College Mental Health Program Student Access Guide

What is College Mental Health Services?

The College Mental Health Services helps students meet the personal challenges associated with their academic and life goals. Sometimes problems arise that interfere with students’ abilities to do well in college, to continue in classes, and to be emotionally healthy. Personal therapy is provided by advanced graduate school interns under the direct supervision of a licensed psychologists in the Student Health Center.  These services are available to all currently registered and enrolled students. Our services offers short term therapy for individuals, couples and families, as well crisis intervention therapy and psychological testing. The College Mental Health Services welcomes students of all cultural and ethnic groups, ages, lifestyles, and diverse value systems. All services are completely confidential.

When to Immediately Call Police

  • You or another person is in immediate danger
  • You believe that a student is about to harm her/himself
  • A student is out of control and is disrupting the classroom.

Call 949-582-4606 to schedule an appointment.

Assess Your Mental Health

Take this opportunity to evaluate your own level of mental health. Click on any of the following three self-report inventories in order to assess yourself on a measure of depression, anxiety or stress. After completing your inventory, follow the scoring instructions.

Stress Self Report

Anxiety Self Report

Depression Self Report

If your score on any of the three inventories is elevated, please contact a College Mental Health Program counselor for help.

Psychological or Medical Student Appointments with Medical Professionals or Counselors


Appointments are scheduled through the Student Health Center with a doctorate level psychology interns, a Clinical Psychologist, Medical Physician or Registered Nurse.

Student Services provides professional counseling faculty who are available to students and provide Academic, Career, Transfer, Personal, and Crisis Counseling. Their holistic approach allows them to assess and identify each student’s needs and commence with brief counseling. At times, there is not a clear objective in the student’s mind as to why he/she is meeting with the counselor or he/she does not want staff to know why an appointment is being scheduled. The student may make the appointment indicating he/she wants academic advisement, but as the discussion develops, issues of a personal nature arise that need to be addressed prior to academic advisement taking place. In some cases, counselors refer the student to other on campus or off campus resources, as appropriate.

To arrange an appointment at the Student Health Center you may telephone or come to the center. The Office Assistant will schedule an appointment for you at the first available time. If you wish to request a specific counselor, you may do so. Otherwise, you will be assigned to a therapist who has the most immediate opening. You may call at anytime during the semester to request a session.

First Appointment

To schedule your first appointment, come to the Health Center at SSC 177 or call (949) 582-4606. Plan to arrive 10 minutes before your first appointment in order to complete necessary paperwork. During your first session, your counselor will listen to your concerns and will discuss your goals for counseling. Also, your counselor will help you to identify possible options and alternatives for meeting your needs.

Regular Appointments

Counseling appointments always begin on the hour and last one hour. It is important that you arrive on time so that you receive the best possible service. When an appointment must be missed, you must call or come to the Student Health Center to cancel or reschedule.

Crisis Intervention

Crisis intervention is available during the regular hours of the Student Health Center. You do not need a pre-scheduled appointment to see a counselor if you are experiencing a true crisis.

When urgent on-campus emergencies occur outside of Student Health Center hours, please contact the Campus Police at (949) 582-4585 or (949) 582-4444.


It is an essential aspect of the College Mental Health Program to provide students with an environmentlock where they feel safe and free to seek help. All counselors maintain the strictest standards of privacy and confidentiality. All personal counseling records are kept separate from all academic, administrative, disciplinary, and medical records. No information about a student’s sessions with a College Mental Health counselor is released to anyone or to any institution without the express knowledge and written consent of the student.

All information disclosed within sessions is strictly confidential and may not be revealed or released to anyone outside the counseling office without the knowledge and written permission of the student, except where reporting is required by law. Disclosure of personal counseling information is required in circumstances where there is a reasonable suspicion of child abuse, elder abuse or dependent abuse; where the student is at risk for hurting herself/himself unless protective measures are taken; where the student presents a clear and serious threat of harm, danger or violence to another; or where the student seeks counseling in order to commit a crime, or to avoid detection and/or apprehension for a crime.

There are also very rare instances where a court of law may require that a counselor disclose relevant information during a legal proceeding that involves the student. These instances are extremely rare and do not include divorce, child custody, personal injury or harassment situations.

Consultation and Outreach

girl talking to counselorThe College Mental Health Program offers several types of consultation services to faculty, staff, administration and students. These programs are presented in collaboration with various Student Services offices, academic departments and specific outreach programs.

