Mental Health

photo of friends huggingIf you are concerned that you or a friend could harm themselves or someone else, this is a Mental Health Emergency.  You cannot and should not try to manage this situation by yourself. Click here for phone numbers to help you.

College students experience stress as they face the challenges of adulthood. There is so much to deal with:  classes, teachers, friends, family, roommates, work, and finances.  Academic, personal, and social pressures contribute to making college years difficult.  Family and friends may not be available to help. We understand that students have difficulties with illness, anxiety, and depression resulting from the changes associated with college life.  Health Services can identify resources available to help students manage their health.

If you have a friend in need of assistance, please let them know about resources available through Health Services.  There is no charge for visits to Health Services.


Mental health and depression information is available in the Health Services office.
You can make an appointment to speak to one of our nurses who will be able to refer you to a mental health resource.

photo of depressed girlCommon signs of depression include:

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism, guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
  • Worsening grades, trouble getting to class
  • Decreased energy, fatigue, being "slowed down"
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
  • Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
  • Appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain
  • Thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts
  • Restlessness, irritability
  • Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain

MCC's Counseling Center has walk-in hours daily or you may make an appointment with one of their counselors; just call 292-2030. You may also ask a question via their online Ask A Counselor page.

Support and counseling are also available from Spiritus Christi Mental Health Center, located at 121 N. Fitzhugh St. Rochester, N.Y., ( 585) 325-1180. Services there are free.

Depression screening is available on-line at

Alcohol Abuse

photo of students drinking beerA common problem among college students is alcohol abuse. Binge drinking or drinking alcohol until you are drunk has serious health risks including alcohol poisoning and death. Alcohol impairs your ability to make decisions creating risk for violence, rape, unplanned sex, and injury or death from motor vehicle accidents. If you have concerns about your alcohol use, please come to Health Services to make an appointment to speak with a nurse and receive educational and referral information. The Counseling Center is another resource and has walk-in hours daily.

The following websites have information about alcohol abuse, an alcohol screening test, alternatives to drinking, and information how alcohol abuse can lead to behavior that can put your health in jeopardy.

Stressed Out

photo of stressed studentStress is a big concern for college students. The key to managing stress is learning positive coping skills and adding stress busting activities to your routine. High levels of stress weaken your immune system and increase the likelihood that you will become ill. Stress can also contribute to stomach ulcers, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Please take advantage of the Counseling Center’s Stress Anxiety Workshops available throughout the semester.

On-line Resources:

Stress-Busting Tips

  • Think positively
  • Be assertive
  • Get organized
  • Join a club or school activity
  • Talk with a friend or advisor
  • Breathe deeply
  • Have a sense of humor
  • Divert attention to a fun activity
  • Eat healthy
  • Drink water
  • Take a “power walk”/nature walk
  • Spend time with a pet
  • Take a bubble bath
  • Listen to music
  • Read a book
  • Yoga
  • Meditate/Imagery

Sleeping Problems

Sleep problems are common for college students as they adjust to living away from home and increased stressors related to college life. Sleep problems include not sleeping, sleeping too much, sleeping to little, and disordered sleep patterns. Sleeping pills and alcohol can negatively change your sleep patterns. They should not be used without the recommendation of a health care provider.

photo of guy sleeping in libraryTips for Better Sleep

  • Stick to a schedule, and don’t sleep late on weekends.
  • Don’t eat or drink a lot before bed time: eat a light dinner about two hours before sleep.
  • Avoid spicy or fatty foods.
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, or nicotine before bed.
  • Exercise in the afternoon to enhance quality of nocturnal sleep.
  • Keep your room slightly cool — this mimics your internal temperature drop during sleep.
  • Sleep with warmer pajamas and socks if you tend to get cold at night.
  • Use a dehumidifier if you are sensitive to moist air.
  • Use a humidifier if you are sensitive to dry air. (symptoms: sore throat, nose bleeds, or dry throat)
  • Sleep primarily at night — limit daytime naps/sleep to less than one hour, and no later than 3:00 p.m.
  • Keep it quiet — turn off radio and TV.
  • Use a fan for some constant background noise which can be soothing.
  • Make your bed.
  • Use the bed only for sleep — avoid watching TV or studying on your bed
  • Only go to bed when you feel tired — if you can’t fall asleep within 30 minutes, get up and do something else until you feel tired.
  • Take a hot shower/bath before bed.
  • Don’t rely on sleeping pills.

Information regarding sleep disorders is available at

Sick All The Time

photo of sick manOngoing stress can have a negative impact on your immune system leaving you susceptible to illnesses and make an underlying medical condition worse. Call your health care provider when you need medical help for long lasting or severe or recurring illnesses.

Tips to take charge of your health:

  • Become your own health expert.
  • Be well informed.
  • Be in tune to your body needs.
  • Read all information provided on any medications you are taking, prescription and “over the counter”.
  • Be aware of drug interactions with food and alcohol and other drugs.
  • Establish a good relationship with your health care provider.
  • Be a good “historian” and be ready to list your symptoms.
  • Be prepared with written questions when you see your Doctor.
  • If you do not understand the answers request your doctor repeat them until you are satisfied and understand all aspects of your medical condition.

Eating Disorders

photo of woman eating orangeIf you are concerned about yourself or a friend who is preoccupied with weight, body image, food, or has a distorted body image, then they may have an eating disorder. The three most common eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia and binge eating. Eating disorders are most common in women, but can affect men as well and are especially common in athletes.

If you are concerned, the nurses in Health Services can help with a referral to local resources including:

Highland Center for Women
1000 South Avenue
Rochester N.Y. 14620
Eating Disorder Program
(585) 271-4636

There are several on-line sites available.

Sexually Transmitted Disease/Infections

photo of kissing coupleSexually transmitted infections can spread at epidemic rates in the college population. If you are concerned that you or a friend may have a STI and are unsure of where or how to get treatment, please come to Health Services and make an appointment to speak to one of our nurses. Please consult your own doctor or seek help at one of the many clinics available locally. There is more detailed information on STIs available in our Men's Health and Women's Health sections of this website.

For free, confidential treatment of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) go to:

New York State STD Clinics by County

Monroe County STD Clinic
855 West Main St.
Bullshead Plaza
Rochester N.Y. 14611

Walk–In Hours
Mon. 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Tues. 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Wed. 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Thurs. 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Fri. 8:30 a.m. -11:30 p.m.

Planned Parenthood
Rochester/Syracuse Region
All Appointments 1-800-600-6886

To learn more about STI’s and HIV try these sites: