Wellness Counseling

Mental & Emotional Wellness

NCSSM is committed to supporting the mental and emotional health of students. In an effort to do so, the following services are available for students:

Parent/Guardian Input 

A cooperative and supportive relationship between a student’s family/guardian and the NCSSM community is vital to the success and well-being of each student. In order to initiate that relationship in an informative and trusting manner, parents/guardians are required to complete the Junior Counseling Form the summer before the student’s junior year. The form provides essential information about a student’s background and mental health needs that counselors utilize to enhance student support. 

Psychological Emergencies and Care Process Response

NCSSM cares about students’ well-being and their ability to function safely and independently in both the academic and residential components of the school. NCSSM has a Care Process to support students who experience a psychological/emotional crisis. If a student is deemed to be in crisis, the Dean of Counseling or a NCSSM Wellness Counselor will meet with the student to gather information and contact the parent/guardian to collaborate on necessary supports that need to be secured for the student’s well being. It is the parent’s/guardian’s responsibility to come immediately to NCSSM to assist in the student’s care, if requested. In an effort to meet the emotional needs of the student, the student and their family may need to follow a Care Process. This process includes time at home, a written psychological evaluation with treatment plan by a licensed mental health professional, and a reentry meeting with members of Student Life and Counseling Services. With input from the mental health professional, student, family/guardian, and the student’s support team, the Vice Chancellor for Student Life will make a decision concerning if and when the student may return to campus. When appropriate, an Individualized Support Plan and Safety Plan are developed. Appeals may be made to the Chancellor of NCSSM.

You all have our deepest gratitude for the care you have given our child. We especially appreciate your ongoing counseling and friendship to him. He truly admires and trusts you.

—Former NCSSM Parent

Wellness Counselors

Suzanne Gavenus

Director of Counseling and Wellness (Morganton)


Wesley Davis

Wellness Counselor (Morganton)

(828) 347-9178

Lacey O’Rourke

Wellness Counselor and Academic Accessibility Specialist (Morganton)


Carissa Trotta

Wellness Counselor and Academic Accessibility Specialist