The Winston-Salem State University Counseling Center offers a range of counseling and mental health services to the University campus. If you are a student, you may be interested in individual, group or couples counseling. Confidentiality concerning Counseling Center services is guaranteed, except in rare circumstances.
For faculty, staff, parents and friends who are concerned about an individual student or an issue affecting mental health on campus, the Counseling Center is always available for consultation. In addition, training and outreach, are provided to enhance the health of the campus community. The Counseling Center also has a wealth of self-help information available, in the form of brochures, books, and other resources.
Students pursuing a college education away from home and in a new environment can experience new pressures which may interfere with living and learning. Counseling Services at Winston-Salem State University is staffed with counselor’s who are licensed and available for individual and group session. We offer students a confidential and secure environment in which to discuss issues they encounter. Our staff are here to facilitate and help students identify stresses, explore emotional maturity, esteem and behaviors.
Hours of Operation and Our Location
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. | Monday – Friday
Occasional evening appointments available
H. Ray Health Center – Ground Floor
Alternative Phone Number
(During University Shut-down)
Crisis and Emergency
For Any Life-Threatening Crisis
An emergence or a crisis might involve:
- Thoughts and plans to hurt yourself or someone else;
- Engaging in a behavior that is life threatening; or
- If you have been assaulted, physically or sexually.
Call Police and Public Safety at 336-750-2911
What to do in an emergency
Depending upon the nature, location and timing of an emergency you options are:
On campus, call the Winston-Salem State University Police and Public Safety. The WSSU Police and Public Safety will assess the situation, contact the counseling center representative on call and, if necessary, have the person transported to a hospital for care and treatment.Dial x2911 from any campus phone or 336-750-2911
Off Campus, dial 911, to summon the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Police who will assess the situation and, if necessary, arrange for transportation of the person to a hospital for care and treatment.
Hotlines are available 24 hours a day if you need to speak to someone anonymously for advice and guidance:
- National Suicide Hotline: 1 (800) 273-8255
- Domestic Violence Hotline: 1 (888) 232-9124
- Sexual Assault Crisis Hotline: 1 (336) 722-4457
- Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741
Counseling and Mental Health Services
- Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center: 1 (336) 718-2001
- Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center: 1 (336) 713-9800
Non-Life-Threatening and during Counseling Services Hours
While most counseling services are scheduled on an appointment basis there may be a crisis situation which require immediate or same-day intervention. The caller should tell the receptionist that they need a crisis walk-in appointment.
Call 336-750-3270 and request a crisis walk-in appointment.
Counseling Center Hours & Location
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
A.H. Ray Health Center
Non-Life-threatening and After Hours
Residential Students: Contact your Housing and Residence Life staff who will then contact HealthLink at 1 (888) 267-3675, the after-hours call service.
Off Campus Students: Contact HealthLink at 1 (888) 267-3675.
Making an Appointment
You may schedule an appointment by calling 336-750-3270 or in person in the Counseling Center.
All counseling services are confidential to the limits provided by law, and no information can be released to anyone within or outside of the University without a client’s written consent.
Counseling is free to Winston-Salem State University students.
The mission of the Counseling Center is to serve as a resource for faculty, staff and especially students as they complete their studies at Winston-Salem State University. In doing so we offer services that will enhance student self-awareness and responsibility while enabling the retention efforts of the university. These services include and are not limited to counseling and therapy that addresses serious psychological problems, issues related to relationships, family functioning, emergencies and crisis situations, adjustment issues, decision making, academics, anxiety, and depression. The Counseling Center staff affirms and supports policies regarding affirmative action, grievance procedures and sexual harassment.
As an essential aspect of our efforts to provide an environment where students are free to seek help, the center maintains the strictest standards of privacy and confidentiality. In adherence with ethical standards of the American Counseling Association, the American Psychological Association, and the National Association of Social Work, counseling records are kept separate from all academic, administrative, disciplinary and medical records. No information about a student's contact with the center is released without the knowledge and written consent of the student, except in legally approved cases.
