Students who are experiencing a psychological or emotional crisis often need immediate help and intervention. Some examples of serious crises include:
- Suicidal or homicidal thoughts or impulses
- Sexual or physical assault
- Hearing voices or otherwise misperceiving reality
- Overwhelming loss, such as a death in the family
Resources for help include the Personal Counseling Office, Penn State Crisis Line, Crisis Text Line, services for relationship violence and sexual assault, and hospitals.
During Regular Office Hours
Counselors from the Personal Counseling office are available Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., to assist with mental health crises.
- If you or someone you know is having a mental health crisis or is suicidal, call the Personal Counseling office at 814-898-6504 or come to 212 Erie Hall to receive immediate assistance from a counselor.
- MAKE IT CLEAR THAT YOU ARE IN CRISIS. Every effort will be made to respond as soon as possible. If you are receiving ongoing treatment at the office, you may ask to speak to your regular counselor.
If someone you know is actively suicidal but refuses to talk with a counselor, call the Penn State Crisis Line at 877-229-6400, Erie County Crisis Services (24/7) at 814-456-2014, University Police at 814-898-6101, or 911. Other resources are the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (call or text 988) or the National Crisis Text Line (text "LIONS" to 741741), both of which are available 24/7.
After-Hours Emergency Support
Following a mental health crisis, a counselor will work with a student to determine the appropriate next steps. This can vary by student and is dependent upon their specific needs. Some students may require hospitalization. Once proper information releases are signed, the hospital will work with Student Affairs and our Case Manager to coordinate discharge and aftercare plans. Hospitalization is used for a student's protection when there is immediate intent and desire to end their life or harm others, and that risk cannot be reduced through crisis counseling with a licensed counselor. Hospitalization is not the goal when working with students expressing mental health concerns and is usually a final intervention.
If a student is not referred to hospitalization, the Personal Counseling office typically refers them to a higher level of care for follow-up psychiatric care and intensive individual counseling, while coordinating care with the Personal Counseling office as applicable/available.
If you are having a problem with a psychiatric medication, experience serious side effects, or if your problem is urgent, contact the Personal Counseling office for consultation.
If you need assistance outside of our office hours (Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.), contact Millcreek Community Hospital at
The Red Folder is a quick reference guide for recognizing, responding to, and referring students in distress. The guide provides resources that are available at Behrend as well as the University.
Call the Penn State Crisis Line at 1-877-229-6400. This service is staffed 24 hours a day by licensed counselors who can gather information, refer to appropriate resources, and manage concerns for Penn State students.
Penn State has partnered with Crisis Text Line to provide an alternative medium to access crisis services outside of phone-based and in-person services. This national crisis support line is a FREE service that provides access to 24/7 crisis support via text messaging.
Crisis Counselors are volunteers, 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 to continue to feel better."
Steps for using Crisis Text Line:
- Text "LIONS" to 741741.
- A live Crisis Counselor receives the text and responds quickly to help the student manage the crisis. If the Crisis Counselor determines that a student needs immediate services, they will contact appropriate local authorities (police, crisis lines, mobile mental health units) to respond.
This service is confidential and available in the U.S. only.
Crime Victim Center of Erie County
125 West 18th Street
Erie, PA 16501
Counseling and 24-hour crisis intervention
1702 French Street
Erie, PA 16502
814-454-1744 or 814-454-8161
Counseling and emergency shelter services
Millcreek Community Hospital
5515 Peach Street
Saint Vincent Hospital
232 West 25th Street
201 State Street