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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.

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.

Heroin Epidemic Resources
Heroin and prescription painkillers don’t care what your skin color is. They don’t care about your SAT score. It doesn’t matter if you are old, young, rich, poor, male or female. Opioid addiction can touch anyone. Fatal overdoses from heroin and prescription pain medications are on the rise in Virginia. If you, a friend or family member is struggling with opioid addiction, you know how serious this issue is. Accidental overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death in the United States — and Virginia is feeling the effects. Watch Video

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 and Resources on Classroom Management

Students in Distress

Food Pantries

The Medical Education Campus (MEC) has a food pantry. Students are welcome to stop by Student Life in room 116 for information.

Loudoun Pantry

Location & Hours
Monday & Thursday 8:30 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. 
Loudoun Campus, Financial Aid Office, Reynolds Building, Room LR249I

How do I access the pantry?
To access the Loudoun Campus pantry, check-in at the front desk of the Financial Aid Office, Reynolds Building, room LR249I. You may check-in at the computer kiosk and select “Food Pantry” as your purpose for visiting the office. A Financial Aid staff member will privately take you to the pantry and help you select any items you need. The Loudoun Campus Pantry stocks food that can easily be prepared and eaten on campus or can be taken home and shared with your household.

Will I need to prove I’m eligible?
No. The NOVA Food Pantries do not require any documentation of need. Registered students will be asked to fill out a brief check-in with basic information, but it is not necessary to prove eligibility. The check-in form provides us with valuable data that enhances our ability to attract support for the pantry.

We provide bags to carry your food items home, but you are also welcome to bring a bag of your own if that is more comfortable for you.

Contact the Loudoun Campus Pantry at 703.404.7310

You can donate and drop off food and hygiene items at LR249I.

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

  • The Alexandria Campus food pantry 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 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • The Loudoun Campus food pantry: Loudoun Campus, Financial Aid Office, Reynolds Building, Room LR249I. Monday & Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Call 703.404.7310 for more information.
  • The Manassas Campus food pantry will open soon. Contact: Marcie Schreibman, Student Life Coordinator, at x43057 or Cari Dresser, Student Life Advisor, at x43046.
  • The Medical Education Campus (MEC) has a food pantry. Students are welcome to stop by Student Life in room 116 for information.
  • The Woodbridge Campus Food and Personal Items Pantry (The Birdhouse) is located in the Seefeldt Building (WS), Room 138. The pantry is open on Mondays from 11:00am – 1:00pm and on Thursdays from 6:00 – 8:00pm. Outside of those hours, students should go to the Student Life Office in WS Room 158, Monday – Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. The pantry is open to all students, faculty and staff in need. For any questions or concerns, call 703.878.5729.

Additional area resources for food

Grief & Loss

Understanding Grief and Self-Care

Grief is a normal and multifaceted response to loss. While grief can often feel overwhelming, it is a natural emotional response that allows us to realize and (eventually) accept the loss of someone or something dear to us.

Everyone grieves differently and your reaction to loss will be as individual as you are. There is no “right way” or “wrong way” to grieve and no time frame for when you should be “over it”. You may find you do not grieve the same way in every situation. The most important thing you can do for yourself is to honor and allow what you are feeling and to find someone to talk with about your sadness. It is important not to isolate yourself. Suppressing, medicating or ignoring your feelings will only prolong the grief process.

Grief can affect us on an emotional, physical, and cognitive level. Below are some common grief responses you may experience.

Emotional Responses

  • Shock and disbelief- Feeling numb or to feel like you are in a dream state, especially when a loss is sudden and unexpected.
  • Sadness/ Depression/ Emptiness
  • Guilt -Wishing you had done or said something different.
  • Anger/Irritability- Towards anybody or everybody, including God and the person who died.
  • Fear- Death can make us contemplate our own mortality or we may fear our ability to handle our strong emotions.
  • Mood swings: Grief can sneak up on us when we least expect it, and we may feel that strong emotions come upon us out of the blue. This is a normal and common occurrence during the grieving process.

Physical Responses
Possible reactions to loss include: fatigue, nausea, insomnia, decrease or increase in appetite, and physical aches and pains.

Cognitive Responses
Confusion/ Bad dreams /Forgetfulness/Trouble concentrating

Positive Coping

  • Give yourself time to grieve. One has to acknowledge the loss in order to adapt to it.
  • Talk about your feelings with people who are understanding and compassionate.
  • Avoid people who tell you to move on, get over it, or who want to tell you how you should be feeling.
  • Take care of yourself and express your needs to others. You have permission to decide what is right for you. Give yourself permission to change plans or make requests to fit your needs.
  • Find a way to express what you are feeling. Journal. Write letters to the deceased. Create your own memorial service or act of remembrance.
  • Be kind and compassionate to yourself. Grief is not something you “fix”, but it responds to self-care. Give yourself some attention.

If you are feeling isolated or that you cannot cope or are overwhelmed by the intensity of your emotions, NOVACares is here to help. Reach out at NOVACares or contact MaryAnn Raybuck at 703.425.5202

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.

Students Coping with Grief and Loss at School
This website offers a wealth of information about suicide, however, NOVACares does not endorse any services offered on the site.


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

Women for the World, Inc. Human Trafficking Resources

National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC)
National Human Trafficking Hotline
Phone: 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 of 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 (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

U.S. 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 U.S. 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.

