Counseling Center

Scheduling an Appointment

  • The Counseling Center continues to provide counseling appointments, Monday - Friday / 9 am - 5 pm, through a hybrid model of both in-person and distance counseling (teletherapy) services.
  • To schedule an appointment, please reach out to us by phone at 412-397-5900 or via email at counseling@rmu.edu.
  • A staff member will assist you with the necessary details and can answer any questions you may have about our services.
  • The center is located at Patrick Henry, Lower Level (entrance is to the left of the Nicholson lawn).

What is Counseling?

Mental health counseling is a process in which people learn to resolve problems and/or improve their well-being. Counselors structure sessions to help clients meet their identified emotional, social, occupational, school, and relational goals. Additionally, counselors provide assessment, give diagnoses, and make recommendations.

Learn more:

Additional Information

Hospitalization Information

Hospitalization

Any time a student is transported to the hospital, the student's designated emergency contact will be notified by the Office of Residence Life or the Counseling Center.

When a student is brought to the hospital, they will be assessed by emergency room staff. The hospital staff will determine whether or not the student is in danger of harming themselves (or others). Based on this assessment, the student may or may not be hospitalized.

If a student is transported to the hospital for any suicidal gesture, ideation, statements, etc., the student’s emergency contact will be notified by the Office of Residence Life or the Counseling Center. The student will also be encouraged to call parents or guardians from the hospital.

If the student is not hospitalized, it is because the student has been assessed by the hospital staff as not suicidal or not harmful to themselves or others. If return transportation is not available, the University Police should be called at (412) 397-2424 to arrange transport of the student back to campus.

If the student is hospitalized, it’s because the hospital staff believe that the student is in danger of harming themselves (or others). 

The student will meet with RMU Counseling Center staff the day of discharge or the next day, depending on time of discharge. The purpose for these meetings is to assure, to the best of our ability, that the student has adequate support on campus. Even if the student has an off-campus psychiatrist and/or psychologist or therapist, the student will still meet with Counseling Center staff.

Policy for Returning to Campus After Hospitalization

Students who are seen at the emergency room and/or are hospitalized, and who do not wish to take a medical leave but feel ready to return to campus after a discharge from the hospital, must be evaluated for readiness to return to campus before they are permitted to resume living on campus or coursework.

The process involves providing documentation from the hospital physician summarizing treatment and a medical opinion of the readiness of the student to return. In order to provide this required information, please complete the Provider Assessment and Release Form (see link and instructions below). Additionally, the student may be required to meet with a university official before they resume classes or returns to the residence hall. This information will be reviewed by the Assistant Dean of Students or another designated university official and a decision will be made regarding whether the student will be permitted to return or will require a medical leave.

If the student and their family disagree about a recommendation for medical leave, they may appeal the decision to the Dean of Student Life. If the Dean decides that it is inappropriate for the student to return to campus at this time, the student will be placed on a medical leave.

The Provider Assessment and Release Form must be completed and signed by the attending physician prior to a student's return to campus after hospitalization.  Please provide your physician with either the electronic link or a hard copy of this form and ask them to complete the required information. Upon completion, the form must be returned to the Counseling Center via mail or fax* from the hospital. This document must be received in the Counseling Center prior to (or at the time of) your appointment.

*The return address/fax info is listed on the first page of the form.

Suicide Prevention Resources

Suicide has become a prevalent mental health concern in the United States with over 30,000 people taking their lives each year. If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, it is important to get help. You can save a life, maybe your own.

How to Identify the Risk Factors for Suicide

  • Depression
  • Previous suicide attempt
  • Excessive alcohol or other drug use
  • Rational thinking is lost
  • Ending of a significant relationship
  • An organized suicide plan
  • Isolating from friends and family
  • Neglecting appearance and hygiene
  • Expressing the belief that life is meaningless
  • Talking about suicide or death
  • Obtaining a weapon or other means of hurting oneself

How to Help Someone

  • Listen intently and let the person express their feelings and emotions.
  • Practice reflective listening - reflect back to them what you think they are saying in a non-judgmental manner.
  • Validate their feelings and help them to calm and slow down.
  • Help them gain understanding of the situation and regain a sense of control.
  • Directly ask them if they have considered suicide (do not just wonder, ask).
  • In an immediate emergency situation contact the University Police at (412) 397-2424.
  • Be willing to go with them to get help.

Need Help?

Robert Morris University offers free and confidential counseling services for our students. To schedule an appointment, call the Counseling Center at 412-397-5900 or stop by. Walk-in crisis appointments are available Monday-Friday, 9 AM-5PM.