“Dealing with Difficult People”

A three-hour workshop designed to facilitate faculty and staff communication with students is presented by the Student Health Center and Special Services.

“Bridge the Gap”

A three-hour in-service provided for staff by the Student Health Center and the Office of Counseling Services and Special Programs, focusing on solutions for commonly occurring difficult situations involving students who may have disabilities, cultural differences, psychological problems, crisis situations, personal difficulties, anger management issues, and other scenarios.

Crisis Intervention Team (CIT)

A brief presentation by the College Mental Health Task Force to faculty, staff, and academic departments and divisions focusing on recognizing the signs and symptoms of a student in crisis, managing a crisis, and referring students to the CIT for counseling and immediate help.

Faculty & Staff Mental Health Outreach

A 30-minute presentation provided to faculty and staff by the Student Health Center. The presentation focuses primarily on the campus mental health services available to students. Special emphasis is given to recognizing student crises. Information is provided on accessing the “Getting Help” narrated power point presentation for classroom use.

The College Mental Health Program is also available to the Associated Student Government in planning and facilitating designated outreach or campus-wide programs.

Counseling Services

Counseling at the Student Health Center is provided in a safe, confidential environment in which you may explore and resolve personal problems. All sessions are one hour and are free of charge to currently registered and enrolled students. All counseling sessions are private and confidential. Counseling is intended to be short term. Some longer term counseling may be available, based on student need, the judgment of the clinician and counselor availability. In addition to individual counseling, the Student Health Center also offers couples therapy, family therapy, and group therapy.

The Student Health Center provides several different forms of counseling:

Individual counseling

is one-on-one therapy for students who require individual, personal counseling. Therapy is provided by doctoral-level Interns under the direct supervision of a licensed Psychologist. Students must be currently registered and enrolled in to order to receive counseling services.

boy and girl happy

Couples counseling

is offered to married, unmarried and same sex couples who are having relationship difficulties.

Family counseling

is available to students who are having difficulties within their family system. Family counseling also includes parent-child sessions, and is available to intact families, single-parent households, blended families and same sex parent families. One member of the family must be a currently registered and enrolled student in to order to receive family counseling.

Group counseling

is offered on a variety of special interest topics, including anxiety, coping, women in transition and many others. Students are screened prior to the commencement of group. Students must be currently registered and enrolled in to order to receive counseling services. Crisis Intervention counseling is offered on an immediate basis to students who are experiencing an emergency.


Counseling and Special Programs

The office of Counseling and Special Programs offers personal counseling, as well as academic and career counseling. Counseling is holistic in nature, and recognizes the personal, academic and career aspects of the fully functional student. All personal counseling is provided in a safe, confidential environment. Personal counseling sessions are either one half hour or one hour in duration, and are free to all students who are currently enrolled. Counseling sessions are primarily individual, and are intended to be short term.

Different forms of counseling

student talking with doctor

Personal counseling

is offered to students who are experiencing problems that interfere with their emotional well-being, or interfere with their ability to do well in college and to continue in classes. Counseling is offered by trained Generalist Counselors and is available to all enrolled students.

Academic counselors

are available to discuss and help students with their educational program, to advise them about college or university entrance requirements, major requirements, General Education Certification, and the application process.

Career counseling professionals are available to assist students in choosing a career that will match their interests, skills, values and personality.

Crisis Intervention counseling

is offered on an immediate basis to students who are experiencing an emergency.


Counseling Services - Fees, Availability and Languages



All College Mental Health counseling services are provided under your Student Health fee. If you have paid your Student Health fee, or if your fee has been waived, you are entitled to free counseling services. In addition, there is no additional charge for students who seek relationship or parenting counseling. As long as you are registered and enrolled in the current semester, all counseling sessions are free.


Cancellation Policy

You must cancel or re-schedule your appointment a minimum of 24 hours before the scheduled appointment.

Policy for Late Cancelation

You will be charged $5 if you cancel within 24 hours of your scheduled appointment or if you fail to keep your appointment. You will not be allowed to schedule another counseling appointment until the charge is paid.

You will forfeit your right to counseling services for the remainder of the semester if you have three (3) late cancelations and/or failures to keep appointments.


Counseling Availability

All counseling is intended to be brief, usually limited to six (6) sessions per semester. The number of sessions can change based upon student need, counselor availability, and the professional judgment of the counseling staff. When more extensive counseling is required, a student may be referred to a licensed professional in the community.



