During your time as a student, you may experience challenges or encounter situations that affect many aspects of your life, including your academic studies. As a Penn State World Campus student, you have access to an assortment of valuable mental health resources and services. If you are experiencing personal circumstances that feel overwhelming — such as relationship difficulties, burnout, or other stressors — you can seek help from Mental Health Services at Penn State World Campus.
You may choose to begin exploring our services by scheduling a consultation appointment with a Mental Health Advocate, who can offer guidance and advice on how to proceed, or provide referrals to helpful services. Your questions or concerns may range from inquiries about your own challenges or symptoms, or concerns about loved ones who need your help.
Often during times of stress, it can be helpful just to have someone to whom you can talk about issues and concerns. Supportive listening provides a safe space for you to process life events that cause (or have caused) anxiety or other negative emotions. The therapeutic benefits of this service may be all that you might require, while in other cases listening is just part of a larger overall plan involving referrals or other services.
Crisis Text Line: text 'LIONS' to 741741
You can reach out for help via text with this text-based national support system. This service is similar to a national crisis hotline, except that communications are handled by text. Crisis Text Line will direct callers to local resources and can use geo-location identification services to locate callers and initiate an "active rescue" if needed during a crisis.
Penn State CrisisLine: 877-229-6400
This 24/7 hotline is live and available to all Penn State students and their supporters residing in the U.S. Callers will speak with a licensed mental health provider who will assess the student/situation and then connect the caller with appropriate services. Students will be encouraged to call this line directly for support, but anyone who is concerned about a student (faculty, staff, peer, parent, etc.) can also call the line to seek support and advice 24/7.
If you are in need of a more fully formed plan, you may want to consider case management with our Mental Health Advocate. Case management involves a holistic evaluation of your mental health needs, which can inform the development of a comprehensive plan that integrates relevant services. Our Mental Health Advocate works to help you identify the main stressors triggering your symptoms or leading to negative effects. The Mental Health Advocate can then suggest resources that may be helpful and may include (for example), a referral to a local therapist, or exploring ways that our career services may help you search for less stressful employment.
Meet the Penn State World Campus Mental Health Advocate and Case Manager
In her role as Mental Health Advocate and case manager, Nadiya Tucker provides mental health services and training to World Campus students, faculty, and staff, in partnership with World Campus and University Park Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).
Nadiya’s experience in the field includes coordinating mental health services for Penn State students at a residential campus, where she was responsible for program planning, facilitating a referral system for students displaying signs of distress, and co-chairing a mental health advisory board.
How the process works
If you are ready to explore our available mental health services, you can begin by completing the CAPS web form. You can also call CAPS directly at 1-814-863-0395 and identify yourself as a Penn State World Campus student.
Community resources referral
A primary goal of our mental health staff is to connect you to resources — including programs and services — that may be available right in your local community. Many agencies provide beneficial services such as consultation and case management, and may be located within traveling distance.
- Office of Vocational Rehabilitation
- Department of Health and Human Services
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
If you are serving as a caregiver to another individual, such as an aging relative, you may have specific stressors or unique challenges. Let our mental health staff know immediately if you require caregiver support and your resource plan can be tailored to your specific needs.
An important note about confidentiality
Staff members of CAPS and Penn State World Campus Mental Health Services follow all professional standards, and abide by state and federal laws. Information shared with the Mental Health Advocate is held in the strictest confidence consistent with professional and ethical standards and state and federal law. Our mental health staff will not release information or discuss your situation with anyone else without your signed consent except in rare instances where sharing is required by law (such as to save a human life, to report child sexual abuse, or to comply with a court order).
Mental Health Resources
While our staff and services are available to you at any time during your education, you may wish to explore other options on your own, including self-help resources or presentations to increase your awareness.
Online mental health screenings
Confidential online screenings for a sampling of mental health concerns are available through the Penn State CAPS website. Screenings take only a few minutes, and results are immediate. No identifying information is collected, but you may opt to share your results with a mental health professional or service provider for further evaluation. Screenings may help identify concerns with:
- Bipolar disorder
- Alcohol problems
- Eating disorders
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
If you are suffering from anxiety and depression, you can use WellTrack to gain help through basic education and facilitated insight/self-understanding. Students can sign up via student affairs, complete a self-assessment, and then participate in interactive programs designed to address symptoms of depression and anxiety, while also building coping and resilience. WellTrack includes companion iOS and Android phone apps that can help you track your moods and gain insight on a day-to-day basis.
Mental health events and programming
Several mental health awareness programs for Penn State World Campus students are scheduled throughout the year. Consider joining us for one of these events. New programming will be presented on an ongoing basis. Check the event calendar for details.
Student groups, faculty, or staff who wish to learn more about a specific mental health topic may request that a presentation be scheduled. Please contact Nadiya Tucker by calling 814-863-0395 with requests.