If you need immediate help and are located on campus, please contact the University Police at (412) 397-2424.  For off-campus help, call 911.

Resources

Re:solve Crisis Network
1-888-7-You Can (1-888-796-8226) - 24/7 support
Walk-in crisis services, and up to 72-hours of residential services (if referred after a walk-in), in North Braddock, PA
Mobile crisis support teams will travel anywhere in Allegheny County, PA

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-Talk (8255) - 24/7 support

Information on Suicide Prevention 

The JED Foundation 

ULifeline

Half of Us - Feeling Hopeless
"View videos of different people from different backgrounds talking about moments in their lives when they lost hope or thought things would never change. Many of us find ourselves in those dark moments when it’s hard to find hope or figure out what to do next. But all the students and artists in those videos have something in common — they realized that they weren’t alone, found ways to change things and got the support they needed to feel better."

On-campus and Community Resources

Important Contacts

  • Residence Life Emergency Number (For students in the Residence Halls): 412-397-5242
  • RMU University Police (24 hours): 412-397-2424
  • Student Health Services / MyHealth@School: 412-397-6220
  • Re:Solve Crisis Network (phone support, mobile crisis team and a walk in crisis center, 24 hours): 1-888-796-8226
  • Mercy Behavioral Health Crisis Center (Phone, walk in): 1-877-637-2924
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (24 hour hotline): 1-800-273-8255
  • PAAR: Pittsburgh Action Against Rape (24 hour hotline, linkage to services): 1-866-363-7273
  • Center for Victims (24 hour hotline, linkage to services): 1-866-644-2882
  • Women's Center and Shelter of Pittsburgh (Intimate Partner Violence 24 hour hotline, crisis services, linkage to services): 412-687-8005

Area Pharmacies

  • Walgreens - 6906 University Boulevard, Moon Township, PA 15108: 412-269-2501
  • Rite Aid - 5990 University Boulevard, Moon Township, PA 15108: 412-262-2161
  • Giant Eagle - 5990 University Boulevard, Ste 4, Moon Townshp, PA 15108: 412-269-0254
  • Walmart - 7500 University Boulevard, Moon Township, PA 15108: 412-890-0143

Medical Laboratories (Bloodwork)                    

  • Quest Diagnostics - 1600 Coraopolis Heights Road, Ste G, Coraopolis, PA 15108: 412-262-4640
  • Heritage Valley Health Center - 935 Thorn Run Road, Moon Township, PA 15108: 412-262-4161
  • Heritage Valley Sewickley Hospital - 720 Blackburn Road Sewickley, PA 15143: 412-749-7361

Local Psychiatric Hospitals

  • Heritage Valley Kennedy Hospital: 412-777-6161
  • Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic: 412-624-2000

Local Substance Abuse Treatment Centers

  • Greenbriar Treatment Center: 4955 Steubenville Pike, Ste. 365, Pittsburgh, PA 15205: 412-788-6292
    website: greenbriar.net
  • Gateway Rehabilitation Center: 100 Moffett Rd., Aliquippa, PA 15001: 412-604-8900
    website: gatewayrehab.org
  • Jade Wellness Center: 101 N. Meadow Dr., Wexford, PA 15090: 412-380-0100
    website: myjadewellness.com
Faculty and Staff Resources

The Counseling Center is committed to working with faculty and staff on any student issues that may benefit from our assistance or expertise. Due to their frequent contact with students, both faculty and staff are uniquely positioned to notice changes in student behavior over time and to direct students to appropriate campus resources, as needed. The RMU Counseling Center offers a wide variety of services to meet the unique mental health needs of its students. Faculty or staff who have concerns for a student’s mental health or wellness should do what they can to connect the student with the Counseling Center, in order to help them receive appropriate services.

Counseling Center services include individual counseling, group counseling, psychoeducational outreach, and crisis intervention services (including working with a student in distress, facilitating psychiatric hospitalization of a student requiring a higher level of care, working with a group of students who have experienced a traumatic event such as the sudden death of a classmate, and other emergencies).

The Counseling Center works closely with the Office of Residence Life and the University Police to respond to students experiencing various crisis situations and emergencies.

Please click on the button below to review our Faculty and Staff Resource Guide, which provides helpful information for faculty and staff when dealing with students in distress.

