Reach out to us - we’re here to help! Mental health counseling services, including short-term and crisis counseling, are provided at no cost to currently enrolled Palo Alto College students. Students are encouraged to speak with a counselor to develop strategies that will promote academic and personal success. If students need long-term help, they may be referred to the appropriate external resources. View a list of community resources.
If this is an emergency, call 911 immediately or call the Alamo Colleges Police Department Emergency Line at 210-485-0911. You may also contact the Center for Healthcare Services helpline at 800-316-9241.
Safeguarding mental health for academic success
Over the past several years, Palo Alto College has dedicated renewed energy toward making sure students’ basic needs are met. Ensuring that students are safe and secure – and that their physiological needs are met – can, in turn, improve the trajectory of students’ educational careers.
Read this interview with personal counselor Rhonda O’Cana in which she offers strategies and advice for safeguarding mental health.
PAC Family Plática with Andrea Flores
Rhonda O'Cana, LPC-S, Personal Counselor
“I enjoy helping students find positive solutions to improve their sense of well-being and happiness - which ultimately leads to success.”
Andrea Flores, LPC, Personal Counselor
"Counseling is a journey and my role is to help students find and rediscover the best parts of themselves, gain confidence and feel more hopeful about their future."
Personal Counselors help currently enrolled students with personal concerns that may affect academic performance like:
To make an appointment:
For urgent matters, dial 911 or contact the Center for Healthcare Services helpline 800-316-9241.
Academic Advisors help new students and currently enrolled students with degree planning and course registration.
To make an appointment:
Currently enrolled students may meet with a counselor for up to three (3) sessions per topic. There is no limit for group sessions or other events. Consultation services are also available to faculty and staff with student concerns.
Out of an abundance of caution, our team is currently providing assistance remotely via email, telephone, and in some cases teleconference.
Each counseling appointment lasts about one (1) hour. Students may be asked to arrive early at the initial appointment to complete some background information.
Counseling Services offers groups and presentations on a variety of topics:
- Family dynamics
- Finding your life work
- Managing stress
- Goal setting & time management
- Returning adults
Students may visit Counseling Services for all areas of focus, including:
- Academic performance
- Adjustment to college
- Anxiety or panic attacks
- Dating/loss of relationship
- Depression/mood swings
- Career indecision/gaining selfknowledge
- Time management and life planning
Happiness & Wellness Tips
If you’ve ever felt stressed or overwhelmed, here are a few positive ways to improve your overall mood and health! We’re here to support your mental health! Counseling Services are free to currently enrolled students.