Current Students MENU

Mental Health Services

Personal Counseling Services


The staff of Counseling and Academic Support Services appreciates the many pressures that college and everyday life can involve, and we understand that these pressures often impact a person's emotional well-being.  Often times, many of us may not even realize the effects of these stressors until it is too late.  For this reason, it is very important that you make the decision to seek help and allow the members of the counseling center to assist you with overcoming the challenges you face.  Our services include confidential individual and/or couples counseling, and workshops for students with personal, social, academic or career related issues.


Counseling Service Areas

We offer counseling to students in various areas, however, if a topic has not been identified, please feel free to call our office (304) 766-3224 to arrange a consultation.
 

Psychological Illnesses:

  • Depression               
  • Bipolar Disorder                      
  • Anxiety  
  • Eating Disorders  
  • Panic                           
  • Phobias                                   
  • Seasonal Disorder           
  • Personality Disorders             
  • Obsessive-Compulsive

 Addictions:

  • Food     
  • Drugs   
  • Alcohol
  • Gambling
  • Smoking Cessation

 Situational Factors:

  • Bereavement
  • Pregnancy 
  • Single Parenting        
  • Natural Disasters
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Date Rape               
  • Domestic Violence

 Additional Areas:

  • Assertiveness             
  • Self-Esteem            
  • Anger Management
  • Test Anxiety            
  • Studying Tips  
  • Effective Communication
  • Sexual Identity
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Relationships  
  • Healthy Boundaries  
  • Stress Management
  • Job Stress
  • Decision Making 
  • Time Management

 *We have a referral system in place for students requiring a psychiatric consult.


Confidentiality

Any information gathered during counseling will remain confidential and will not be available to sources outside of Counseling and Academic Support Services without your full written consent, except when doing so is necessary to protect clients or someone else from imminent physical and/or life-threatening harm; when a client lacks the capacity or refuses to care for him/herself and such lack of self-care presents substantial threat to his or her well-being; or when the abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a child, elder adult or dependent adult is suspected.

Documentation of all interactions between you and your counselor are securely maintained in the counseling center and remain separate from your student academic records.  WVSU administrators and faculty do not have access to counseling files and these documents are destroyed within 5 years after your last session.  The counseling center is committed to protecting your privacy. 


Counseling Process

Upon initial contact, the counselor will complete an Intake/Psychosocial History in order to fully assess the depth and severity of your issue(s).  At this time, you will be asked to discuss your needs and goals to assist with developing a personalized plan that meets both you and your counselor's expectations.  Students are expected to take an active role in the counseling process in order to receive full benefit.  This requires that you attend all scheduled sessions, canceling for emergencies only, as well as actively working on issues outlined in your treatment program.


Appointments

We recommend that you make an appointment with a Counseling and Academic Support Services staff member to ensure that a counseling professional will be available to discuss your concerns.  You may call (304) 766-3168 or stop by in person at the information desk located on the first floor of Sullivan Hall, East.


Fees

We offer counseling services at no charge to West Virginia State University students.


Referrals

Occasionally a student may be struggling with issues/circumstances that warrant more extensive attention and/or training than we at the counseling center are able to offer.  In these cases, we will gladly make a referral to a qualified professional to assist you.  


Educational Workshops

As a part of our continued efforts to reach all of the student body, we offer several educational workshops to those living in the residence halls, members of student organizations, as well as an integral part of class lectures.  A partial list of topic areas are as follows:

  • Self-Esteem
  • Stress Management
  • Hate Crimes
  • Date Rape
  • Depression 
  • Anger Management
  • Coping Skills 
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Relationships
  • Communication Patterns
  • Emotions
  • Assertiveness Training

 

image-up-arrowimage-down-arrowAsk a Counselor

The "Ask a Counselor a Question" feature is not to be used as a Crisis Hot-Line or to take the place of a counseling session. It is simply to be used for informational purposes and to assist students with referrals to appropriate resources. Please keep in mind that it is not monitored on a 24-hour basis, therefore, we will not be available to respond immediately.


