Mental Health Matters Initiative | Westmoreland County Community College, Youngwood, Pennsylvania


Mental Health Matters Initiative

The Mental Health Matters Initiative was started in August of 2021 to bring awareness and prevention to the faculty, staff and students of Westmoreland, as well as to reduce the stigma around mental health while connecting with the broader community and the businesses within.

If you want to do a quick check on your emotional wellness we have an anonymous self-screening tool for you.   Click here to access the self-screening tool.  

The Richard King Mellon Foundation’s Trustees approved a grant of $205,000 to Westmoreland County Community College Educational Foundation, Inc. toward two-year support to provide free and innovative mental health resources to Westmoreland County Community College students and their families.

Westmoreland has also been invited to join Active Minds, a national group working along with RAND, a research organization that develops solutions to public policy challenges to help make communities throughout the world safer and more secure, to establish and evaluate mental health programming on college campuses.

“We knew that students would face challenges coming back to campus after COVID but we didn’t know when or how they would present,” said Julie Greathouse, Westmoreland director of Student Success. “We witnessed our students having mental health struggles and withdrawing or disappearing from classes at startling rates. The effects on mental health are pervasive and we will most likely see the effects for years to come.”

Untreated mental health concerns can make it difficult to stay on task in the classroom, complete problem-solving tasks, and otherwise interfere with the learning process. Over time, as the mental health needs of children and adolescents go unrecognized or untreated, mental health concerns may reduce or impair the social, emotional and cognitive skills necessary to attend school, graduate from high school, succeed in the workforce and achieve upward economic mobility.

“Because of this partnership, we now have the opportunity to be a leader in the community to offer holistic mental health counseling and interventions that no other school in our region currently does,” said Dr. Tuesday Stanley, Westmoreland president. “Our ultimate goal is to help our students identify and work through mental health concerns and to help put them on the path to earning a family sustaining wage.”

The grant is funding the use of campus and community resources. Westmoreland has increased staff by adding a social worker and two additional part-time counselors. Their roles are to provide ongoing, individual counseling, group sessions and to connect students to resources to meet their basic needs. Westmoreland is also collaborating with 3 Rivers Whole Wellness to teach mindfulness techniques inside and outside the classroom.

The Richard King Mellon Foundation’s mission is to improve the competitive position of the region; strengthen the vitality of southwestern Pennsylvania, particularly the City of Pittsburgh and its neighborhoods; and protect important habitats and amenities in western Pennsylvania and other key landscapes.

Founded in 1947, the Foundation is the largest foundation in southwestern Pennsylvania and one of the 50 largest in the world. The Foundation’s 2020 year-end endowment was $3.1 billion, and its Trustees in 2020 disbursed $130 million in grants and program-related investments.

Mental Health Awareness Presentation

On-Site Counseling Services

Email Tara%20Gandy or call 724-925-4000, ext. 3315.

Outside Counseling Services


Innersight BridgesWe have partnered with Innersight Bridges to "Bridge the Gap" of mental health and the education system with face to face counseling or telehealth services along with medication evaluations and management if requested.

Whether you are struggling with grief and loss, aggression, anxiety, depression, and life transition or struggling with sexual identity and are in need of support, they are able to provide the level of care to increase self esteem, self worth, and overall improvement of mental wellness.

If you are interested in receiving these services or would like more information, please email Tara%20Gandy or call 724-925-4000, ext. 3315.

Be sure to check out our Student Life Calendar for all upcoming events!

Mindfulness Sessions

Are you stressed out or at your wits end? Join us for an hour from the comfort of home to experience tapping, yoga and mindfulness like never before!

Massage Therapy

Get a free 5-minute chair massage by a professional!

Art Therapy

Through guided art making, you will be given the space to:
  • Improve social skills
  • Decrease social anxiety
  • Gain Coping Skills
  • Implement Change

Therapy Dogs

Youngwood Top Dog Therapy Team brings us some puppy love once a month!

Therapy Dogs

Danielle Wyckoff, Artist & Educator

Recognizing the minute and infinite connective threads among us, her work addresses our abilities to love and the ways in which that shared capacity both unifies and separates us. We know each other insofar as we know how loving and losing love feels. Check out her recent work A Prayer, A Wish, A Spell.


Attend FREE Live or Virtual Sessions!

AVI Food Services

Healthy meal and dessert demonstrations with recipes!

Active Minds

For more than a decade, the Send Silence Packing® display has traveled the country to end the silence that surrounds mental health and suicide and connect visitors with resources for support and action.
Send Silence Packing

Chill Spot LogoLocated at each Westmoreland center, The Chill Spot is a space for students to reduce stress & anxiety, relax, meditate, and reset! In The Chill Spot you will find a variety of options to use: yoga mats, bean bag chairs, fidget spinners, stress balls, puzzles, relaxation sounds, artistic tools and more! Leave The Chill Spot ready to take your test, crank out some homework, or face your stressors!