Some of our counselors are bilingual and can offer you sessions in languages other than English. At the Student Health Center, counseling is provided in Spanish, Vietnamese and Korean, in addition to English.  At the Office of Counseling and Special Programs, counseling is provided in Spanish and Farsi, in addition to English.

College Mental Health Programs for Students

Drinking Girl

The College Mental Health Program offers the following programs throughout the academic school year:

Mental Health Awareness

The Mental Health Awareness program offers educational information, personal assessments and referral resources to students. The primary areas of focus are depression, anxiety, stress and personal coping. Tables are set up in common outdoor areas where students and faculty may talk to counselors, read informative brochures, take personal inventories, and receive both on and off campus referrals for counseling and related services.

"Getting Help" Classroom Presentations

A narrated power point program is available for all faculty, staff and administrators to access from their specific classrooms or department offices. The focus of the "Getting Help" program is to assist students in recognizing important signs of emotional distress in themselves and in their peers. Specific mental health information is provided, as well as referrals for both on campus and off campus counseling. Upon request, counselors from the College Mental Health Program can be scheduled to visit classrooms for follow-up questions and answers, and for additional presentations on student mental health and suicide prevention.

"Tell Me Something I Don't Know"

The Student Health Center provides a two-hour presentation on college binge drinking and alcohol poisoning. The goal of this program is to help students recognize the dangers of binge drinking and the signs and symptoms of alcohol poisoning. In addition, important practical information is provided on how to help a friend who may be intoxicated.

Counseling & Special Programs Workshops

Several workshops throughout the school year are offered. Some of the many topics include "How to Choose a Major," "How to Apply to the UC and/or CSU," and "How to Write a Personal Statement." Visit the Counseling and Special Programs office (SSC 167) for dates and times of up-coming workshops.

Online Resources

Drug and Alcohol Prevention

 Drug and Alcohol Prevention and Intervention Program

Mission Statement

The Drug and Alcohol Prevention and Intervention Program at Saddleback College utilizes a comprehensive approach to address alcohol and other drug related problems through education, prevention, and treatment interventions to foster student learning and success.

Get Confidential Help - When you Need It the Most

Saddleback College recognizes that balancing academic excellence and a complicated life outside school can be stressful and at times overwhelming. Because nobody should deal with personal life issues without help and guidance, Saddleback College Health Center offers support and resources.

Meetings and Support

AA 12-Step Meetings Every Wednesday 12-1:00 pm BGS 345



The brief summaries are an overview of the major health risks associated with the use of illicit drugs and alcohol. Abuse of alcohol and other drugs can lead to chemical dependency and can be harmful during pregnancy.

AlcoholDid you know that

• Alcohol is a depressant that decreases the responses of the central nervous system.

• Excessive drinking can cause liver damage and psychotic behavior.

• As little as two beers or drinks can impair coordination and thinking.

• Alcohol is often used by substance abusers to enhance the effects of other drugs.

• Alcohol continues to be the most frequently abused substance among young adults.


What are the Dangers of Alcohol Abuse? Risk of injury or death as a result of accident or violence, impaired vision, impaired motor coordination, memory defects, hallucinations, blackouts, and seizures. Long-term use can result in permanent damage to the brain, elevated blood pressure and heart rate, risk of stroke, heart failure, respiratory depression and failure, pneumonia, tuberculosis, lung abscesses, increased risk of mouth and throat cancer, alcoholic fatty liver, hepatitis, and cirrhosis, duodenal ulcers, reflux, diarrhea, impaired judgment and verbal ability, apathy, introversion, antisocial behavior, inability to concentrate, and deterioration of relationships with family, friends, and co-workers. Alcohol is an especially dangerous drug for pregnant women. Drinking during pregnancy raises the risk of low-birth weight babies and intrauterine growth retardation, increasing the danger of infection, feeding difficulties, and long-term developmental problems.


Marijuana—Also known as: Pot, Grass, Joints, Roaches, Reefer, Weed, Mary JaneDid you know that

• Marijuana may cause impaired short-term memory, a shortened attention span and delayed reflexes.

• During pregnancy, marijuana may cause birth defects.

• Marijuana may cause a fast heart rate and pulse.

• Repeated use of marijuana may cause breathing problems.

• Possession of marijuana is illegal in all fifty states.