U.S. 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

U.S. 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

U.S. 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


Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA)

Legal Resources

Legal Services of Northern Virginia: Legal Aid

Legal Services of Northern Virginia is a full service, nonprofit law firm that serves clients throughout Northern Virginia. It was established in 1980 by consolidating several existing local legal aid organizations into a regional service program. LSNV is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, federally funded by Legal Services Corporation, local governments in Northern Virginia, foundations, the private bar, and other donors.

Mission: To promote justice for a better community by providing civil legal assistance to those facing the loss of a critical need.

LSNV also provides limited legal services, including advice and counsel and referrals to individuals residing in the following Virginia counties and cities: Caroline, Culpeper, Essex, Fauquier, King & Queen, King George, King William, Lancaster, Madison, Northumberland, Orange, Rappahannock, Richmond County, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Westmoreland and City of Fredericksburg.

LSNV provides services in a variety of substantive civil legal areas, including: family law, housing law, elder law, public benefits claims, access to health care, child advocacy, consumer law and AIDS/HIV issues. Staff and volunteers provide legal advice, brief service, and representation in administrative hearings and in court, as well as community legal education, and advocacy before local and state governmental entities, all without charge to our clients.

Understand your legal issue, solve your problem. VaLegalAid.org has information for civil legal issues.

Just Neighbors Justice for Our Neighbors.
Providing hope through immigration legal services.

Fairfax County Human Services Resource Guide

Quick Guide to Northern Virginia Community Resources:


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

Fairfax County: Accessing Critical Human Services with One Phone Call

Need help with things like emergency help to find food, a place to sleep, or getting your electricity turned back on? Call 703-222-0880, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. That number is answered by a team of up to 40 social services specialists in Fairfax County’s Coordinated Services Planning (CSP) Division of Neighborhood and Community Services. Staff, who can assist callers in many languages, can also provide information on how to access long-term assistance, such as getting a job, finding child/elder care or applying for food stamps. Learn more about this service.

TOGETHER Program - Free Couples Counseling Program: TOGETHER is an evidence-informed program that offers relationship and financial education, connection to community resources, and employment services to couples residing in Northern Virginia and Montgomery County. The program is led by dedicated and qualified professionals and involves a research component to evaluate the effectiveness of its services. Participants are randomly assigned to receive all or none of the services. However, all participants receive incentives (gift cards) for the completion of surveys. togetherprogram.org.

Aunt Bertha Find More Community Resources! This free search tool is offered through our partnership with Aunt Bertha. AuntBertha helps people find and connect to social services across the United States like food pantries, housing, job training, credit counseling and more. Just type in your zip code to start searching!

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 providing 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.

TOGETHER Program - Free Couples Counseling Program is an evidence-informed program that offers relationship and financial education, connection to community resources, and employment services to couples residing in Northern Virginia and Montgomery County. The program is led by dedicated and qualified professionals and involves a research component to evaluate the effectiveness of its services. Participants are randomly assigned to receive all or none of the services. However, all participants receive incentives (gift cards) for the completion of surveys.

Postpartum Depression Resources and Support Groups is a volunteer organization devoted to providing social support and resources to women and their families. We will return your call or email as quickly as we can, but we cannot provide an immediate response in an emergency.

Start Your Recovery 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. Here, veterans can hear stories from people with similar life experiences and find the answers they need for recognizing and dealing with substance use issues.

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 by sharing what you know.

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

Panic Attacks Information - provides information for those trying to assist someone having a panic attack.

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:

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.

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.

Mental health resources for military veterans

Start Your Recovery
Start You rRecovery 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. Here, veterans can hear stories from people with similar life experiences and find the answers they need for recognizing and dealing with substance use issues.

Make the Connection
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs launched Make the Connection in 2011 to help Veterans recognize mental health challenges they may be experiencing and encourage them to seek support.

The website, Make the Connection, features inspiring stories of recovery, strategies for supporting Veterans and information on common mental health conditions and symptoms. Launched in 2011, Make the Connection connects Veterans, their family members and friends and other advocates with mental health information, local resources and inspiring stories of recovery. Visitors can find reliable information on how to cope with challenges such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury, military sexual trauma and transitioning from service. The site is free and accessible to everyone.

Warrior Care
The mission of the Office of Warrior Care Policy (WCP) is to proactively support wounded, ill and injured Service members in their recovery and reintegration or transition to civilian life. To achieve this, WCP focuses on its vision to ensure the nation’s wounded, ill and injured Service members, their families and caregivers are not forgotten.

Military and Veteran Legal Resource Guide (PDF)

Working Students Success Network (WSSN)

Gaining a financial foothold at NOVA can maximize your educational and career goals. Most students today don’t have the simple luxury of just attending classes and then going home to study. Many of you have jobs, families, money worries, and car problems. We want you to know there are resources and steps you can take to gain traction, earn your degree, and achieve financial stability. NOVA’s Working Students Success Network connects your educational goals to your career goals by finding income and work supports to tide you over when life gets complicated. We also link you to financial and asset building services for the long haul. Access resources like free food on campus and fresh food to take home, emergency aid for unexpected bills, financial coaching with a certified professional, free tax preparation and filing services, resources for housing, transportation or child care and much more.