The threat of a deadly virus, virtual classes, isolation. In these trying times, it’s especially difficult to be a college student.

Which is why the University of Utah College of Engineering has employed an in-house mental health counselor to help you navigate through what is sure to be a challenging school year.

Jiabao Gao, LMHC, LPC, CMHC, (pictured, right) is a highly trained counselor and therapist who has worked at Tsinghua University in Beijing, the Philadelphia School of Psychoanalysis, Aspire Health Alliance, and the University of Pennsylvania. He has a Master of Arts in Psychology and a Master of Science in Counseling.

Gao now provides services including brief individual and couple counseling, support group/group therapy, drop-in consultation, workshop/outreach, and assistance with referrals. He can meet with students who are suffering from a variety of issues such as anxiety, depression, academic concerns, self-esteem, social anxiety, and loneliness.

“I value acceptance, compassion, and collaboration in my work.,” he says. “I tailor my approach to meet individual needs from a person-centered, strength-based, and relational perspective to support students with skills, strategies, and solutions.”

Due to the pandemic, all services will be conducted through HIPPA-compliant Zoom sessions. He has virtual drop-in hours every Wednesday from 3:30-4:30 PM. To set an appointment and obtain a Zoom link, contact Gao at 801-581-6826 or

The Mindfulness Center at The University of Utah Counseling Center also provides additional mental health resources. Click here to learn more. Or you can contact them at 801-581-6826, Monday – Friday, 8 AM – 5 PM, or 801-587-3000 to reach the after-hours UNI CrisisLine.

Finally, for academic counseling, click here to see a list of the academic advisors for the college and each engineering department.