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Helping Yourself

Appointments at the Counseling Service

To schedule an appointment with one of our counselors, call our office number at (845) 437-5700 on weekdays between 9:00am and 4:30pm and speak with our administrative assistant. Appointments are available to currently enrolled students and are generally scheduled within a few days of the request. If you are experiencing a mental health emergency or crisis, please follow the guidelines below.

Mental Health Emergency

A mental health emergency is a life threatening situation in which an individual is in imminent danger of harming oneself or others, severely disoriented, out of touch with reality, is unable to function, severely distraught, or out of control. Examples include situations when someone is:

  • Threatening suicide or acting on a suicide threat

  • Homicidal or threatening harm to others 

  • Already injured and needs medical attention 

  • Severely impaired by drugs or alcohol or has overdosed 

  • Highly erratic or behaving in a way that suggests an inability to care for oneself

Who to call in a Mental Health Emergency

  • Vassar College Campus Response Center (CRC) – 845-437-7333

  • Police, Fire, Ambulance – 911

Mental Health Crisis

A mental health crisis is a non-life threatening situation in which an individual is exhibiting extreme emotional or behavioral disturbance, considering harm to self or others, disoriented or out of touch with reality, has a compromised ability to function, or is otherwise agitated and unable to be calmed. Examples include situations when someone is:

  • Talking about suicide or self-harm
  • Talking about threatening or dangerous behavior 
  • Injured but not needing immediate medical attention 
  • Currently abusing alcohol or drugs 
  • Behaving erratically or unusually 
  • Not taking their prescribed psychiatric medications 
  • Emotionally distraught, very depressed, or anxious and panicking

Suggestions for what to do in a Mental Health Crisis

On weekdays from 9:00am to 4:30pm

  • Contact Vassar College Counseling Service at (845) 437-5700. VCCS counselors provide crisis intervention for students who are experiencing a mental health crisis. During normal working hours, members of the Vassar community may contact the Counseling Service to request a brief meeting with a counselor to discuss urgent situations. Please indicate to our administrative assistant that you need to speak to the Crisis Counselor.

After hours and weekends

  • Contact ProtoCall Counselor on Call, (845) 437-7333. When residence houses are open, the ProtoCall Counselor on Call is available during evenings and weekends to assist in mental health crisis situations. Call the Campus Response Center and ask to speak to the ProtoCall Counselor on Call.  ProtoCall is an off-site provider for mental health support and all calls are answered by a Masters or Ph.D/Psy.D. level mental health professional. Vassar College Counselors provide back-up support to ProtoCall services. 

Community resources

Mental health professionals are available at all times for crisis intervention, telephone counseling, information, and referrals.
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 800-273-8255
  • Dutchess County Helpline – 845-485-9700 
  • MidHudson Regional Hospital of Westchester Medical Center– 845-431-8892

Sexual Assault

Available resources at Vassar

  • Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) Advocate – call the CRC at (845) 437-7333 and ask to speak to a SART Advocate (24 hour service). SART members are faculty and administrators who are available to provide individual support and information for students who have been or think they have been a victim of sexual assault, relationship abuse, and/or stalking on campus.

  • ProtoCall Counselor on Call – call the CRC at 845-437-7333 and ask to speak to the Counselor on Call.

  • Vassar College Health Services Nurse on Call – call 845-437-5800 on weekdays or 845-437-5807 on weekends

Noncritical Personal Situation

When you are experiencing a noncritical personal situation (i.e., a situation that is not considered a mental health emergency or crisis), consider the following suggestions for gaining additional support.

Suggestions for what to do in a Noncritical Personal Situation

  • Call the Counseling Service during normal business hours to schedule an appointment with a counselor. If the person experiencing a noncritical personal situation is a friend, see our How to Help a Friend page for tips on how to make a referral to counseling. 

  • See our Self-help and Information page for resources and referral information.