Thank you to our Westmoreland student Shawn Wiercinski for creating The Chill Spot sign. Shawn is a Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) member (a nationally acclaimed honor society). She is planning to graduate in Communication Design in May 2023. Congratulations to her as she pursues her new career as a graphic designer.
Chill Spot Fayette
Chill Spot ATC

Help us reduce the stigma around mental health by wearing your Mental Health Matters Initiative t-shirt that you can purchase in the College Store. If they are sold out or do not have your desired size, please email Tara%20Gandy or call 724-925-4000, ext. 3315.

Mental Health Matters t-shirts


Support Services

In addition to mental health services, we offer support regarding food insecurity, transportation, community resources and more! 

Resource Fair

Be in the know! Over 50 social service organizations from Western PA will be at the Student Achievement Center from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 15, 2023. There will be 2 chances to win a $25 gift card for attendees, and some organizations have raffle baskets and other prizes. Candy and drinks may be provided! 

Resource Fair

Narcan Training

Tim Phillips from the Westmoreland County Drug and Alcohol Commission will hold a free Narcan Training/Distribution for all who would like to attend each semester. The next training will be held during the Resource Fair on March 15, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. Please register prior to attending.

Narcan Training

The Food Pantry, located in SAC room 350D at the Youngwood campus, is open Monday - Friday at 8:00 a.m. This service is free for all currently enrolled students. Take a snack, drink, or enough to make a meal. Take whatever you need. There are not sign ups, no registration, and no income requirements. All we ask is that you leave a tally mark on the calendar when you stop by!

Some food items available include: Fresh salads, chips, pop, cereal, pop tarts, ground meat, and so much more!

Also available in the pantry - non food items such as toilet paper, paper towels, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothpaste, and feminine hygiene products supplied by The Period Project from our partner organization, The Western PA Diaper Bank.

NOTE: All center locations have an actively stocked food pantry as well.

Food Pantry

Western PA Diaper Bank

Baby Formula

If you are struggling to purchase baby formula, we have partnered with the Western PA Diaper Bank to help combat the increased cost of formula as well as the shortage that is ongoing. Please fill out this form for assistance.

Food BankThe Westmoreland Food Bank has chosen Westmoreland to be a part of their new Fresh Produce for College Students Drive. 

Each month, there will be fresh produce and additional food items available for all students from 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Staff members are also eligible to stop by between 12:30 and 1:00 p.m. if they are in need. Food distribution is located in Parking Lot A, Student Achievement Center, on the Youngwood campus.

Food distribution dates include:
  • Nov 15
  • January 17
  • February 21
  • March 20
  • April 17

Advocacy Center

The Advocacy Center supports and educates Westmoreland County Community College students to break down legal barriers and provide a pathway to complete their education and beyond. As a result of our services, students can: understand their legal rights, develop goals, and take action. Subjects covered include alcohol offenses, custody concerns, expungements, name change, landlord tenant law, mental health law, PFA’s and more.

If you are in need of assistance, please email the Advocacy Center at Students can also schedule an appointment or visit during drop-in hours on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in SAC 130A.

Career Closet

In an effort to break barriers to advance student success, the college has developed a Career Closet.  The college already provides the tools to achieve goals academically, but students may face a barrier when attending job interviews.  One barrier is having the financial resources to obtain appropriate interview attire. 

The Career Closet consists of professional clothing that is donated.  Every item will be free for students, and staff will assist in helping a student pick clothing that they are not only comfortable in, but help them feel confident.  There will also be interviewing guidelines and tips for the students.  The students may also utilize the closet when making court appearances.

Students can access the closet by contacting Career Services, Student Success, or a faculty member.

Apply for Medicaid

Regardless of income status, there are many circumstances that require government assistance with health insurance.

How to: (Previously received State Benefits i.e SNAP, TANF, Medicaid)

  • Visit Compass
  • Click on Login/Register
  • Under Individuals/Families, click register
  • Insert information
  • Login
  • Scroll down to New Application
  • On 3rd page, you will select Medicaid/Medicare
  • Fill in all required fields
  • After Submission, you will be required to submit the necessary documents

How to: (Never received state benefits)

  • Visit PA Department of Human Services
  • Scroll down to Paper Application 
  • Health Care Coverage Application
  • Select Language
  • Save, Print PDF
  • Turn in to local welfare office

Additional Ways to Obtain Insurance

  • Pennie
  • During open enrollment times, apply for any health insurance company by visiting their website
  • United Way 
    • Westmoreland, United Way, and Catholic Charities have all partnered together to help our young families.
    • Enrolled students who are residents of Westmoreland and Fayette Counties, and have dependents, are eligible for up to $700 for assistance with utility bills, rent, and car payments (not including cable or cell phone bills).
    • If you are interested in learning more or need to be referred please contact your advisor/ counselor or you may also contact Jessica%20Morrow.


Additional resources can be found by visiting our Mental Health & Community Resources page.