IF THIS IS AN EMERGENCY, PLEASE SEE BELOW FOR AFTER HOURS EMERGENCY INFORMATION OR CALL (304) 766-3168 FOR ASSISTANCE DURING FOR WEEKDAY BUSINESS HOURS.


We will attempt, to the best of our abilities, to keep your question(s) and/or information confidential.  However, there are some circumstances in which we are required by law to break confidentiality and report to the appropriate authorities.  These circumstances include:  actual/potential harm to self or others.  Again, please keep in mind that information sent via email sometimes gets "lost" or accessed by unauthorized individuals, therefore, we cannot be held responsible if other parties gain access to information that is submitted.


PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THAT THE MORE INFORMATION YOU PROVIDE WITH YOUR INQUIRY, THE MORE ACCURATE AND SUITABLE OUR COUNSELOR RESPONSE WILL BE.


To ask the West Virginia State University Mental Health Counselor a question, please email taborro@wvstateu.edu and provide your name, email address, age, gender, and question.  Ms. Tabor will get back to you as quickly as she can.

image-up-arrowimage-down-arrowEmergency Information

The Counseling and Academic Support Services staff members are well aware that a crisis situation may occur at any given moment, even after regular business hours.  Our hours are 8:30 am to 5:00 pm Monday-Friday.  Unfortunately, we are unable to provide 24 hour coverage.  Students living in the Residence Hall should contact a residence hall staff member in the event of a crisis.  If a West Virginia State University residential staff member and/or student advisor is not an option, we suggest the following actions:


Resources

If you are in need of immediate response, please select the appropriate number from the following list in order to speak with a qualified professional:

  • Suicide Prevention - (304) 341-0251
  • Domestic Violence-YWCA - (304) 340-3549
  • Adult/Child Abuse Hotline - 800-352-6513
  • Sexual Assault - (304) 340-3676
  • Alcoholics Anonymous - (304) 342-4315 or 1-800-333-5051
  • WV AIDS/STD Hotline - 1-800-642-8244

You may also contact one of the following agencies directly:

  • Thomas Memorial Hospital - (304) 766-3553 or 1-800-992-3010
  • Prestera - (304) 525-7851 or 1-800-642-3434
  • Highland Hospital - (304) 926-1600 or 1-800-250-3806


In the event that the above information proves insufficient to assist with your concerns, please call the West Virginia State University Office of Public Safety at (304) 766-3353.

image-up-arrowimage-down-arrowMental Health Information

MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES (Both on and off campus)

In the event of a mental health emergency or crisis that affects your safety and well-being or that of another person, please note the following contact information:

If your situation is immediately life-threatening

Please call 911 or get yourself safely to the nearest hospital emergency room (the local hospital ERs are listed below):
  • Thomas Memorial Hospital:  4605 MacCorkle Ave SW, South Charleston; (304) 766-3600
  • CAMC General Hospital: 501 Morris Street, Charleston; (304) 388-5432
  • CAMC Women’s and Children’s Hospital:  800 Pennsylvania Ave., Charleston; (304) 388-5432
  • CAMC Memorial Hospital: 3200 MacCorkle Ave. SE, Charleston, (304) 388-5432
 
DURING REGULAR OFFICE HOURS: WVSU Counseling & Academic Support Services, 1st Floor of Sullivan Hall, East, or call (304) 766-3262.

AFTER HOURS: If you are a Residence Hall student, call Campus Police at (304) 766-3181 or the Director of Residence Life or your RA or RL immediately.

