The Care Center

The Care Center at Villa Maria College provides professional counseling in a safe, confidential and comfortable setting.

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Services for Every Student

Some people think counseling is only for people who have problems. The fact is, we all have challenges at one point or another. Counseling is for those who are coping with mental health challenges, want to learn how to be more successful in school, and hope to become more self-aware, independent, and resourceful.

The Care Center provides supportive services to promote emotional well-being and enhance personal growth that contributes to students’ academic success. Our staff collaborate with campus offices to create additional programming to assist in the overall development of students.

We are open Monday-Friday from 9 AM – 5 PM. To schedule an appointment, click here.

If you are experiencing an emergency when our office is closed, please call Crisis Services at 716-834-3131 or text “Got5U” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741.

DIRECTOR OF THE CARE CENTER
Karen Zgoda

[email protected]
716.961.1821

SAY YES COUNSELOR
DeMario Rhodes

[email protected]
716.961.1802

Services

Eligibility: The services offered at the Care Center are free of charge and all enrolled students are eligible to receive these services. Students may be referred off campus if specialty or long-term care is needed. Students on leave, graduates, faculty, administrators, and staff members may consult with us for referrals to community services.

Initial Consultation: Our counselors are here for faculty and staff to discuss any concern or problem. You might not even be sure that you need counseling. It could be that you feel that a friend or family member would benefit from support and you do not know where to start. Maybe you just want to meet our therapists to see if we are a good fit to help. You can set up an appointment or visit us during Walk-In Hour (3-4pm daily).

Individual counseling: We have two counselors that provide confidential, individual short-term therapy that can help you sort out life barriers, identify obstacles, explore options, and create strategies for how to proceed and resolve issues. Whether facing issues like depression, anxiety, loss, relationship concerns or just day-to-day stress, counseling can help students gain self-awareness, identify personal strengths, and learn techniques for coping and overcoming obstacles to help develop full potential. For students with more complex needs, we can provide you a referral for off-campus, long-term counseling.

Our staff can also work with you on social work referrals to enhance your overall well-being. For example, a variety of challenges, including medical, housing, transportation, food, financial difficulties, family, and social issues, can affect a student’s ability to be successful here at Villa. We can link you with school and community resources that provide support and additional services during the most challenging of times.

Academic Recovery Program: The Academic Recovery Program is designed to help students who are struggling academically return to good academic standing. Students in Academic Recovery will identify barriers to academic success, set goals, develop an action plan to achieve those goals, learn about academic support resources on campus, and create a student success plan.

Confidentiality

The Care Center provides a safe, private, and confidential environment that ensures a positive working relationship with students. Confidentiality means that counseling information is not released to anyone without the student’s written permission, except in limited circumstances as may be required by law. These circumstances may include:

  • If there is a concern that someone may do harm to themselves or someone else
  • Mandatory reporting of child abuse/neglect

Mental Health Workshops

Our staff provides outreach, activities, and small group workshops to promote student wellness and mental health. For example, the workshops typically offered are:

  • Stress before tests – how to manage test anxiety
  • Adjusting to college life – difficulties that you don’t expect
  • Communication skills and assertive conversations
  • Impulse control
  • Overcoming procrastination
  • Balancing life and college responsibilities
  • Relaxation and mindfulness
  • Diversity and culture
  • Healthy relationships

Self-Directed Resources

The websites listed below are available to provide information relating to mental and emotional health including: anxiety, depression, stress, sleep, grief, trauma, suicide prevention, relationships and communication, mental health and more.

ULifeline: This website is a confidential, online resource center designed specifically for college students to learn more about mental health or help a friend who is experiencing a mental health challenge.

ULifeline Self-Evaluator Online Screening: The Self-Evaluator is an anonymous screening that may help you recognize specific mental health challenges such as Depression, Alcohol Abuse, Eating Disorders, and Anxiety. The assessment is not intended for diagnostic purposes. If the screening recommends follow-up, you are encouraged to contact the Care Center.

Mental Health 101: To take control of our emotional health, we have to understand it. Learn about mental health, what influences it, and ways to protect and improve it here.

Mental Health is Health: Whether it’s for you or a friend you care about, there are always things we can do to strengthen our emotional health and support others. Our emotional health can range from thriving to struggling. No matter what you’re experiencing, there are ways to take action to support yourself and those around you. Curiosity is an important part of taking care of ourselves and those we care about. Asking questions and staying informed helps protect and improve our emotional health. Find information and resources inspired by what’s happening in the world (and on our TV screens).

Cheektowaga Community Hub: The Cheektowaga Hub was established to connect residents with services and support for their specific needs.

211 WNY: 211 WNY is your free and confidential link to health and human services. Every day across Western New York, people just like you are looking for help. 211 WNY is here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Taking Care of Your Mental Health in Times of Uncertainty: A large part of anxiety comes from a sense of what we think we should be able to control but can’t. We may feel helpless about what will happen or what we can do. When things feel uncertain or when we don’t generally feel safe, it’s normal to feel stressed. Sometimes stress can also take a toll on our mental health. We don’t always know it’s happening. You might feel more on edge than usual, angry, helpless, sad, or distractible. You might notice that you are more frustrated with others or want to completely avoid any reminders of what is happening. For those of us who already struggle with our mental wellness, we might feel more depressed, fatigued, or less motivated to carry out our daily activities. It’s important to note that we are not helpless in light of current news events. We can always shape our response. If you are struggling, here are some things you can do to take care of your mental health in the face of uncertainty.

NCAA Mental Health Resources: The NCAA Sport Science Institute is a leader in providing health and safety resources to college athletes, coaches, athletics administrators, and campus partners. Together with leading medical organizations, behavioral health centers and content matter experts, the SSI provides educational resources for member schools to promote and support the health and well-being of student-athletes. Located on this page are materials and resources related to the mental health and wellness of college athletes.

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