The demands of school, work, family and friends can sometimes feel overwhelming. At some points, a person's usual strategies for coping may not work effectively. Feelings of distress, helplessness, frustration, confusion, depression or anger may increase; thoughts and plans for suicide or harming oneself or others may occur. The individual may not know what to do, may be unable to carry out responsibilities, to deal with situations occurring in his/her life or to feel safe. Getting to this point may occur quickly, with little warning or it may build over an extended period of time until the person is in a crisis, unable to cope effectively. Counseling and Psychological Services provides crisis intervention services to students, faculty and staff who find themselves or other members of the George Mason community in a crisis.
How to Get Help for a Personal Crisis
During University office hours (8:30am - 5pm):
If you are in a crisis* and need assistance to deal with the psychological impact of this crisis, please contact Counseling and Psychological Services at 703-993-2380 or come to SUB I, Room 3129. A counselor will meet with you to assess your situation and to identify options for dealing with the crisis.
When University offices are closed:
If you are experiencing a crisis* at times when university offices are not open, you may contact university personnel. In housing, contact the on-call housing staff for assistance. Other students may contact the University Police at (703) 993-2810. The police will work with you to contact the Counseling and Psychological Services when this would be helpful to you.
*For life threatening emergencies, call 911 immediately.
For Concerned Friends, Faculty and Staff
If a friend or student is experiencing a crisis, you can most often be of assistance by listening to the individual and offering support rather than advice. The level of support you offer will depend upon the extent of the crisis. If the individual is talking about or making references to hurting him/herself or another individual or behaves in unusual ways, it is important to take more active supportive steps that include seeking services immediately.
When the individual's crisis is not life threatening, your support might be to listen to them and offer suggestions about how to get some support from a professional such as a counselor. Encourage the individual to contact our office or some other community service for assistance. We are available to consult with students, faculty and staff who are concerned about someone who appears to be experiencing a crisis.
In the Event of Self-Harm Concerns
When the individual has done something to hurt him/herself already, the first step is to call 911 for emergency medical assistance. For psychological assistance on-campus, you may contact Counseling and Psychological Services at (703) 993-2380 to consult on how to assist the person and help him/her to get appropriate services. If CAPS is not open, you may contact University Police at (703) 993-2810 to get assistance in identifying sources for emergency services.
In addition to our campus emergency services, we work closely with community emergency services. This enables us to provide extensive 24 hour emergency coverage for psychological emergencies experienced by members of the George Mason community.