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The NOVACares Office strives to provide education, tips and current resources to assist and inform members of the NOVA community. If you know of additional resources not listed here, please forward them to NOVACares@nvcc.edu.

Academic Support Services

Visit the Advising and Counseling page for counseling support for career, transfer, retention (academic success) and disability issues.

Campus Counseling Services

If you are a new student or have questions, a counselor will help guide you through the sometimes confusing administrative procedures and requirements. All NOVA campuses have counselors available by appointment or walk-in. Academic advising helps you to plan a program that will meet your educational objectives. If you cannot come to campus to meet with your advisor, Online Virtual Advising is available to you.

Speak With a Virtual Advisor

Virtual advisors are available by chat or email.  Please have your NOVA Student ID number available.

Via Email:
AcademicAdvising@nvcc.edu; emails are answered within 24 hours.

Online Chat:          
Click on the Live Chat link to talk with a virtual advisor.

On Demand Student Success Workshops - StudentLingo

Alcohol/Drugs - Education & Intervention

Adapted from ULifeline.

Do you think you have a problem with alcohol or other drugs?

Take the test to learn more

Getting Help

If you or someone you know has a problem with alcohol or drugs, contact your campus counseling center to help connect you or your friend with a therapist, group counseling or rehab program. Appropriate medical treatment may be necessary if someone is suffering from withdrawal. Substance use can seriously impair judgment and suicidal thoughts can be very real. Seek help immediately if you or a friend is showing signs of suicidal behavior.

Substance abuse can be treated. Treatment programs use both counseling and medications to help people stop abusing substances and rebuild their lives.

Recovery from addiction can sometimes be a life-long challenge. Sobriety can be an ongoing process that requires regular monitoring. Treatment focuses on teaching coping skills to help avoid temptations, maintaining a substance-free lifestyle, and dealing with cravings or relapses. Addiction is manageable and shouldn't stand in the way of a successful, productive life with proper treatment.

Additional Resources/Information Sites:

StartYourRecovery.org is a free, confidential tool that helps individuals take steps toward a healthy relationship with drugs and alcohol. It was developed with the input of leading clinicians, experts from the White House and SAMHSA and people in recovery themselves.

Disability Resources and Services
Autism Spectrum
Faculty & Staff Resources

Employee Assistance Program

Sometimes you may need some extra help. If you have insurance through work, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offers free and confidential assistance. This is the DHRM page that lists the phone number for EAP for each insurance provider for State employees.

Tips on Classroom Management

Students in Distress

Autism Spectrum

Food Pantries

If you are in need of food, please contact your campus counseling center for possible resources and/or referrals.

  • The food pantry on the Alexandria Campus is open to all students who are homeless, hungry, unemployed or underemployed. Visit the Student Service Center, Bisdorf, AA194.
  • The Annandale Campus Food Pantry is open to the Annandale Campus community. If you need assistance with food, please contact: 703.323.2154 or 703.764.0122 and have your valid NOVA ID available. The Food Pantry is open Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • The Manassas Campus Food Pantry will open soon. Contact: Marcie Schreibman, Student Life Coordinator x43057 or Cari Dresser, Student Life Advisor, x43046.
  • SERVE Hunger Resource Center (Manassas area)
  • 2-1-1 Quick Help: A list of social and community resources (ex. shelter, food, clothing, crisis intervention) in the areas surrounding NOVA campuses. For individualized assistance, just dial 2-1-1 to connect to a resource specialist.
  • Connect VA: Search engine to find social service resources. 
Grief & Loss

Individual and group therapy can enormously help individuals deal with grief. Below are some local and online resources.

What You Need to Know About Grief Support Groups

Many people feel shy about joining a Grief Group, but support groups are a time-tested method of helping people struggling with all sorts of difficulties. No one has a magic formula for “fixing” grief, but it is often helpful to be with others who deeply understand how you are feeling. A Grief group can provide members with validation and understanding of the intensity of their experience. It can combat isolation by providing members with a compassionate community that will support them in their struggle, while allowing members the opportunity to share their strengths and coping strategies.  This sharing provides affirmation and hope that one can survive loss.


