Self-Help Tools

Please explore these self help links that provide information on community resources, online screenings, coping with anxiety and depression, support for specific populations, and a variety of other mental health topics. 

If you are experiencing a mental health crisis and need to speak to someone immediately, please call the on-call counselor at (802) 865-5745 or Campus Public Safety at (802) 865-6465. Counselors are also available for same day and walk-in appointments during regular business hours.

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Champlain College's Student Handbook outlines our dry-campus alcohol policy.


Alcohol and other drugs are prevalent on college campuses. Whether you are concerned about legal drugs such as alcohol, or illegal drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, or ecstasy, everyone has to make decisions about drugs. You must first realize that the decision to use alcohol or other drugs is a personal one with potentially serious legal and health consequences. It is up to you to determine if, when, and how much you drink or use. Know your limits and weaknesses and take responsibility for them. Consider your reasons for using alcohol or other drugs. Is it to feel good, or to be more socially comfortable? What are your alternatives? Which ones are healthy? Which ones carry potential judicial and legal sanctions?

Alcohol is a depressant drug that decreases body processes such as breathing, heartbeat, and brain activity. Its consumption changes behavior and judgment beginning with the first drink; those changes are progressive. The impact of any number of drinks on behavior and judgment varies for each individual and depends on social and physical factors. Social factors include mood and setting. Physical factors include:

  • biological sex - women usually feel the effects of alcohol faster than men of the same weight
  • body weight
  • type of drink
  • amount of food in the stomach
  • rate at which the alcohol enters the system - see Brad21 for Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) information
  • prescription and over-the-counter medications affect alcohol metabolism

Health effects of alcohol include hangover, dehydration, impotence, liver and brain damage; overdose or mixing with other drugs can cause respiratory failure and death.

Whether you are over or under the legal drinking age, you cannot avoid making decisions about drinking - at parties, on dates, or in your room. The consequences of making poor decisions about drinking can increase your risk of academic failure, getting a sexually transmitted infection, and being involved in physical assaults. They can also increase your risk of developing a long-term drinking problem. Careless decisions about drinking - made at the last minute or when you have already begun drinking - usually have the worst consequences. But you can make good decisions - before you drink, that will protect you and those you care about. Begin with the facts and an honest assessment of your current drinking habits and be a helpful and responsible host to others.

Drug Information

Drugs may have both short-term and long-term health effects depending on many factors such as the type and quantity of drug, how often someone uses it, the physical and emotional health of the user and combinations of drugs and/or with alcohol. Even infrequent use of drugs can result in physical problems such as hangovers, digestive problems, heart damage, decreased sexual performance, and injuries due to lack of coordination and judgment. Other possible effects include impaired performance in class and at work, relationship conflicts and financial difficulties.

  • A Psychoactive drug is defined as a chemical or drug that has a specific effect on the mind. There are three basic categories of psychoactive drugs: stimulants, psychedelics, and depressants.
  • Stimulants - also called uppers - increase alertness, energy, physical activity and feelings of well being. Some examples are cocaine, amphetamines such as speed and crystal meth, nicotine, and caffeine.
  • Psychedelics - also called hallucinogens - can cause visual, auditory, and other sensory hallucinations. Examples are LSD (acid), peyote, and psilocybin.
  • "Club drugs" combine the properties of both stimulants and hallucinogens. The effect is a heightened sensitivity to sensory input without hallucinations or other major perceptual distortions. Examples are ecstasy, ketamine and GHB and are prevalent at "raves."
  • Depressants - also called downers - decrease body processes such as breathing, heartbeat, and brain activity. Examples are alcohol, barbiturates, rohypnol ("date rape drug"), tranquilizers, and inhalants.
  • Marijuana- when smoked, marijuana triggers a mild euphoria and a heightened sensitivity of bodily sensations, along with a variety of other perceptual distortions that are usually experienced as pleasant-but not always, and not by all users. Research shows that marijuana affects the balance of chemicals in the brain that control mood, energy, appetite, and concentration.
  • Psychoactive drugs are most frequently used for "recreational" purposes. Many produce tolerance and dependence (psychological, physical, or both). The more frequently a person uses a drug and/or the larger the dose, the greater their tolerance to the drug. This means that over time, larger quantities may be needed to produce the desired effect.

Although dependence is associated with tolerance, it is not the same thing. A person who is physically dependent on a drug needs it to function "normally". When the drug is discontinued, withdrawal symptoms occur that can be both painful and even life threatening. Taking the drug again relieves these withdrawal symptoms, but only temporarily.

A person who is psychologically dependent feels he or she cannot function "normally" without the drug. While there may be no physical illness associated with quitting, there can be severe mental and emotional distress that prompts the person to continue using the drug.

Local Resources:

Howard Center Substance Use & Recovery Services

University of Vermont Medical Center: Day One

Phoenix House Health & Recovery Solutions

Turning Point Center of Chittenden County

Vermont Department of Health Resources

Vermont Directory for Substance Use Treatment Resources

Other Resources:

Start Your Recovery

What is Harm Reduction?

Link to this FAQ

General Mental Health Help Apps:

Apps for Anxiety and Stress Reduction:

Apps for Depression:

Apps for Sleep:

Apps for Time Management and Procrastination:

Apps for Coping with Suicide and Self-Harm:

Link to this FAQ

Local Resources

Crisis Resources Available 24/7

Community Referrals

Not all types of counseling problems are best dealt with at the Counseling Center. Students with mental health issues or conditions rising above the level of those addressed by short-term therapy, treatment for severe psychological disorders, court-mandated treatment, or highly-specialized treatment may be best treated by off-campus resources. We also encourage students to continue working with their current psychiatrist, physician, or a mental health provider at home for continuity of care and for access to support when not at Champlain College.

If a student requires longer-term or more-intensive psychotherapy or specialized care the Counseling Center cannot provide, we will make a referral to a clinician in the community who can provide that care. If you are referred to a clinician in the community, you will need to use your health insurance or pay out of pocket for that care. We work with local providers to find ones that have openings and that work with the student's insurance. There are several resources in the community that lower fees for students who cannot afford counseling or that see students regardless of ability to pay. Students are also informed about the best ways to get transportation to off-campus appointments. We will make every effort to make sure that referral fits your clinical and practical needs. If the referral is not working for you, for any reason, you are encouraged to contact the clinician at the Counseling Center that you initially saw to discuss your options.

Link to this FAQ

Self Evaluator

Developed by Duke University Medical Center, the Self Evaluator is a screening program designed to help students uncover whether they, or a friend, are at risk for depression, suicide, and several other disorders, including alcohol and drug dependence, eating disorders, generalized anxiety disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

ULifeline Self Evaluator

The Self Evaluator, while evidence-based, is for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical advice or be a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.

eCHECKUP TO GO at Champlain College


The Alcohol eCHECKUP TO GO will provide you with accurate and personalized feedback about:

Your individual drinking pattern.
Your risk patterns.
Your aspirations and goals.
Helpful resources at Champlain College and in your community.

This Alcohol eCHECKUP TO GO program was purchased for the exclusive use of, and tailored to, the Champlain College community. If you are not a member of the Champlain College, please do not proceed on this site


The Cannabis eCHECKUP TO GO will provide you with accurate and personalized feedback about:

Your individual pattern of cannabis use.
Your risk patterns.
Your aspirations and goals.
Helpful resources at Champlain College and in your community.

This Cannabis eCHECKUP TO GO program was purchased for the exclusive use of, and tailored to, Champlain College. If you are not a member of Champlain College, please do not proceed on this site.

Link to this FAQ