OFF CAMPUS RESOURCES:
  • Prestera Center for Mental Health: 511 Morris Street, Charleston; (304) 399-7776;   www.prestera.org/prestera
  • Highland Hospital: 300 56th St SE, Charleston; (304) 926-1600;  www.highlandhosp.com/
  • Process Strategies:  1418 MacCorkle Ave SW #A, Charleston; (304) 348-1436; www.highlandhosp.com/
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK(8255)


Mental Health Support Apps and Resources

  • ASK & Prevent Suicide: includes warning signs associated with suicidal behavior, what to do, access to crisis lines. Free.
  • Jason Foundation A Friend Asks: how to help a friend who might be thinking of suicide. Provides warning signs, do's and don'ts, and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, etc. Free.
  • MY3-Support Network: stay connected to your network when you are in a time of crisis with MY3. You define your network, and your plan to stay safe. Free.
  • QPRBook: For suicide prevention. A book available in Spanish and English for those thinking about suicide and for those who know, love, and counsel them. (As an alternative, you can also download the book to your computer in pdf or view it online). Free.
  • Spill: Get real about life anonymously. Hear honest opinions from people who can relate. Share your advice with other people in high school, college, graduate school, & beyond. Share stories, advice, encouragement and empathy with one another. Spill has long been available on the web and now has this handy app as well. Free.
  • Virtual Hope Box: It is designed for use by patients and their behavioral health providers as an accessory to treatment. Provides tools to help with coping, relaxation, distraction, emotional regulation, and positive thinking. And you can personalize the content. Free.


Suicide Prevention
Suicide is a leading cause of death among college students. According to the National Institute of Mental Health the strongest factors for suicide in this age group are depression, substance abuse, and aggressive behavior. The best way to prevent suicide is to be aware of some of the common warning signs. Although some suicides do occur without warning, most people will show some outward signs. Recognize when someone is suicidal but importantly, be aware of the first signs of trouble. 

Potential Warning Signs of Suicide

  • They may talk about suicide and sounding helpless and hopeless
  • They may prepare for their death by making a will, giving away possessions, or by saying good-bye
  • Persistent sadness that seems excessive given the person's life situation
  • Inability or unwillingness to communicate with others
  • Psychological changes such as irritability, anxiety or withdrawal
  • Neglect of school work, personal grooming or other routine tasks
  • Changes in physical health such as changes in sleep habits, appetite, weight, or energy level
  • Changes in social behavior such as inability to enjoy usual social activities, sudden and severe change in drug or alcohol use
  • Personal crises and major losses or rejections
  • Preoccupation with death or preparation for death
  • Gains access to guns, pills, knives, etc.
None of these signs alone may necessarily indicate suicidal potential or even depression, but several indicators, particularly if they indicate a change from the person's usual mood and style of coping, deserve close attention.

Risk Factors for Suicide

  • Mental disorders, particularly mood disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders and certain personality disorders
  • Alcohol and other substance use disorders
  • Hopelessness
  • Impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies
  • History of trauma or abuse
  • Major physical illnesses
  • Previous suicide attempt
  • Family history of suicide
  • Job or financial loss
  • Loss of relationship
  • Easy access to lethal means
  • Local clusters of suicide
  • Lack of social support and sense of isolation
  • Stigma associated with asking for help
  • Lack of health care, especially mental health and substance abuse treatment

Protective Factors for Suicide

  • Effective clinical care for mental, physical and substance use disorders
  • Easy access to a variety of clinical interventions
  • Restricted access to highly lethal means of suicide
  • Strong connections to family and community support
  • Support through ongoing medical and mental health care relationships
  • Skills in problem solving, conflict resolution and handling problems in a non-violent way
  • Cultural and religious beliefs that discourage suicide and support self-preservation
 