  • Capital Caring: 1.855.571.5700 (Northern VA, DC, Prince Georges)
  • Vitas Hospice: 703.270.4300 (multiple locations)
  • Blue Ridge Hospice: 540.313.9200 (Counties: Frederick, Clarke, Warren, Page, Shenandoah, Loudoun, Fauquier, Rappahannock)

Most hospice centers provide grief support groups that are open to those regardless of whether hospice services were used. Some hospice centers also provide short-term, individual counseling.


  • INOVA Life With Cancer: 703.698.2526 (Fairfax): Counseling, Groups, Referrals


Other Grief Support Resources

Funeral homes and places of worship also have grief support resources and may be able to help you locate a support group.


If you or someone you know is homeless or in danger of becoming homeless, there are emergency shelters and other community resources available.  

Homeless Shelter Referral List

Human Trafficking

National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline 1.888.373.7888

Human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery involving the illegal trade of people for exploitation or commercial gain.

Every year, millions of men, women and children are trafficked in countries around the world, including the United States. It is estimated that human trafficking generates billions of dollars of profit per year, second only to drug trafficking as the most profitable form of transnational crime.

Human trafficking is a hidden crime as victims rarely come forward to seek help because of language barriers, fear of the traffickers and/or fear of law enforcement.

Traffickers use force, fraud or coercion to lure their victims and force them into labor or commercial sexual exploitation. They look for people who are susceptible for a variety of reasons, including psychological or emotional vulnerability, economic hardship, lack of a social safety net, natural disasters or political instability. The trauma caused by the traffickers can be so great that many may not identify themselves as victims or ask for help, even in highly public settings.

Many myths and misconceptions exist. Recognizing key indicators of human trafficking is the first step in identifying victims and can help save a life. Not all indicators listed are present in every human trafficking situation and the presence or absence of any of the indicators is not necessarily proof of human trafficking.

The safety of the public and the victim is paramount. Do not attempt to confront a suspected trafficker directly or alert a victim to any suspicions. It is up to law enforcement to investigate suspected cases of human trafficking.

Women for the World, Inc. Human Trafficking Resources

National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC)
National Human Trafficking Hotline
Telephone: 888.373.7888
A national anti-trafficking hotline serving victims and survivors of human trafficking and anti-trafficking community in the United States.

Virginia’s hotline

A leader in the global fight to eradicate modern slavery; provides a comprehensive model that puts victims at the center by helping survivors restore their freedom, preventing more victims, and leveraging data and technology to pursue traffickers wherever they operate.

Human Trafficking 101
Reviews the federal definition of human trafficking and descriptions of sex and labor trafficking; teaches participants how to identify and understand victims and about the anti-trafficking response network in the U.S.

Digital Defenders of Children, driving tech innovation to fight child trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children.

CNN Freedom Project

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

U.S. Department f Homeland Security Blue Campaign
Provides information on training and outreach, how traffickers operate and victim assistance to help keep the public informed.

Human Trafficking Awareness Training

Human Trafficking Awareness Training (print version)

Print Materials

  • DHS Human Trafficking Indicators Pamphlet (& Card) – Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons Fact Sheets
  • Human Trafficking Awareness Poster

U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE): 866.347.2423

US Department of Justice

Bureau of Justice Assistance:
Develops training for law enforcement and communities to identify trafficking in persons and funds task forces based on a sound strategy of collaboration among state and local enforcement, trafficking victim service providers, federal law enforcement and US Attorney’s Offices.

Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS):
Works to combat incidences of child exploitation and trafficking of women and children; issues under the CEOS umbrella include child pornography, illegal interstate or international transportation of women and children, international parental abduction, computer-related exploitation of children, and child victimization on federal and Indian lands

US Department of Defense

Combating Trafficking in Persons Program Office
Establishes policy and ensures that services, combatant commands, and defense agencies have the necessary tools to prevent trafficking; sustains an effective program to combat trafficking in persons in both its domestic and international environments.

U.S. Department of State

US Department of State
Office to monitor and combat trafficking in persons; leads the United States global engagement against human trafficking, an umbrella term used to describe the activities involved when someone obtains or holds a person in compelled service.

Awareness Training

15 Tips for Fighting Human Trafficking

U.S. Department of Labor

US Department of Labor
Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor and Human Trafficking publishes reports on international child labor, forced labor and human trafficking and provides funding to combat international child labor.