• Marijuana may cause relaxed inhibitions, disoriented behavior.

• All forms of marijuana are mind-altering. In other words, they change how the brain works.

o Contains THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the main active chemical in marijuana.

o Contain more than 400 other chemicals.

o Effects on the user depend on its strength or potency, which is related to the amount of THC it contains(5).

o THC content of marijuana has been increasing since the 1970s.


Marijuana Risks: Impaired perception, Diminished short-term memory, loss of concentration and coordination, impaired judgment, increased risk of accidents, loss of motivation, diminished inhibitions, risk of AIDS and other STDs, increased heart rate, anxiety, panic attacks, and paranoia, hallucinations, damage to the respiratory, reproductive, and immune systems, increased risk of cancer, psychological


Cocaine— Also known as: Coke, Dust, Snow, Flake, Blow, GirlDid you know that

• Cocaine "high" lasts only about 5 to 20 minutes.

• Cocaine use may cause severe "mood swings" and irritability.

• You need more and more cocaine each time you want a "high.

• Cocaine increases your blood pressure and heart rate - particularly dangerous if you have a heart condition.

• One use can cause death!

• Possession and use are illegal and can result in fines and arrest.


Cocaine risks: Dependence and addiction, irregular heartbeat, heart attack, and heart failure, strokes, seizures, fungal brain infections, and hemorrhaging in tissue surrounding the brain pulmonary effects, such as fluid in the lungs, aggravation of asthma and other lung disorders, and respiratory failure psychosis, paranoia, depression, anxiety disorders, and delusions, increased risk of traumatic injury from accidents and aggressive, violent, or criminal behavior, sleeplessness, sexual dysfunction, diminished sense of smell, perforated nasal septum, nausea, and headaches. Crack users often singe eyebrows or eyelashes with the flame of matches or lighters. They also burn fingertips and other body parts from contact with superheated vessels (e.g., glass pipes). Fetal cocaine effects include premature separation of the placenta, spontaneous abortion, premature labor, low birth weight and head circumference at birth, greater chance of visual impairment, mental retardation, genitourinary malformations, and greater chance of developmental problems. For intravenous (IV) cocaine users, there is increased risk of hepatitis, HIV infection, and endocarditis. For addicts, whether they smoke, inject, or snort, promiscuous sexual activity can increase the risk of HIV infection.

Crack, "Crack cocaine", Freebase rocks, Rock - Did you know that

• Crack is almost instantly addictive.

• One use could cause a fatal heart attack.

• Repeated use may cause insomnia, hallucinations, seizures, paranoia.

• The euphoric effects of crack last only a few minutes.

• Crack possession and use are illegal in all fifty states.

 There are more hospitalizations per year resulting from crack and cocaine use than any other illicit substance



Health Risks: In small doses, barbiturates produce calmness, relaxed muscles and lowered anxiety. Larger doses cause slurred speech, staggering gait and altered perception. Very large doses taken in combination with other central nervous system depressants (e.g., alcohol) cause respiratory depression, coma and sometimes death.

Symptoms: A person who uses barbiturates may have poor muscle control, appear drowsy or drunk, become confused, irritable, inattentive or have slowed reactions.



Ice Also known as: Meth, Crystal, Crank, and Methamphetamine—did you know that

• Ice is extremely addictive - sometimes with just one use!

• Ice can cause convulsions, heart irregularities, high blood pressure, depression, restlessness, tremors, severe fatigue.

• An overdose can cause coma and death

• When you stop using ice you may experience a deep depression.

• Ice causes a very jittery high, along with anxiety, insomnia, sometimes and paranoia.


Dangers and consequences of meth use: sleeplessness, loss of appetite and weight loss, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, elevated body temperature, skin ulceration and infection, the result of picking at imaginary bugs, paranoia, depression, irritability, anxiety, increased blood pressure, due to the constriction of blood vessels, that may produce headaches, chest pain,

or irregular heartbeat and lead to stroke or heart attack, seizures, permanent damage to brain cells caused by injury to small blood vessels serving the brain.  For pregnant women—premature labor, detachment of the placenta, and low birth weight babies with possible neurological damage, poor feeding, and lethargy. For intravenous (IV) users—AIDS, hepatitis, infections and sores at the injection site, and infection of the heart lining and valves (endocarditis).


Hallucinogens (Types Including: PCP, LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Psilocybin)—Did you know that

• One use of LSD or PCP can cause multiple and dramatic behavioral changes.

