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Student Counseling & Support

If you are a registered student at Northern New Mexico College, the Counseling and Student Support Center (CASSC) offers support for your mental health needs. CASSC provides individual counseling, group counseling, crisis intervention and referral services to NNMC students. Assistance through CASSSC is confidential and FREE of charge. No record of counseling is contained in any academic, educational or job placement file.

When your world starts to get shaky, our licensed counselors are equipped to help you. Students from diverse backgrounds seek support through CASSC for a variety of reasons. Concerns discussed range widely, but might include feelings of low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, academic concerns, substance use, issues with friends and family or relationship concerns.

If you or someone you know is having an emergency or crisis situation, dial 9-1-1 for immediate assistance or go to the nearest hospital emergency room. For additional guidance, visit our Crisis Support page.

Connect with a Counselor

Reaching out to the Counseling and Student Support Center (CASSC) is the best way to get connected to support. We are here to help you and offer short check-ins and regular appointments. Counseling is a FREE service to currently enrolled students provided by licensed professional counselors. CASSC services are currently being offered remotely by telehealth video or phone. If you are interested in receiving counseling services or would like more information, you can visit our online request form or email us at cassc@nnmc.edu. Staff are able to respond within 24 – 48 hours during normal business hours. Our counselors are only able to provide counseling services to students within the state of New Mexico due to licensing restrictions.

At NNMC, we offer short-term, solution focused services including consultation, mental health and substance abuse assessment, crisis intervention, individual and group counseling and linkage to community resources and support. Treatment may include discussion of emotional issues, lifestyle issues, behavioral patterns and family and/or relationship dynamics. No topic is off limits!

  • Counseling is a confidential process designed to help you address your concerns, come to a greater understanding of yourself and learn effective personal and interpersonal coping strategies.
  • Counseling is empowering. The goal of counseling is for you to recognize that you have the strengths within you to be able to conquer or cope with life issues. Your counselor will help you identify your strengths, define a plan to address the presenting problems and build new skills.
  • Counseling is a collaborative process involving both the client and counselor. This process requires effort on your part, may require you to face difficult issues to effect changes and may involve emotional risk or discomfort.
  • Counseling is connecting. Part of counseling is trying new skills in the community around you. Counseling connects you to your community, whether it is to continue counseling with an outside agency, to plug you into a community organization, to connect you with a campus club or to recommend a new activity.
  • Counseling is embracing. The focus of counseling is maintaining an atmosphere of openness, respect and trust. Diversity is accepted and acceptance promoted.

Benefits of treatment are plentiful and may include reduction of symptoms, improved quality of life, emotional well-being and improved academic performance. Although there is no guaranteed outcome, the effects of counseling are most often positive.

At this time, there are no counseling session limits. Sessions lengths can vary from 15-minute check-ins to 30-50 minute appointments based on a student’s needs.

If you’re a bit anxious about your first counseling appointment, that’s completely normal! After completing our online request form or emailing us at cassc@nnmc.edu, you can expect a counselor will reach out to you within 24 – 48 hours during normal business hours to schedule a clinical consultation. During the initial consultation, you will meet with a trained mental health professional who will assist you by matching your concerns with the right level of care. They will ask questions to get to know you, your background, your reasons for seeking help and your history with mental health care. You will learn about the range of services offered at CASSC. At the end of the conversation, they will provide you with recommendations and together you will create a mutually agreed upon plan to help you reach your goals. This plan could include services provided by the CASSC, a referral to other services at the College or, if services off campus would better meet your needs, they will provide referral coordination to help you connect with mental health providers or other resources in the community. You should set aside about 60 – 90 minutes for your first appointment, but this may vary from student to student.

For students

As mental health care providers, the Counseling Services staff is ethically and legally required to uphold standards of confidentiality. Students utilizing our services have a right to confidentiality and to expect that their involvement with Counseling Services and information shared in the context of counseling will be protected. Confidentiality is very important to the success of the therapeutic process and we take it very seriously. Confidentiality of our services means that the Counseling Services staff will not voluntarily release any information about a student’s involvement in counseling without a signed Release of Information form.

There are some exceptions to confidentiality that students need to be aware of. The Counseling Services staff is required to release information without a student’s authorization if they are deemed to be a serious danger to themselves or someone else, if there is concern for known or suspected child or elder abuse or if mandated by a court order. Students may request, by signing a Release of Information form, that the Counseling Services staff release information to specified individuals, agencies or departments. No record of counseling is contained in any academic, educational or job placement file.

For parents, faculty, staff and concerned others:

Assurance of confidentiality is one of the conditions that makes counseling effective. The Counseling Services staff is prohibited by our ethical standards and New Mexico State Law from disclosing anything about any student (including a student’s attendance at a counseling session) without his or her written permission. Per N.M. Stat. § 32A-6A-15, the age of legal consent for mental health treatment (i.e. individual psychotherapy, group psychotherapy, case management, etc.) is 14 years old.

If you know your student has been seen through NNMC Counseling Services and you want to communicate with a counselor or if you simply want confirmation that your student is being seen, please ask your student to sign a Release of Information form which will then allow the Counseling Services staff to share information with you. Without a signed release form, NNMC Counseling Services is unable to confirm or deny whether the student is a client.

If you are concerned about a student and are not sure how to help, please submit a referral to our CARE Team with details of your concern. The team will review the student’s case and determine next steps to support the student of concern. If the concern is an emergency that involves an imminent risk of harm to self or others, please dial 9-1-1.

We recognize that students often times face complex issues that can impact both their well-being and ability to reach their full potential in their educational pursuits. In addition to offering students help through counseling services, our student support services work to address the socio-economic stressors through connecting students with various community resources, programs and agencies. If you are interested in learning more or would like assistance in getting connected with resources in your area, you can fill our online request form or email us at cassc@nnmc.edu. You can also check out our comprehensive list of resources and community services. Some of the community resources we help connect students to include:

  • Housing
  • Food
  • Utility Payment Assistance
  • Childcare
  • Physical Health
  • Legal Services

We have a variety of resources available to assist you. If you are interested in our counseling staff presenting on a particular topic, hosting a workshop or offering a group session, we’d love to hear your ideas. Please fill out our Presentation Request Form. 

Expanding your wellness skills toolkit and practicing holistic self-care can help you overcome setbacks and unexpected issues. If you're facing a challenge that feels too big to handle on your own, reach out to us.

  • NNMC Community Resource Guide
  • Self-Assessments
    • Many students have little free, unscheduled time to pursue the types of self-care that they would like. Online mental health screenings are one of the quickest and easiest ways to determine whether you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition. Visit Mental Health America to complete free mental health screenings and to access additional resources.
  • The JED Foundation offers a Mental Health Resource Center that provides essential information about common emotional health issues and shows young adults how they can support one another, overcome challenges, and make a successful transition to adulthood.

Northern offers over 50 bachelor's, associate and certificate programs in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math); Nursing and Health Sciences; Liberal Arts and Humanities; Arts, Film & Media; Business Administration; Teacher Education and Technical Trades.
Northern New Mexico College is the most affordable 4-year college in the Southwestern US. Choose us for our value, our quality degree and continuing education programs in diverse areas of study, and our experienced faculty. We provide students with unique opportunities for academic, personal, and professional growth, small class sizes, personalized attention, and strong hands-on experiences from day one.
The Northern Foundation remains committed to stimulate leadership, promote equity, and grow resources and philanthropy in the Española Valley and surrounding rural areas. Over the past twenty years, we have granted $1.3 million to support over 1,250 NNMC students.