National Conference of State Legislators


Virginia Department of Education
Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Initiative


NOVA is committed to providing a safe, inclusive and diverse environment for our students to achieve their academic goals. We hope that our students and staff take advantage of LGBTQ support and resources both on and off campus. There are some clubs at various NOVA Campuses; please inquire with your campus Student Life Center for locations.

Local Community Resources
Mental Health

Mental Health Provider Database

Because Northern Virginia Community College is unable to provide campus-based mental health services for our students, we have created a database of mental health professionals available throughout the Northern Virginia, DC, Maryland area who are licensed to provide psychotherapy and medication management. The Mental Health Provider database allows you to search for a provider by discipline, specialty, gender identification, insurances accepted, location and public transportation accessibility. We suggest that you click on a provider to explore their personal statement to get a better idea of which ones might be the best fit for you. The Mental Health Provider Home Page also includes information on how to choose a therapist and offers information and resources for addressing grief, substance abuse, Veteran’s concerns and LGBTQ support.

Local Community Based Providers

*Some may offer free services or sliding scale fees.

U-LIFELINE is a website for college students containing information on mental health and emotional wellness with community and campus resources. Additionally, ULifeline’s Self Evaluator can help individuals find out if a mental health issue such as depression or an anxiety disorder could be impacting their thoughts, feelings or behaviors. All self-evaluations are confidential.

Stress Management

Stress Basics – Definition by Mayo Clinic Staff:

Stress is a normal psychological and physical reaction to the ever-increasing demands of life. Surveys show that many Americans experience challenges with stress at some point during the year.

Your brain comes hard-wired with an alarm system for your protection. When your brain perceives a threat, it signals your body to release a burst of hormones to fuel your capacity for a response. This has been labeled the "fight-or-flight" response.

Once the threat is gone, your body is meant to return to a normal relaxed state. Unfortunately, the nonstop stress of modern life means that your alarm system rarely shuts off.

Stress management is important. Stress management gives you a range of tools to reset your alarm system.

Your body is always on high alert without stress management. Over time, high levels of stress can lead to serious health problems. Don't wait until stress has a negative impact on your health, relationships or quality of life. Start practicing a range of stress management techniques today.

Mayo Clinic Staff

Half of Us is a website devoted to college students who are experiencing stressors and emotional challenges that often come with campus life. Testimonials, resources, and coping strategies are offered to students to remind them that they are not alone in their struggles.

MindYourMind is a website for emerging adults to access information, resources and tools during tough times. Help yourself and others. Share what you live and know.

ReachOut provides information and support to overcome mental health issues like stress, anxiety, bullying and suicide.

ADD - Panic Attacks PDF

Try a Great Breathing Exercise to Help You De-Stress

Suicide Prevention and Hotlines

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

PRS Crisis Link Hotline (Northern Virginia area suicide and stress hotline)

  • 703.527.4077

Why Call Our Crisis Link Hotlines?

  • talk with someone who cares about you
  • talk with an empathic person if you feel you might be in danger of hurting yourself
  • find referrals to mental health and other community services
  • get ideas and tips about how to help someone you’re concerned about

Although suicide prevention is our primary mission, people call for many reasons, including (but not limited to) the following:

suicidal thoughts • physical illness • information about suicide
relationship problems • to help another person • family problems
find help after a disaster • help for veterans • information on mental health/illness
homelessness • abuse/violence • loneliness
substance abuse • family problems • sexual orientation issues
depression • financial problems • teen issues

Suicide Prevention in College *This website offers a wealth of information about suicide, however NOVACares does not endorse any services offered on the site.

How to Help Someone in Suicidal Crisis

Veterans Resources

NOVA is committed to serving our veteran students and their families by ensuring they have access to a wealth of support. Virginia Veteran & Family Support (VVFS), formerly known as the Wounded Warriors Program, provides each campus with peer specialists who can meet with students individually on or off campus.

For veterans in crisis and/or their families and friends:

  • Veterans Crisis Line: 800.273.8255

Veteran PTSD Support Groups

NOVA’s Office of Military and Veterans Services

Our office and the Military and Program Advisors provide guidance on certification requirements and act as liaisons between NOVA and the Department of Veterans Affairs, while assisting you in your transition from the military to being a student. In addition to you using your educational benefits, our goal and mission is centered on our students' success in their academic studies; which includes making sure each recipient understands the policies and regulations of each benefit.