How to Talk with Someone Who is Suicidal

Talking to and reaching out to a person who is suicidal is an important action to take to help. This takes courage and compassion. Although our society often emphasizes on privacy of individuals, it is important to intervene if an individual appears to be severely depressed and presents with suicidal thoughts or gestures. Here are some suggestions on how to approach someone who may be dangerously depressed:
  • Choose a private location to address the person. Tell him/her that you are aware and have noticed some changes in her/his behavior. You can then ask if there is any way you can help.
  • Directly ask the individual if he or she is thinking about suicide or about harming themselves. Tell the person you have noticed a change in his/her behavior. Ask how you can help.
  • Allow the person to talk and be heard; don't try to "make it all better."
  • Don't argue about whether he/she should live or die. Instead, try to listen patiently to feelings.
  • Take every suicidal act, threat, or comment seriously.
  • Express your concern.
  • Encourage the person to seek professional help; provide phone numbers of the Counseling & Academic Support Services, crisis lines, and the emergency room.
  • If the individual refuses to get help, call or visit Counseling & Academic Support Services yourself for support and consultation. 

Learn more about Suicide Prevention

Suicide is a sensitive, difficult topic to address, and unfortunately for much of our society, it is still taboo to talk about it. Suicide is a preventable tragedy for college students. The importance of education about depression, substance abuse, and other suicide risk factors can save lives.

One effective suicide prevention program is QPR. QPR stands for: Question, Persuade, and Refer - 3 simple steps that anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to get the help they need. With QPR training, you can learn how to save the life of a student, friend, colleague, family member, or neighbor.
  • Presented by a certified QPR instructor, training includes information on:
  • Common myths and facts associated with suicide
  • Warning signs of suicide
  • Tips for asking the suicide question
  • Methods for persuading suicidal individuals to get help
  • Ways of referring at risk people to local resources
  • AND time for Questions and Answers

For more information on QPR, or to schedule a QPR training session, contact Robin Tabor at (304) 766-3168 or taborro@wvstateu.edu.

KOGNITO: In partnership with Prevent Suicide WV, WVSU students, staff and faculty can access four online, interactive, and research-proven training simulations are designed to educate about best practices in supporting students who struggle with psychological distress including depression and suicidal ideation, and student veterans who are facing challenges in adjusting to college life.

Each training takes 30-60 minutes to complete and is structured as a virtual practice environment where users learn by engaging in interactive role-play conversations with emotionally responsive student avatars.  Training modules include:

At-Risk for Faculty & Staff teaches users to identify, approach and connect students to campus support services. The program facilitates student retention, academic performance, and the overall safety of students, faculty, and the entire campus community. 

At-Risk for Students shows students how to have challenging conversations with friends and peers around mental health and how to motivate them to seek help from campus support services. This program is included in the SAMHSA National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP).

Veterans on Campus for Faculty & Staff helps faculty and staff in understanding the needs, experiences and cultural issues affecting student veterans as they transition to college life. This program also teaches users how to recognize signs of distress and connect veterans to appropriate campus resources. 

Veterans on Campus: Peer to Peer is a mentoring program for fellow veterans on campus. In this program, users engage in conversations with virtual students to address issues that might arise while transitioning to college life and gain skills in supporting and referring fellow veterans to appropriate support resources.

To login go to: www.kognito.com/wv
Create a New Account
Follow the on-screen instructions
Choose your course and click “LAUNCH”


Depression
DEPRESSION
 
In any given year, 9.5 percent of the population, or about 18.8 million American adults, suffer from a depressive illness. Depression does not discriminate. It affects men, women, and children of all ages and all cultural and economic backgrounds.  Depression is a common but serious illness. It can interfere with daily life and affect work, school, and relationships. Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months, or years. Many people with a depressive illness can be helped.

What is a depressive disorder?

A depressive disorder is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts. It affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one thinks about things. Scientists agree that depression is an illness of the brain, but its exact causes are not always clear. In fact, several factors, alone or in combination, can bring about the specific changes in brain chemistry that can lead to the many symptoms of depression. These factors can include genetics, changes in hormone levels, stress, grief, or dealing with substance use disorders or other medical conditions. A depressive disorder is not the same as a passing blue mood. It is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be willed or wished away.

Symptoms of Depression

Not everyone who is depressed experiences every symptom. Some people experience a few symptoms, some many. Severity of symptoms varies with individuals and also varies over time.

