In this section:




If this is a true medical or mental health emergency in which seconds count, please call 911.  Additionally, call Public Safety at 610.796.8350 (or ext. 8350 from a University phone) so they can direct first responders to the campus location.


Mental Health Emergency Phone Numbers:

Sexual Violence Emergency Phone Numbers:

Poisoning/Alcohol Overdose:

During Office Hours:
The Health & Wellness Center is staffed Monday through Friday.  If a student has an emergency during these hours, please call the Center at 610.568.1467 and a staff member will determine the appropriate level of care needed for the emergency at hand or call Public Safety, 610.796.8350.  If immediate help is needed and Health & Wellness Center staff will respond to the emergency with Public Safety.

Alvernia University’s Health & Wellness Center is not an emergency care center.  The staff will administer first-aid and stabilize an emergency condition until ambulance personnel arrive for transport.  Students are referred to a near-by hospital or urgent care center for emergency medical care.  If an ambulance is required, the cost of this transport is the responsibility of the student.

After Hours:
If a health problem requires immediate attention when the Health & Wellness Center is closed, please contact Public Safety at 610.796.8350 or dial 911.

Routine medical complaints should be seen during regular office hours.  Schedule an appointment with the Health & Wellness Center by calling 610.568.1467 and leave a message at any time; someone will return the call the next business day to schedule an appointment.

If a medical concern of a residential student cannot wait until normal business hours, contact Residence Life staff (RA) who will contact the physician on call for questions and concerns or can locate the closest urgent care center.


There are a few situations that require an immediate response when a student is experiencing a mental health crisis:

  • When a student is in significant emotional distress and his/her ability to function is seriously impaired.
  • When a student poses a threat to him/herself or others.
  • When a student makes overtly suicidal comments; e.g. Referring to suicide as a current option or has a plan and the means to carry out the plan.
  • When a student is experiencing impaired speech or garbled, disjointed thoughts, bizarre or strange behavior that is obviously inappropriate to the situation; e.g. Talking to “invisible people” or exhibiting paranoid thinking.


  • High levels of irritability, including unruly, aggressive, or violent behavior.
  • A serious and imminent threat of harm to themselves, others or property

During Office Hours:
Please contact the Health & Wellness Center if a crisis occurs during office hours at 610.568.1467. Our staff will work to determine the best course of action for the student’s needs. 

After hours:
When the office is closed, please call Public Safety at 610.796.8350.

Is it an emergency?
Signs and Symptoms of a Student in Distress but Not in Any Immediate Danger:

Changes in Mood

  • Sadness/crying/depressed
  • Angry/aggressive/fighting
  • Disruptive
  • Excessive giddiness/”manic”
  • Irritable
  • Anxious

Changes in Behavior

  • Missing Class
  • Not completing classwork
  • Loss of motivation
  • Bizarre, unusual, inappropriate behavior
  • Speech or thoughts that are confusing, hard to follow
  • Sleeping more or less

Changes in Social Relationships

  • Isolating\withdrawing from others
  • Over dependent on others, clingy, draining
  • Excessive partying, social life interfering with other areas of life
  • Talking to family less or more
  • Not responding to texts/social media
  • Posting concerning comments on social media

Changes in Personal Appearance

  • Poor hygiene
  • Dressing differently
  • Less interest in appearance or preoccupied with appearance
  • Weight loss or gain

Increased Physical Complaints

  • Headaches
  • Doesn’t feel well
  • Nausea
  • Stomach/gastrointestinal issues
  • Fatigue

Increased alcohol/substance use

  • Drinking more alone
  • Drinking more/excessively with others
  • Increased amount or frequency of substance use
  • Use of different alcohol/substances
  • Never used at all, but now using

*Not all these symptoms need to be present to indicate that a student needs help. Telling the difference between an individual's personality style and symptoms of a problem can be quite difficult. The "symptoms" described above are behaviors that lead to problems for the individual both in and outside the classroom and thus are reasons for concern. If you are unsure as to whether someone's behavior is something to be concerned about, please contact the Health and Wellness Center at 610.568.1467 and we can help you determine if something needs to be done.

Guidelines for Interacting with Students in Distress but Not in Any Immediate Danger:

  • Talk privately to the student
  • Listen carefully
  • Show interest and concern
  • Clarify what they are saying by repeating back the essence of what they have told you
  • Talk in noncritical, nonjudgmental ways
  • Consider the Counseling Center as a resource and discuss a referral with the student
  • If the student resists help and you are worried, call the Health and Wellness Center at 610.568.1467 and ask for a counselor to discuss your concerns.
  • Involve yourself only as far as you feel comfortable. Extending oneself can be a gratifying experience when kept within realistic limits.
  • Use “Report It” to share your concerns and request additional support for a student.  Reports are forwarded to the Community Standards Coordinator and Associate Dean of Students.  Outreaches are made to the student of concern within 1-2 business days.  This type of report should NOT be used in the case of imminent harm to self or others or any other emergency.


In January of 2016, the Bureau of Justice Statistics released the Campus Climate Validation Study.  This study confirmed that sexual violence occurs at an alarming rate on college campuses, showing that on average 1 in 5 women and 1 in 14 men experience sexual violence while in college. These statistics are even higher for the LGBTQIA students. 

Alvernia University believes that all people deserve to have their basic human dignity and sexual sovereignty respected. Everyone has the right to not be acted upon sexually by someone else unless and until he or she gives clear, knowing, and voluntary consent.  At Alvernia University, we want our students to be aware of our Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Policy in the Student Handbook.  We believe that any violation of the sexual harassment and misconduct policy is a very serious matter.

Survivors of sexual violence who wish to seek assistance on campus should review the Sexual Misconduct Policy Brochure.  Paper copies of this brochure are available at the Health & Wellness Center, the Office of Residence Life, and office of the Dean of Students.  Reports to the University are not required, but are encouraged.  The University does recommend that survivors seek help in some way, whether on or off-campus, but it recognizes that this is the choice of the survivor.  Also, reporting an assault does not necessitate pursuing legal or judicial action.

Campus Resources:
Public Safety: 610.796.8350
Title IX Coordinator: 610.796.8211
Health Services: 610.568.1467
Counseling Services: 610.568.1467
Community Standards: 610.796.5508
Dean of Students /Director of Res. Life: 610.796.8211
Campus Ministry: 610.796.8300

Local/National Resources
Safe Berks ( 844.789.7233
PA Coalition Against Rape ( 888.772.7227
Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network ( 800.656.4673
National Domestic Violence Hotline ( 800.799.7233


Binge drinking, consuming too much alcohol too quickly can cause alcohol poisoning.  This condition is serious and can lead to death if not treated promptly by a medical professional.

Know the signs of alcohol poisoning:

  • Repeated, uncontrolled vomiting
  • Slow or shallow breathing (Less than 13 breaths per minute or more than 8 seconds between breaths)
  • Cold, clammy, bluish skin
  • Unresponsive or unable to be awakened

Know what to do:

  • If you notice any of these signs, call 911 and Public Safety.
  • Make sure your friend is lying on his/her side to prevent choking
  • Stay with your friend while waiting for help.
  • DO NOT  let your friend sleep it off.

Remember, Alvernia University has a medical amnesty policy.  Seeking help for yourself or a friend will not lead to disciplinary actions unless you abuse the policy.  Please take time to review this policy in the Student Handbook.

Health & Wellness Center
Feeling hopeless or depressed? Text ruOK to 484.816.ruOK (7865).
Take a free, anonymous emotional health screening.
Concerned about a student or friend?