All information disclosed within sessions is confidential and may not be revealed to anyone outside the Winston-Salem State University Counseling Center without the written permission of the client except where reporting is required by law. Disclosure of information is required in circumstances where there is reasonable suspicion of abuse of children or elderly persons; where the client is likely to harm herself or himself unless protective measures are taken; or where the client presents a clear and serious danger of violence to another person. In some instances, disclosure of relevant information may be required by court order during a legal proceeding in which the client becomes involved.
The Counseling Center staff members acknowledge that all people are cultural beings and that prejudice and discrimination hurt people and communities. As such CC staff members do not discriminate against clients on the basis of race, color, religion, marital status, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, medical condition, status as a veteran or disabled veteran, age, or citizenship.
- Individual Counseling issues – adjustment, personal and relationship, grief and loss, anxiety, depression, other mental health disorders.
- Limited psychiatric services.
- Alcohol and substance abuse prevention education.
- Outreach and Awareness Programs (Depression Screening and Alcohol Awareness Programs, Mental Health Awareness and Sexual Assault Awareness).
- Crisis intervention collaboration with Campus Police, Residence Life and Academic Affairs.
- Assessment and Evaluation.
- Campus presentations upon request.
- Referrals to community mental health/social services agencies.
- Notification of absences
Before traveling to Urgent Care Centers, contact them for hours of operation and directions.
- Prime Care
600 Highland Oaks Dr.
- Prime Care of North Point
7811 North Point Dr.
- Old Vineyard
- N.C. Baptist Hospital
Medical Center Blvd.
- Forsyth Memorial Hospital
3333 Silas Creek Parkway
- Campus Police
336-750- 2911 (24 hrs)
Off Campus: 911 (24hrs)
- Cardinal Innovations Crisis Response Team
- Sexual Assault (Family Services)
- Domestic Violence (Family Services)
The Counseling Center staff is available for consults on any psychological matter. Any staff or faculty member may call for an appointment or visit our facility in the A.H. Ray building. We can be reached at 336-750-3270.
Students often experience stress during their academic careers. While most students cope successfully, many find that the various challenges are difficult to manage. The staff at Counseling Center provides psychological support to all currently enrolled students. Our goal is to help students grow and realize their academic and life goals. As faculty, staff and fellow students, you may encounter a student in distress. Often they have not sought any psychological support or intervention. Your role is crucial in identifying and referring students who are in distress.
- Some signs of students in distress:
- References to suicide (written or verbal)
- Noted isolation from friends, classmates or other support persons
- Marked change in behavior
- Listlessness, lack of energy
- Impaired speech or garbled, disjointed thoughts
- High levels of irritability, unruly or abusive behavior
- Students who appear overly nervous, tense or tearful
- Anxiety, stress, depression
- Marked inability to make decisions
- Drug and alcohol abuse
- Normal emotions displayed to an extreme degree or for a prolonged period
- Threat to others
- Marked changes in personal hygiene
- Dramatic weight loss or change
- Request to speak with the student in private.
- Express your concern for the student in a direct, non-judgmental and straightforward manner. Openly acknowledge the specific behaviors that you have observed that are of concern to you.
- Listen carefully and be empathic.
- Avoid criticizing or sounding judgmental.
- Try not to make agreements with the student that isolate you in dealing with the problem.
- Consider the Counseling Center as a resource and discuss a referral with the student. Our services are confidential and free of charge for students.
- If the student refuses to make an appointment and you are concerned, contact the Counseling Center to discuss your concern.
Encourage the student to call the Counseling Center at 336-750-3270 and schedule an appointment with one of our counselors. Students may also stop in the lower level of A.H. Ray Student Health Center to schedule an appointment.
Ideally, the student will make the appointment on his/her own. However, if you wish to be certain that the student makes an appointment, call the Counseling Center while the student is in your office and offer the phone to the student to schedule the appointment or you can walk over with the student to set up an appointment.
