Penn State Altoona Counseling and Psychological Services believes that the health and well-being of students is a top priority. We are working diligently to find ethical and confidential means to support current clients and to continue to assess the needs of any student that may contact us. During this period of transition, we may not be available to take your call. If you have an immediate mental health concern, please immediately call the Penn State Crisis Hotline at 877-229-6400. If you have an immediate safety concern for yourself or someone else, immediately call 911. The national and state mandates continue to change rapidly, so please check the Penn State Altoona and CAPS web pages as well as Penn State’s COVID-19 information site for updates.
The Counseling Center is staffed by licensed counselors who provide both individual counseling and case management services. The Center's staff is dedicated to assisting students in their pursuit of personal and academic growth, to help students gain a better understanding and appreciation of themselves, and to support students as they make important decisions about their lives. Contact the Health and Wellness Center at 814-949-5540 to schedule an appointment or schedule through the Online Student Access secure portal.
All current Penn State Altoona students are eligible for services. The first eight sessions in any academic year are free for full-time students. There is a $10 per session visit fee for full-time students who exceed eight sessions, as well as for part-time students.
Limited urgent hours are available each day to speak with a counselor about a concern that you feel cannot wait. Based on availability, the counselor will provide phone consultation, or a crisis assessment and recommend a course of action. Since we are an outpatient facility, and do not have urgent psychiatric care, students will be directed to a facility with greater urgent care capacities.
Students experiencing emotional distress can also make use of the Penn State Crisis Line by calling 877-229-6400.
Often crises occur for students when our center is closed. Please contact the Community Crisis Center located at the UPMC Altoona Campus at 814-889-2141 or 800-540-4690. They are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You may also contact the Meadows Psychiatric Center at 800-641-7529 or Contact Altoona at 814-946-9050.
Students may also make use of the Crisis Text Line. This service provides access to 24/7 crisis support via text messaging. Penn State has partnered with Crisis Text Line to provide an alternate medium - outside of phone-based and in-person services - to access crisis services. Crisis counselors are volunteers and are not therapists and do not diagnose or counsel the texter. They engage in active listening and help the person "find calm and create an action plan for themselves to continue to feel better." To use the Crisis Text Line, students need only send the text message "LIONS" to 741741. A live crisis counselor will receive the text and respond quickly to help manage the crisis.