• Large doses of hallucinogens may cause convulsions, ruptured blood vessels in the brain and irreversible brain damage.

• Many hallucinogens cause unpleasant and potentially dangerous "flashbacks," long after the drug was used.

• Most hallucinogens cause "hallucinations," i.e., changes in perception of time, smell, touch, etc.


How does LSD Affect You? Dilated pupils, high temperature, rapid heartbeat, increased blood pressure, sleeplessness, appetite loss, and tremors. Acute anxiety, depression, panic, paranoia, or psychotic behavior may accompany a bad trip or may occur after most other effects of the drug have worn off. An overdose can result in a longer, more intense and more frightening trip, and the spontaneous, recurring hallucinations known as flashbacks can occur days, weeks, or more than a year after LSD use.

Ecstasy Called MDMA (3-4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine) by scientists, it is a synthetic chemical that can be derived from an essential oil of the sassafras tree. One of the most dangerous drugs threatening young people today. MDMA is also one of the easiest illegal drugs to obtain.

• Effects similar to those of amphetamines and hallucinogens.

• Distributed almost anywhere, it has become very popular at social events like raves, hip hop parties, concerts, etc. frequented by both adults and youth. While not all “event” attendees use Ecstasy, the drug often makes the circuit of these parties and can set up dangerous circumstances that can affect everyone there.

• Short-term effects include psychological difficulties (confusion, depression, sleep problems, craving, severe anxiety, and paranoia).  These effects occur during use and can continue even weeks after use.

• Physical problems that can occur are muscle tension, involuntary teeth clenching, nausea, blurred vision, rapid eye movement, fever, chills or sweating.


Long Term Effects Recent findings connect use of Ecstasy to memory loss. Use of Ecstasy depletes serotonin, a very

important chemical in the brain which regulates mood, sleeping and eating habits, as well as, the thinking and behavior process, sexual function, and sensitivity to pain.


Heroin, Codeine, Morphine, Opium

Opiates often called narcotics are those drugs derived from opium or derivations or opium synthetics.  There are several different drugs in the opiate family including opium, morphine, heroin, codeine, hydromorphone/Dilaudid and merperidine/Demerol.

Paying the Price of Heroin Use: range from mild distress to life threatening dangers and include: dry, itchy skin and skin infections, constricted pupils and reduced night vision, nausea and vomiting (following early use or high doses), constipation and loss of appetite, menstrual irregularity, reduced sex drive, scarring ("tracks") along veins and collapsed veins from repeated injections, irregular blood pressure, slow and irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia), fatigue, breathlessness, and labored, noisy breathing due to excessive fluid in the lungs ("the rattles"), injuries that result from engaging in any activity (such as working, driving, or operating machinery) when incapacitated by heroin use, dependence, addiction, hepatitis, AIDS, and other infections from unsanitary injection, stroke or heart attack caused by blood clots resulting from insoluble additives, respiratory paralysis, heart arrest, coma, and death from accidental overdose

For Self Help Referrals visit: US Department of Health and Human Resources and SAMHSA’s National Clearing House for Alcohol and Drug Information at


US Department of Health and Human Resources and SAMHSA’s National Clearing House for Alcohol and Drug Information

American Council for Drug Education, an Affiliate of Phoenix House


As required with the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act (Public Law 101-226) Saddleback College provides this description of the health risks associated with the use of illicit drugs and alcohol.


Help and Resources for Identification of Possible Alcohol or Drug Abuse

If you think you or a friend has a problem with drugs or alcohol, help is available call 949-582-4606.


Student Health Center

The Student Health Center provides free Individual, Couple, Family, and Group Psychotherapy to all currently enrolled students. Psychotherapy is provided for a wide range of presenting problems, including but not limited to, depressive disorders and suicidal ideation; anxiety disorders, including PTSD and OCD; alcohol and substance abuse and dependency; relational difficulties, including domestic violence; sexual abuse, rape, and sexual harassment; sexual identity concerns, including same-sex couples counseling; immigration and acculturation problems; eating disorders; and adjustment disorders. Students are treated with short-term psychotherapy. Students requiring long-term care are referred to off-campus resources, including low-cost agencies that accept patients without health insurance.

Call for an appointment 949-582-4606


General Counseling

Professional counseling faculty are available to provide personal, academic, and career counseling services to Saddleback College students.

Call for appointment 949-582-4572