Responding to Students in Distress:
A Resource Guide for Faculty and Staff

RMU Counseling Center Contact Information

Office location:  Lower level of Patrick Henry Center (entrance is off of the Nicholson Lawn)
Phone:  (412) 397-5900    |    Email:  counseling@rmu.edu 

Guidelines for Consultations/Referrals

  • Please review our Faculty and Staff Resource Guide (see the staff resource guide button above) for general information. 
  • Feel free to call the Counseling Center to discuss your concerns about a student. One of our staff will help you clarify what may be the most helpful approach for that individual. 
  • Talk to the student directly and express your concern. Provide them with our contact information (see above) and encourage them to reach out.  
  • In cases where an individual’s behavior poses an imminent danger to yourself or others, contact the University Police immediately at (412) 397-2424.
  • Any RMU employee who becomes aware of a suicide threat or gesture, whether written, verbal, or behavioral, must contact the Counseling Center immediately at (412) 397-5900. After hours, call the RMU Police immediately at (412) 397-2424, as they can reach our on-call staff. If off-campus, call 911 for emergency assistance and then notify the Counseling Center as soon as possible.

Follow-up Procedure
We understand that you may be interested in the progress of students you have referred to the Counseling Center. However, we are bound by the principles of confidentiality as defined by ethical obligations and relevant privacy laws. 

We can:

  • Offer you information about psychological concerns and problems, in general
  • Answer your questions concerning steps to take in assisting students in coming to the Counseling Center

We cannot:

  • Verify that a student is being seen by Counseling Center staff or has kept an appointment
  • Discuss the content of any sessions
  • Discuss treatment plans or progress

In some cases, a student may find it in their best interest for information to be shared with a faculty/staff member, family member, or significant other.  In this case, the student must provide written authorization with a clear explanation of the purpose and content of any disclosure. The only exception to this policy would be a clinician’s determination of imminent danger to the student or to others.

To Report a Substance Use/Abuse Concern

Use the Substance Abuse Concern form to report any concerns you may have about a student using/abusing drugs or alcohol. Do not use this form for an emergency! If this is an emergency...

On campus: contact the RMU Police immediately at 412-397-2424 to report your concerns
Off campus: call 911 for help

Who We Are

Full-time Staff

Tiffany Guthrie

Tiffany Guthrie, MS, LPC, NCC
Director and Therapist
guthrie@rmu.edu  |  412-397-5429

Tiffany is the director and a therapist in the RMU Counseling Center. She is a licensed professional counselor in the state of Pennsylvania and a national certified counselor.  Prior to joining RMU in 2015, Tiffany was employed as a therapist at TCV Community Services for adults with both substance use and mental health concerns. She completed her undergraduate education at Washington and Jefferson College, and she earned her Master of Science degree in professional counseling at Carlow University.  Tiffany has presented at the Higher Education Suicide Prevention Conference and is a continuing education trainer for the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work.  She is also certified in cognitive behavior therapy from the Cleveland Center for Cognitive Therapy and is an active member of the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors.


Ryan Nyeholt

Ryan Nyeholt, MA, LPC
Assistant Director and Therapist
nyeholt@rmu.edu  |  412-397-5907

Ryan is an assistant director in the RMU Counseling Center. He is a licensed professional counselor in Pennsylvania. He joined the Robert Morris University Counseling Center in the fall of 2018. Prior to working at RMU, he was the clinical manager at Gateway Rehabilitation in one of their adult inpatient programs. He completed his undergraduate degree at Geneva College in Beaver Falls, and he earned master's degrees in both the clinical mental health program and the master's in higher education program. During his time at Geneva College, Ryan completed his internship with the college counseling center.


Sarah Walters

Sarah Walters, MA, MS, LPC, NCC, CCTP
Assistant Director and Therapist
walterss@rmu.edu  |  412-397-5904

Sarah is an assistant director and therapist for the RMU Counseling Center. In addition to these roles, Sarah also oversees the Thrive Leaders (peer mental health educators) and outreach for the center. She is a licensed professional counselor in the state of Pennsylvania and a national certified counselor. Sarah has done extensive training in ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) and is also credentialed as a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional. She’s published in the Journal of Feminist Family Therapy and has led workshops on counselor burnout & self-care, managing vicarious trauma in the helping professions, and intersectionality and its impact on mental health. Sarah has a Master of Arts in conflict resolution and peace studies from Duquesne University and a Master of Science in clinical mental health counseling from California University of Pennsylvania, now PennWest California. Sarah loves working with college students and strives to create a warm and supportive environment where students can explore themselves safely and without judgment.