If you are concerned about a student but are uncertain about the appropriateness of a referral, feel free to call the Counseling Center and speak with one of our staff.
In an emergency, call Campus Police at 336-750-2900 or 911 for your local emergency response system.
To notify the Counseling Center of a student in distress please complete the Behavioral Referral form.
Students can petition for withdrawal without academic penalty for compelling psychological reasons. Students seeking a psychological withdrawal must contact University College and Lifelong (UCALL) and the personnel will assist in providing support letters for students wishing to do so. Students who have not received prior services from the Winston-Salem State University Counseling Center will need to provide supporting documentation from a psychiatrist, psychologist, licensed mental health professional or a general medical physician. Students must be aware that they may need to provide written documentation of their psychological stability before they can return to campus and resume their studies.
We conduct traditional psychotherapy session, but we also work on stress management, mindfulness, emotional expression, relationship issues and depression, among other things. Students may seek counseling because they experience some type of discomfort or dissatisfaction in their personal lived as a means of support for whatever they may be going through.
Counseling related services are available to all Winston-Salem State University students enrolled full-time at no cost.
- Care Counseling
- Couple and Family Counseling
- Crisis Intervention
- Group Counseling
- Individual Counseling and Psychotherapy
- Alcohol and Drug Counseling
To schedule an appointment, please call the Counseling Center at 336-750-3270 during regular working hours, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.. Individual and couples therapy appointments are generally for 45-50 minutes and are typically schedule every other week at a time you and your counseling agree upon.If you cannot make a schedule appointment, it is your responsibility to call 336-750-3270 as soon as possible to reschedule. If you miss your appointment and do not reschedule, your standing appointment will not be held for you and there is no guarantee you counseling will have another available appointment time if this occurs.
We do not intervene with students who are intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. Individuals who are under the influence may need medical attention or to be kept safe in a hospital or other secure environment. Therefore, a psychological intervention would serve little purpose. Furthermore, if you are experiencing symptoms of a compromised immune system, such as a flu or a cold, please call and allow us to reschedule you appointment.
Counseling Services reserves the right to deny further services to individuals whose concerns are beyond the capacity of this office to effectively treat as well as to any individual who abuses or misuses services in any manner (e.g. frequent misses appointments, etc.). If this should become necessary, other local treatment options and possible referrals would be discussed.
In accordance with our mission, if we determine that your treatment needs or require resources or competencies beyond the scope of our expertise, we will assist with a referral to an appropriate mental health provider. Students presenting such conditions will be referred to appropriate resources in the community at the discretion of your counselor. Students are responsible for paying the costs incurring for services and treatment provided through outside agencies. We encourage inter-office referrals as well, should a student benefit from working with another provider on staff.
Counselors are not physicians and cannot prescribe, provide or make recommendation about specific medication. Students seeking medications are referred to our on campus psychologist for consultation. Our psychologist receive students Mondays from a.m. to 12 Noon.
Information share by you in assessment and counseling session will be treated with strictest confidentiality and in most instances will not be disclosed to anyone with you your written permission. A copy of your release of information form is available from the Counseling Center staff. There are situations which require only that you provide written, advanced consent, such as the following:
- Our staff and psychologist will occasionally train graduate students from the mental health profession who are not yet licensed in North Carolina. Licensed counselors provide supervision, which may include discussion of your treatment and clinical record.
- Because of our desire for excellence and quality assurance, your counselor may ask you permission to record sessions for confidential supervisory and training purposes. Audiotapes and video are digitized, encrypted and erased at the end of you treatment.
- Your counselor may occasionally seek consultation with other Counseling and Health Services staff members for such purposes as schedule and quality assurance.
