Crisis Information

Emergencies: 911

CAPS (Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm):
(814) 863-0395

Penn State Crisis Line (24/7):
(877) 229-6400

Crisis Text Line (24/7):
txt "LIONS" to 741741

CAPS Locations

- Student Health Center (SHC)
- Bank of America (BoA)
- Allenway Building (Downtown)
View locations on the map

Commonwealth Campus Services

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News & Events

collage of students involved in individual and group counselling sessions

Self-Help Resources


By Mary Anne Knapp, LCSW, Clinical Social Worker

The pressures of academic deadlines, worry about grades, juggling relationships and part time jobs can keep you “on your toes”. Throw in angst about figuring out who you are and where you’re heading in life and it’s a lot to deal with. A certain amount of anxiety can be expected for most students. For this kind of situational and developmental anxiety, paying attention to self care (adequate sleep, exercise and eating from food groups other than “fast food”) and learning self help skills such as time management, diaphragmatic (belly) breathing, meditation, positive self talk and clear communication may be enough to help manage the anxiety.

But for 15% of the population, anxiety reaches the point of a disorder that may require professional help. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders as a group are the most common mental health concern in America. They affect 19 million adults each year .

Examples of the most common anxiety disorders include:

Panic Disorder:

Repeated episodes of intense fear that seem to come “out of the blue”

Physical symptoms could include:

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder:

Repeated unwanted thoughts or compulsive behaviors that seem impossible to stop and interfere with everyday life.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder:

Persistent symptoms that occur after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event such as rape, war or a car accident.

Symptoms can include:


Social Phobia involves overwhelming fear of evaluation and scrutiny by others that makes it difficult or impossible to engage in social situations. Specific phobiasinvolve intense fear or panic and an exaggeration of the possible negative outcome.Examples of specific phobias include fear of flying, fear of dogs, or snakes, and fear of needles. When specific phobias are severe even the thought or a picture of the feared item may lead to intense distress.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Constant and persistent worry and anticipation of the worst even though there may be little reason to expect disaster. The worry is accompanied by physiological tension and symptoms such as fatigue, trembling, headache or nausea and lasts for 6 months.


If you suspect that you may have an anxiety disorder, the good news is that effective treatments for anxiety disorders exist.

Where to go for help on campus:

The Center for Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
501 Student Health Center
Call 863-0395 to schedule an initial consultation with a mental health professional

University Health Services
First through fourth floors of Student Health Center
Call 863-0774 to schedule an appointment to meet with a clinician


501 Student Health Center | 814.863.0395 | Contact Counseling & Psychological Services