and wellbeing related education for the student body. The Wellbeing and Counseling Center is located in the Barbara and David Gibbs Recreation and Wellness Center. The Center is open Monday - Friday from 9:00a.m. to 5:00p.m. Walk-ins are available during business hours. For appointments contact the Wellbeing and Counseling Center at 713-348-3311 (24/7) or visit https://wellbeing.rice.edu/ for more information. In emergencies, students should call the Rice University Police Department at 713-348-6000.
Rice Counseling Center
The Rice Counseling Center (RCC) addresses students’ psychological needs with various programs and services. Services are confidential. Student information is not released to anyone without the student's written consent. There are no costs for Counseling Center services.
Typically, students who use the counseling services bring with them very common concerns: roommate problems, breakup of a relationship, academic and/or interpersonal anxiety, family problems, difficulties adjusting to Rice, or confusion about personal goals, values, and identity. Counselors are equipped to handle a variety of issues, including substance use, eating concerns, sexual assault and relationship violence, depression, and the coming-out process. Rice Counseling Center offers both individual and group counseling, as well as educational workshops and programs.
When students need long term or specialized counseling or treatment, counselors refer them to an outside provider. The students, or their health insurance, must pick up these costs. All students who have paid the Health and Wellness Support Services Fee are eligible for initial assessment sessions, consultations, crisis intervention, and educational programming. Individual or group counseling may also be available, if appropriate.
Students who have worked with a mental health professional prior to enrolling at Rice are encouraged to make contact with the Rice Counseling Center prior to coming to Rice. This will allow the student to make arrangements for a continued care plan. This plan may involve working with the Rice Counseling Center or working with the center to find a suitable off-campus provider.
The Rice Counseling Center can be contacted at 713-348-3311 or at https://wellbeing.rice.edu/. The Rice Counseling Center provides the following services:
- Psychological crisis intervention, on a walk-in emergency basis during regular office hours, or by phone at any time, 24 hours a day, by calling 713-348-3311. This includes after hours and weekends.
- Initial intake to assess needs and assignment to an appropriate level of care
- Short-term individual and couples counseling
- Group therapy and support groups
- Medication consultations with the center’s psychiatrist for students in counseling at the center
- Other consultations (e.g., how to make a referral or how to respond to a friend in distress)
- Educational programming (e.g., various presentations on mental health issues)
Confidentiality for Counseling
Rice Counseling Center services are confidential; information about a student is not released without the student’s written consent. Before entering a therapeutic relationship with a counselor, students may review and discuss confidentiality with their counselor, ask all necessary questions, and be certain they understand how confidentiality will be applied in their case. As detailed in RCC’s treatment agreements, state law does not extend confidentiality to several circumstances, including where:
- there is risk of imminent harm to the student or others;
- the counselor has reason to believe that a child or an elderly or handicapped person is, or is in danger of, being abused or neglected;
- a court order is issued to release information; or
- the counselor suspects that the student has been the victim of sexual exploitation by a former health care provider during the course of treatment with that provider.
In addition, RCC sometimes provides de-identified information to administrative officials who are in a need-to-know capacity. In some cases the terms of the treatment engagement with RCC may require a student to share assessments, diagnoses, or treatment plans from non-Rice treating professionals with Rice counselors.
Therapists with Rice Counseling Center are considered “confidential” employees under Title IX, meaning that should a student wish to speak about domestic or sexual violence or stalking with their therapist, their information is confidential and will not be released without the student's written consent. The only exception to this is for students under the age of 18, whose information may be released to their parents in some circumstances.
Student Wellbeing Office
The Student Wellbeing Office provides wellbeing advising, case management and educational outreach programs to support students who have experienced wellbeing challenges that may be impacting their personal or academic goals and overall success at Rice. Students talk to a wellbeing advisor about solutions to their wellbeing concerns such as conflicts in relationships, difficulty in making decisions, struggling with identity, stress management or problems that are more serious in nature. If students decide to take time off to focus on their wellbeing needs, Wellbeing advisors work with them and serve as liaisons to the medical readmission process when students are ready to return.
The SAFE Office: Interpersonal Misconduct Prevention and Support
Rice encourages any student who has experienced an incident of sexual, relationship, or another form of interpersonal violence, harassment, or gender discrimination to seek support. There are many options available both on and off campus for all students, regardless of whether the perpetrator was a fellow student, a staff or faculty member, or someone unaffiliated with the university. Through the SAFE Office, students have access to a resource navigator who will assist them in determining the best path for them. Furthermore, students who have been accused of committing interpersonal violence or harassment can also seek support under Title IX through the SAFE Office.
Students should be aware, when seeking support on campus, that most employees are deemed "responsible," and thus are required by Title IX to disclose all incidents of non-consensual interpersonal behaviors to Title IX professionals on campus who can act to support that student and meet their needs. Rice prioritizes student privacy and safety, and only shares disclosed information on a need-to-know basis. The SAFE Office will reach out to the student and offer services, and it is up to the student as to whether they want to engage in services and what level of support they choose. Students can receive a variety of services through the SAFE Office, including emotional support, education, various accommodations, safety planning assistance, information on reporting and other intervention options, accompaniments to appointments, and referrals to on and off campus resources. If a student is in need of a sexual assault forensic exam, they can call the 24-hour number provided below and the SAFE Office can guide the student and accompany them if they would like.
The therapists at the Rice Counseling Center and the doctors at Student Health Services are "confidential" employees, meaning that Rice Title IX staff will not be informed about the incident if a student discloses it to one of these staff members.
The SAFE Office is located in the Morton L. Rich Health Center. The office is open Monday - Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Walk-ins are welcomed during business hours. For more information, including how to access the SAFE Office, please call 713-348-3311 (24/7), visit https://safe.rice.edu or email firstname.lastname@example.org. In emergencies, students should call the Rice University Police Department at 713-348-6000.