There are some situations where we are permitted or required to disclose information either with or without your consent. All of our communication, including diagnosis, becomes part of the clinical record, which is accessible to you upon request (unless doing so would be psychologically harmful). Your counselor will keep confidential anything that you say to him/her with the following exceptions:
- You direct your counselor to tell someone else;
- Your counselor determines that you are a danger to yourself and others;
- Your counselor is ordered by a court to disclose information;
- Your counselor suspects that there is child and/or elder abuse;
- Your counselor is working collaboratively with other professionals where disclosure of personal information is necessary to provide optimal care; or
- You are a minor for whom confidentiality is limited to the extent exercised by you parent/legal guardian.
When doing couples and family counseling, your counselor should not be asked to withhold specific information from other members of the family/system as it is difficult to guarantee adherence to the request.
The laws and standard of our profession require that we keep Protected Health Information about you in your clinical record. Your clinical record may include information about your reasons for seeking counseling, a description of the way in which your concerns affects your life, your diagnosis) if applicable), the goals for treatment, your progress toward those goals, your medical and social history, your treatment history, result of clinical assessments (including raw data), any past treatment records and copies of any reports that have been received or sent to anyone. Personal information that you share with your counselor may be entered into you clinical record in written form. However, efforts are generally made to avoid entry of information that may be especially sensitive or embarrassing. Your clinical records are not part of academic records and clinical record are maintained for seven years.
After your treatment has been completed you may receive a brief questionnaire sent electronically. Information for an annual report of services is routinely complied and reported as data with no individually identifying information. This is used for program planning and service evaluation, and to assess service needs.
Although, it is not possible to guarantee outcomes. The Counseling Center is committed to providing quality services. If you ever have any concerns about your experience, we encourage you to speak to your counselor about this. If the difficulty cannot be resolved by working with your counselor, you may address your concerns with the Office of the Dean of Students.
Choosing a Counselor
Choosing a counselor who is the “right fit” is the first step to successful therapy. Our counselors each have a different approach and way of being with our students. Read the staff profiles to learn more about our individual styles.
Question you should ask:
- What is your philosophy or orientation of therapy?
- What do you think of diagnosis?
- How do you think change happens?
- How important do you consider collaboration and participation?
- How many session do you average per student?
- Do you keep outcome data? Tell me about it?
Research shows that:
- Change depends on your resources and abilities. Effective therapy uses your strengths to create possible solutions;
- Change depends on your perception of the therapist and the relationship formed in treatment. Effective therapy is based on a strong alliance; and
- Change depends upon addressing what you want and fitting your views of change and inspiring the hope necessary for action. Effective counseling matches your theory of change.
Each counselor is unique. You can help your counselor by teaching them the style and questions you use that work best for you as an individual. That does not mean that you run the therapy session. The counselor does have expertise and good reasons for doing what they do, but a good counselor is also flexible. If you have been in counseling before and found some aspect or method particular helpful, let your therapist know about that.
Counseling can be a difficult and challenging field of work. Your counselor sees people when they are at their most stressed and sometimes most impatient. Sometime the counselor does not know whether they have been helpful, because people don’t return or change takes some time. So, most counselors appreciate hearing that they have done something that worked or was helpful. This can also make your session experience more productive, since your counselor will have your feedback to guide them in future attempts to help you.
If you attend therapy expecting to go back to you childhood to find the roots of the problem and your counselor focuses on the present, someone is bound to be frustrated if that expectation is not brought up and discussed before you proceed. Also, you might indicate how long you had anticipated you would attend counseling and how often, to make sure you and the counselor are on the same track.
Like telling your counselor you expectations and letting them know what has worked or is helping, letting them know what something isn’t is important. This includes what is happening at home as well as during your counseling sessions. This give the counselor the opportunity for corrections in the counseling process.
Some people think that they should not speak up about their worries or objections to their counselor suggestions, but a free and frank discussion about misgiving helps your counselor deal with your concerns and make any adjustments to ensure a higher likelihood of success.
About the counseling process, fees, and any suggestions or methods, the counselor’s training and qualification, etc. Anything you care curious about. If it gets too personal or the counselor considers the question intrusive or inappropriate, they will let you know.