Counseling Center

Your health and wellness is a priority at NSU. Nothing is more important to us than the physical health and emotional well-being of our students.

The mission of the Counseling Center, a department of Student Affairs, is to help students resolve personal difficulties that may interfere with optimal personal and academic functioning; and acquire the skills, attitudes, abilities, and knowledge that will enable them to attain educational and personal goals. The Counseling Center fosters a culture where help-seeking behavior is normal, encouraged, and supported across campus and the greater community.


Student Center 222



College students have their own unique concerns, problems and issues. Our professionally trained counselors understand what students are going through as they adjust to college life. They are there for the students – offering guidance and support when it’s necessary. Services provided:

  1. Confidential clinical services that help students achieve their academic and personal goals
  2. Education, training, and support for the campus community regarding the needs of students through outreach, programming, and consultation
  3. Prevention programming on a range of behaviors pertinent to the college population, including high-risk alcohol/drug use, domestic and dating violence, and suicide prevention

Issues commonly addressed through brief individual or group counseling:

  1. Academic-related issues
  2. Mood or self-esteem issues
  3. Relationship issues
  4. Adjustment concerns such as dealing with new life circumstances
  5. Grief and loss

All contacts with the Counseling Center are confidential. We will not release any information about students without your written permission. This includes parents and other family members, faculty or other university persons or anyone outside the university. Also, students' contacts with the center do not become part of their university record.


Legal limits to the confidentiality we can provide include:

  • Information about child abuse or neglect must be reported to the proper authorities
  • If a student is dangerous to him/herself or others, steps must be taken to protect the student or those who are in danger
  • Information about abuse to the elderly must be reported
  • If a student is involved in court proceedings, your records can be subpoenaed
  • Students who are under 18 years of age

We discourage people from contacting us via email regarding personal problems. The nature of email is such that we can not guarantee the confidentiality of correspondence, nor do we find email communications as useful as in-depth, face-to-face contact. Moreover, we can not guarantee that we will read email right away or respond in a timely fashion.

NSU's Insight Program is an early intervention service for individuals ages 18-20 in the court, and all ages for NSU Student Rights & Responsibilities. This three-level program is designed to explore and address problems or risk factors that appear to be related to substance use, and help the person recognize the harmful consequences of inappropriate substance use.  Fees may apply to this program.  Contact our office for more information or payment options.

The Counseling Center can help students find options for mental health services and treatment and prevention facilities in the Aberdeen area.  Typical referrals might include couple or family therapy, psychiatric consultations, or referrals for family or friends of the NSU community.

Everyone, especially college students, knows what stress is and the Stress Management Lab offered by the Counseling Center helps students do something about it.  Through individual sessions, students learn simple tension-relieving exercises and find the relaxation technique that works for them.  Participating in the Stress Management Lab helps students develop new and healthy ways of coping with stress.

Individual Counseling

Personal counseling is offered when life’s challenges interfere with a student’s ability to learn.  The Counseling Center offers individual counseling to meet a variety of personal and academic issues.  If the student's concerns require more extensive services than are offered at Northern, a counselor can assist with an appropriate referral to a community agency. Services are limited to eight sessions per academic semester. 


Crisis Counseling and Emergencies

You should contact the Counseling Center for an appointment if you or someone you know is in a crisis situation and/or:

  • Is unable to stop crying
  • Has thoughts of hurting self or others
  • Has not eaten in a few days (not due to illness)
  • Has not slept in a few days (not due to illness)
  • Is unable to go to classes (not due to illness)

Service Limitations

The Counseling Center strives to meet the mental health needs of most students.  However, some limitations do exist.  For more  detailed information of the services we provide and our limitations, please read our Scope of Practice



Office Hours

Call the Counseling Center at 605-626-2371 to schedule an appointment.


Academic year hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday


Summer hours: 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday

After Hours

Students living in a residence hall should contact the RA or assistant director, who will call the community crisis line at 229-1000.


Students living off-campus should call one of the following:

  • Crisis Line: 605-229-1000
  • Avera St. Luke’s Emergency Room: 605-622-5100
  • Safe Harbor (Domestic violence and sexual assault): 605-226-1212​
Summer Hours

Due to contract limitations, there are periods of office closure May 22-July 21. During these periods, existing clients will be referred to off-campus resources as needed.