·         Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" mood
·         Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
·         Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
·         Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
·         Decreased energy, fatigue, being "slowed down"
·         Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
·         Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
·         Appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain
·         Thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts
·         Restlessness, irritability
·         Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain

Everyone goes through periods of sadness and experiences at least some of these symptoms from time to time, but it does not always mean that a person has clinical depression. When making a diagnosis of depression, healthcare providers look for clusters of symptoms lasting more than two weeks that affect a person’s daily life.

Treating Depression

Safe and effective treatments for depression are available. Many people can improve with treatment, even those with severe depression. Treatment is most effective if depression is detected early and treatment is begun early. The most common treatments are medication and talk therapy (psychotherapy). For many people, the best treatment is a combination of these. Improving nutrition, sleep, and physical exercise and not misusing alcohol or other drugs can also help reduce the symptoms of depression. The support of family and friends can also be very important for recovery. It may take several tries to come up with the treatment plan that works best for each individual, and treatments that seem to be working should be monitored and adjusted if needed.


Anxiety
Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress, but it can become an issue when it results in obsessive thoughts, excessive worrying, or uncontrollable fears about everyday events.  Often people who experience anxiety also have depression.  Similar to depression, inherited characteristics, brain chemistry, and environmental factors, such as stressful life events, may all play a role in bringing about an episode of anxiety. Anxiety can be treated successfully through medication, counseling, or both.

Major types of types of anxiety discorders include:
  • Panic Disorder is characterized by unexpected, repeated episodes of intense fear, accompanied by physical symptoms such as a rapid heart rate, dizziness, or sweating.
  • Social Phobia or Social Anxiety Disorder is characterized by intense, persistent anxiety and self-consciousness that arise in everyday social situations, or even just in anticipating those situations.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is characterized by recurrent, intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and/or the compulsion to engage in certain repetitive behaviors or rituals.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can develop after a terrifying ordeal that involved real or threatened physical harm.
  • Specific Phobia refers to fear of specific objects or situations, and the when those objects or situations.  The primary symptom of phobia is avoidance.
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) involves chronic, excessive worrying about everyday matters.  People with GAD often have fatigue, restlessness, insomnia, irritability, and poor concentration.
With early treatment, it is possible that anxiety disorders may be better controlled and less likely to contribute to depression later in life.
image-up-arrowimage-down-arrowOnline Mental Health Screening
ULifeline is an anonymous, confidential, online resource center, where college students can be comfortable searching for the information they need and want regarding mental health and suicide prevention.

Information available on ULifeline includes:

o    Alcohol/Drugs
o    Anxiety
o    Bipolar Disorder
o    Cutting
o    Depression
o    Eating Disorders
o    Loss and Grief
o    Stress
o    Suicide

Statistics of college students and metal health concerns
Online Mental Health Screening tools 
Fact Sheets
Info on How to Help a Friend
Suicide Prevention
Online mental health resources


Additional mental health information can be found here to access a variety of online screening tools, which can help you informally identify any issues, struggles, or challenges you might need assistance with.  After you complete one or more assessments, please do not hesitate to contact the West Virginia State University's Mental Health Counselor to discuss the results.

image-up-arrowimage-down-arrowPeer Educators

Peer Educators


The “CHOICES” Peer Education group was created in August 2002 as an answer to the increasing drinking problems among student athletes.  Under a grant awarded from the NCAA “CHOICES” program, the student organization was developed as a means to both recruit and educate student athletes on campus.  As the group has increased in both number and presence on campus, the peer educators have incorporated a broader focus to include campus-wide education.


EDUCATIONAL PRESENTATIONS


The peer educators host a variety of educational presentations every semester.  The topics of focus include Alcohol Awareness, Tobacco Prevention, Mental Health Wellness, Safer Sex, and Violence Prevention.  Most recently, as student interest has increased, “CHOICES” has added fitness, nutrition and sleep to their programming efforts as well.  Many of the programs are offered in conjunction with other national awareness weeks, however, the peer educators are often asked by faculty to serve as guest speakers or are incorporated into residence hall meetings.  One very important goal of our group is to make sure the presentations are exciting, innovative and fun.


