Students can arrange to see a counselor on an emergency basis during weekday business hours by calling 507.457.5330 or coming to our office at Integrated Wellness Complex 222. Generally, regular appointments are scheduled ahead of time at Counseling Services. There are times, however, when students experience significant psychological or emotional distress and require immediate or same-day help. Inform the front desk that you need to see a counselor today if possible. Every effort will be made to schedule you as soon as possible. To minimize wait time, it is best to call ahead of time.
For Life-Threatening Emergencies
If you or a friend is suicidal, the best place for the most immediate care is the hospital. Call 911 or go straight to the Emergency Room at Winona Health (855 Mankato Avenue, 507.457.4328). You will find the hospital staff friendly and helpful. If you come to Counseling Services, alert the front desk of your need to see a counselor immediately. We will help facilitate your visit to the hospital and/or help you talk with your parents. If at all possible, don’t be alone. Find someone – a friend, RA, Hall Director – to be with you until appropriate assistance has been obtained.
Sexual Assault Resources
This helpful guide gives general information on sexual assault, tips on helping a friend, and a list of local resources.
Counseling Services is open Monday through Friday, 8am – 4:30pm. If you are experiencing a crisis after hours, please use the following resources (accessible 24 hours/day, 7 days/week):
- Emergency Room (Winona Health) 855 Mankato Ave, 507.457.4328
- Local 24-hour Crisis Hotline, 1.800.362.8255
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1.800.273.TALK (1.800.273.8255)
- Military Veterans Suicide Hotline, 1.800.273.TALK – Press 1
- LGBT Youth Suicide Hotline 1.866.4.U.TREVOR
- Hiawatha Valley Mental Health Center – Winona, 507.454.4341
- WSU Security, 507.457.5555
- RAs or Hall Directors
Strategies for Managing Distress
In addition to walk-in counseling for students in distress, here are some other steps you can take to help manage these times:
- Identify the specific source of distress and write down positive strategies for responding to it.
- Talk with a trusted family member, mentor or friend.
- Spend time with others, even if you don’t feel like talking. Find someone or someplace that feels safe and comforting.
- Engage in activities that help you feel better, (e.g., listen to relaxing music, exercise, go for a walk, journal or do a relaxation exercise.)
- Get plenty of rest.
- Don’t make any major life decisions or big life changes if at all possible.
Helping a Friend
Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Do take all suicidal behavior seriously and get your friend help
- Don’t keep suicidal thoughts a secret. Don’t enter into secret “arrangements” with your friend. In other words, if your friend tells you about his or her suicidal thoughts but says, “Please don’t tell anyone,” don’t agree.
- Do express your concerns to your friend (“I care about you and want you to get help”) and ask him or her to go to Counseling Services or the Hospital.
- Don’t try to take on the counselor role yourself…suicidal friends need professional counseling. We have seen well-intentioned friends also become depressed.
- Do accompany your friend to Counseling Services or the Hospital, if possible.
- Don’t leave your friend alone…stay with your friend until appropriate assistance has been obtained.
- Do talk to your friend’s RA or Hall Director.
- Do contact your friend’s parents.
- Do realize that sometimes friends will get angry because you intervened, but after the immediate threat they are usually grateful that someone cared. You may have saved your friend’s life.
- Don’t hesitate to come see a counselor at Counseling Services for guidance. We won’t call or drag your friend in, but we can certainly offer you support. Above all, do take care of yourself in the process…dealing with a suicidal friend can be very difficulty and stressful!