Counseling and Testing Services (CTS) provides crisis intervention for USA students experiencing mental health emergencies such as psychological trauma or thoughts of seriously harming self or others.
Accessing Help for Yourself
- If a medical emergency occurs, call 911.
- For emergency mental health assistance during our normal office hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday), you may be seen as a walk-in appointment at Alpha Hall East, Room 326 or you can call our office at (251) 460-7051.
- During non-business hours, contact the University Police at (251) 460-6312 and they will notify the on-call counselor as appropriate.
- Other area resources for mental health emergencies include:a) USA Psychological Clinic – (251) 460-7149b) USA Student Health Center – (251) 460-7151c) Nearest hospital emergency roomd) Care Pointe (AltaPointe’s crisis line) – (251) 450-2211
Concerned about Someone Else
The professional staff of Counseling and Testing Services is available to consult with faculty, staff, and students regarding the psychological welfare of particular students. Please click here for more information on consultation.
- If you have a serious concern about the mental health of another USA student, assuming
it is during business hours, you can offer to walk the student over to the Counseling
and Testing Services office.
- Upon arriving, inform the secretary that the situation is considered to be of an urgent nature. Efforts will be made to have the person seen as soon as possible.
- If the person is unwilling to go to Counseling and Testing or it is after business hours, you can contact University Police at (251) 460-6312, 911, or have the person go to the nearest hospital emergency room. See below for further information.
- If you are concerned about another student and there's a/an
- Immediate Threat: CALL 911
- If you have serious concerns that they are an immediate threat to self or others or possible future threat to others, CALL 911. If you are not with the student, ask for the police to do a welfare check and speak directly to your concerns. Campus police will do this for on campus students and local law enforcement will do this for off campus students.
- Examples of immediate threat include:
- Has a weapon or is threatening to harm self, or jump off building
- Threatens or attempts to harm others
- Reports taking overdose of medication
- Worried about violence of any kind
- Intoxicated/high and suicidal
- Cannot commit to safety
- Possible Threat of Harm
- If it is not clear that they are an immediate threat to self but they are having thoughts of harming themselves, they will need to be evaluated further. You may contact campus police, local law enforcement, or the nearest emergency room.
- All USA students are eligible for emergency assessments at CTS. During office hours (M-F, 8-5), we can provide assessments in our office located in Alpha Hall East, room 326. Call (251) 460-7051 and have the student request an emergency appointment. Have them be clear that they have concerns about hurting themselves. Walk with them to the center if you can, to make sure that they get there safely. If the person is unwilling to go to Counseling and Testing or it is after business hours, you can contact University Police at (251) 460-6312 or 911.
- Serious Ongoing Concerns
- If the student displays any warning signs but clearly denies thoughts of harm and/or
there are long-term concerns such as cutting, an eating disorder, or increasing alcohol
- Refer them to Counseling & Testing Services. Depending on how concerned you are, offer to call with them and put them on the phone to make the appointment. Call (251) 460-7051 or come to our office Alpha Hall East.
- Refer them to the Behavioral Assessment Team by contacting the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students.
- If the student displays any warning signs but clearly denies thoughts of harm and/or there are long-term concerns such as cutting, an eating disorder, or increasing alcohol use:
- May Benefit from Help, But no Serious Concerns
- Refer them to Counseling & Testing Services. Depending on how concerned you are, offer to call with them and put them on the phone to make the appointment. Call (251) 460-7051 or come to our office Alpha Hall East during office hours.
- Call Counseling & Testing Services (460-7051) and ask to consult with a counselor.
Suicide Warning Signs
It is not possible to list all of the potential warning signs that may suggest that a person may be thinking about harming themselves. The following list identifies some behaviors/symptoms to look for:
- Talking about suicide: A person may make direct statements such as “I want to kill myself” or indirect statements such as “This world would be a better place without me.”
- Changes in behavior/mood: Significant increase or decrease in sleep, significant increase or decrease in eating, decreased interest and participation in activities, a significant decrease in academic performance, increased engagement in impulsive risk-taking behavior, decrease in mood, or a sudden marked increase in mood.
- Feelings of hopelessness: The person conveys the belief that things will never get better.
- Preparations for death: Purchase of or possession of the means to kill oneself, giving away one’s possessions or writing a will.
- Recent experience of loss: The recent death of a family member or close friend, the recent loss of anything of significance to a person, such as loss of a job or ending of a relationship.
- Alcohol and other drug abuse: This is particularly of concern when a person has a tendency toward impulsive behavior when under the influence of these substances.
- History of previous suicide attempts: The attempt may have been made by the individual or there may be a history of others in their lives having committed suicide.
- For more information on suicide and suicide prevention, visit ULifeline.org
Caution about E-mail and Social Media
- For emergency situations, do NOT contact Counseling & Testing Services via e-mail, Facebook or any other form of social media. We cannot guarantee a prompt response to e-mail, Facebook or other social media message nor can we ensure confidentiality.