Ryann Burick

Ryann Burick, MSW, LSW
Counselor-in-Residence
burick@rmu.edu  |  412-397-5911

Ryann currently serves as the counselor-in-residence in the RMU Counseling Center. She provides one-on-one therapy and crisis services, and she works with the outreach team to provide mental health education and outreach to the student community. Before Ryann joined RMU in 2021, she was employed by the Mercer County Behavioral Health Commission as a community crisis worker, where she provided crisis intervention for suicidal clients within the county. She completed her Bachelor of Science and Master's of Social Work at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, now PennWest Edinboro. Ryann is a certified QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) Instructor and works with groups across campus to train faculty, staff, and students as suicide prevention gatekeepers.


Beth Lucas

Beth Lucas, MS
Secretary II
lucase@rmu.edu  |  412-397-5900

Beth serves as the front line staff member for the counseling center, assisting students and other clientele who visit the center.  She is also responsible for the administrative functions of the office and provides support for the counseling center’s many projects and outreach efforts on campus.  Prior to joining RMU in 2013, Beth was an administrative assistant and project coordinator for Edgeworth, Inc., a Pittsburgh-based consulting firm.  She has an extensive background in office organization and project management.  Beth earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Seton Hill University and her Master of Science in organizational leadership from Robert Morris University.


2022-2023 Doctoral Practicum Students

Sherri Brunner

Sherri Brunner, MA
Doctoral Practicum Student (Therapist)

Sherri is a part-time mental health doctoral trainee at the RMU Counseling Center. She is currently in her third year of doctoral study at Carlow University, in Pittsburgh, where she is pursuing her degree in counseling psychology. She received her BA in psychology with a concentration in counseling and trauma in 2019 and continued to get her MA in psychology in 2020 at Carlow University. Previously, Sherri has work at the Yeshiva Schools of Pittsburgh as a mental health therapist. She was also a member of the Yeshiva Schools Wellness Division where she ran achievement, IQ, and personality assessments. Her dissertation focuses on the intergenerational trauma of children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors and the reactivity of trauma due to antisemitism. Sherri feels that it is an honor to be able to sit in the room with each client. Her goal is to create a warm, safe, and comfortable space for each individual that comes into session.


Jared Duke

Jared Duke, MEd
Doctoral Practicum Student (Therapist)

Jared is a part-time mental health doctoral trainee at the RMU Counseling Center. He is currently in his third year of doctoral study at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, where he is pursuing a degree in counseling psychology. He attended Springfield College in Springfield, MA to receive his M.Ed. in athletic counseling. Previously, Jared was at the UPMC Presbyterian Hospital Department of Neurosurgery, where he administered neuropsychological batteries and provided patient care. Before that, he worked in the counseling center at Chatham University where he provided counseling to students. Jared also pulls from his athletic counseling experiences and history as a former collegiate athlete to facilitate mental performance skills within the athletic context. Jared strives to cultivate a safe and open environment and works to build a strong therapeutic alliance.


Chris Mathyssek

Chris Mathyssek, PhD
Doctoral Practicum Student (Therapist)

Chris is a part-time mental health doctoral trainee at the RMU Counseling Center. She is currently in her fourth year of doctoral study at Carlow University in Pittsburgh, where she is pursuing a doctoral degree (PsyD) in counseling psychology. Her previous clinical experience includes neuropsychological assessment work, forensic assessments, and providing individual and group therapy to incarcerated individuals. Chris is very invested in creating a supportive and collaborative therapy environment in order to best help her clients cope with whatever brings them into the counseling center. She has a special interest in sleep disorders, anxiety disorders, grief, and trauma.

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Vision Statement

The Robert Morris University Counseling Center is committed to addressing the mental health needs of students via clinical services and psychoeducational programming, in order to increase resilience and help students to develop strategies for success. The Counseling Center will be a strategic partner with Robert Morris University departments, offices, and student organizations to provide a holistic and complete experience that honors all students. Through the Thrive Program, the Counseling Center strives to develop student leaders committed to enhancing mental health wellness on campus. The Counseling Center is dedicated to empowering students to realize their fullest potential while in college and beyond.

Non-discrimination Statement

The Robert Morris University Counseling Center is committed to embracing diversity in all its forms as a core value of our center.  We strive to provide culturally competent clinical services and community interventions and are dedicated to promoting an environment of respect and appreciation for the race, ethnicity, national origin, gender identity, age, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, physical/mental ability, and socioeconomic status of all students.  We aim to provide a safe, welcoming, and affirming environment for all persons who utilize our services.