ALTERNATIVE SOCIAL ACTIVITIES


Research has indicated that a large number of college students report engaging in unhealthy behaviors such as drinking because, “There’s nothing else to do”.  Our members attempt to provide alternative, non-alcoholic activities for students to take part in.  In the past, “CHOICES” Peer Educators have hosted spades tournaments, tailgating cook-outs, up-all-night dance parties, and gaming contests.  We are always looking for new ways to get students involved.


AWARENESS CAMPAIGNS


“CHOICES” is affiliated with the BACCHUS Peer Education Network and as such, participates in several national campaigns.  In October, we are involved with” National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week” and host “Safe Spring Break” during March.  We also participate in “Sexual Responsibilities Week”, “The Great American Smokeout”, and “Threw with Chew” weeks.  Our peer educators have created numerous interactive and unique programs over the past years awarding them both regional and national attention.  “CHOICES” has had 3 students selected as “Outstanding Peer Educators”, the group has received “Best Safe Spring Break” programming award, “Outstanding Program” and “Outstanding Affiliate” two separate times.  In addition, they have been selected as the “Outstanding Student Organization” by WVSU’s Student Government Association in 2005 and again in 2011.


BECOMING A MEMBER


“CHOICES” Peer Educators are student leaders that have been trained and certified nationally through the BACCHUS Network Peer Education Certification Program.  College students interested in becoming a certified peer educator must enroll in Education 110-Peer Education class.  This class offers 3 college credit hours and may be used as an elective regardless of your major.  Once certified, the student will deliver formal educational presentations in a variety of settings including academic classrooms, athletic team meetings, campus organizational meetings, new student orientations and residence hall workshops.  In addition, they may also have the opportunity to receive additional training and present programs at other venues including regional and national conferences.

image-up-arrowimage-down-arrowResources & Links

MENTAL HEALTH:


Anxiety Disorders Association of America
Pursue resources on various forms of anxiety conditions, or browse comments on the message board.
www.adaa.org


Campus Blues
Information to assist college students with various issues such as academic problems, study skills, time management, gambling, smoking, anxiety attacks, sexual assault…www.campusblues.com


Encyclopedia of Mental Health
Describes specific disorders, treatment and recent research.
www.mentalhealth.com


Mental Wellness
Gives lifestyle tips and connects to a free counseling service for sufferers from schizophrenia.  Also defines common mental health terms.
www.mentalwellness.com


National Alliance for the Mentally Ill
Advice from NAMI, a mental health consumer group, offers news, book reviews and updates on drugs.
www.nami.org


National Depression and Manic-Depressive Association
NDMDA offers an explanation of depression and manic-depression, also known as bipolar disorder, as well as an overview of treatments, resources, and local contacts.
www.ndmda.org


National Mental Health Association
Search for helpful information on a variety of mental health topics.  Browse news and events.
www.nmha.org


Rx-List Internet Drug Index
Search this index by keyword or imprint codes for over 4,000 drugs and their side effects with updated statistics and links.
www.rxlist.com

 

ALCOHOL ABUSE:


Alcoholics Anonymous
Founded in 1935, this fellowship has assisted more than 2 million people with alcohol problems.  Site provides contact and meeting information.
www.aa.org


National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence
NCADD provides education and advice in the fight against alcoholism and other drug addictions.
www.ncadd.org


National Institute of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse
NIAAA is dedicated to providing alcohol and alcoholism information.  Includes a related database and links.
www.niaaa.nih.gov

WVSU Current Students Mental Health Services

Kellie Toledo

(304) 766-3168
toledoke@wvstateu.edu

Robin Tabor
(304) 766-3224
taborro@wvstateu.edu
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