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Wellness and Safety at Mercyhurst

At Mercyhurst University, our top priority is the physical and emotional safety and wellbeing of our students. Heading off to college can be a difficult adjustment at first. But no matter what life throws at you, we have the people and services in place on our campus to help you through.


Each year, the American College Health Association conducts its National College Health Assessment survey, a portion of which asks college students the causes of any academic issues they have at school. An academic issue could be as small as a missed assignment, or as large as failing or having to withdraw or retake a class. Across 140 large and small campus in the U.S., the top five causes for academic issues were:

  • Stress
  • Acute health issues (colds, flu, bronchitis, allergy flare-ups)
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep problems
  • Depression


We recognize that coming to college represents years of planning and saving to provide young adults with an opportunity to pursue their dreams. No one wants to see their future goals delayed or derailed by the stresses or illnesses that can occur in the lives of students. With that in mind, we have the services and resources in place to ensure our campus and staff are prepared to address any physical, emotional, mental or social issue our students experience.



Cohen Health Center

Getting sick when you're away at college doesn't have to be a frightening experience, thanks to the Cohen Health Center. With the atmosphere of a small family practice, our experienced, compassionate doctors and nurses are knowledgeable in a range of health issues affecting students. Appointments are available usually within 1-2 days (or same day, if needed) at no cost to you, your family or insurance.


Services available through the Cohen Health Center include

  • Treatment for minor ailments and injuries (colds, bronchitis, respiratory illnesses, flu)
  • Follow-up care for concussions
  • Allergy shots
  • Free flu shots and tuberculosis screenings
  • Completion of physicals required for student teaching, practicum placements or internships
  • Consultation on preventive health, nutrition and other topics


If need be, we’ll help arrange appointments and transportation to off-campus health care providers, and even coordinate with your professors to provide academic accommodations for chronic health issues.


Learn more about the Cohen Health Center



Counseling Center

The Counseling Center is equipped with the personnel and resources necessary to serve the mental health needs of the Mercyhurst community. Our licensed, experienced therapists are available at any time to address clinical concerns ranging from depression, anxiety and eating disorders to homesickness, stress management and relationship problems. There is no charge to the student or insurance provider for the clinical services provided at the Counseling Center.


Services available at the Counseling Center include:

  • Individual and group counseling and psychotherapy
  • Crisis response
  • Consulting psychiatrist available to students requiring medication
  • Biofeedback programs
  • Relaxation room


Learn more about the Counseling Center.



Bailey, the Laker Pet Companion

With a wet nose and wagging tail, Bailey is a 4-year-old Havanese dog “on staff” at the Health and Counseling Centers. He is available, at your discretion, to help alleviate stress and anxiety and provide unconditional affection in counseling sessions, waiting rooms and exam rooms.



Police and Safety

You’ll find Mercyhurst police officers on campus around-the-clock to maintain the security of the campus community, allowing individuals to live, study, work and visit in a safe, peaceful environment. Our experienced officers offer a number of police and safety services, including:

  • Prevention, detection and investigation of criminal activity
  • Emergency response
  • Event security
  • Parking services
  • Campus escorts to students, faculty and staff


Rico, the Mercyhurst K-9 unit

Rico is a 3-year-old Belgian Malinois dog trained in explosive detection, tracking and handler protection. As the only explosive-detection dog in the area, he is frequently called on to help out other area law-enforcement agencies.


Blue Light System

Mercyhurst’s Blue Light System features emergency alarm stations in multiple strategic locations around campus. Call boxes at these locations connect students directly with campus police if they need assistance or feel threatened or unsafe. The blue beacons positioned above each alarm ensure the alarms are easy to find.


e2Campus Emergency Alert System

To streamline emergency communication among our students, faculty, staff, visitors, parents and others, Mercyhurst uses the e2Campus Emergency Alert System. This award-winning cloud-based service allows us to send out emergency text messages to subscribers with up-to-date news and information of any emergency, incident or accident in the vicinity of campus. Stay informed and sign up to receive Mercyhurst text alerts through the Mercyhurst Portal at


Learn more about Police & Safety 


Housing and Campus Life

Mercyhurst is your home away from home, and we strive to create peaceful, welcoming environments for the young adults living in our residence halls, townhouses and apartments. To build strong communities, our residence life staff—resident assistants, hall directors and assistant directors of residence life—aim to engage you and your fellow Lakers in topics such as inclusion and diversity, faith and spirituality, and responsible social activities. At least one assistant director of residence life is available any time of day or night to help resolve any problems that arise.


Alcohol Wise

According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly all college students experience the effects of college drinking—whether they drink or not. To help our Lakers make healthy, safe decisions regarding alcohol and drinking, all incoming students are required to complete Alcohol Wise. This evidence-based, personalized online program encourages students to explore their personal choices about drinking habits and attitudes, and how alcohol can affect academic progress and social behavior.


Dining Services

For students with diet restrictions, Egan Dining Hall offers a generous selection of gluten-free offerings and foods prepared in our allergy-free kitchen.


STEP UP Bystander Intervention

In 2015, Mercyhurst launched the STEP UP Program to encourage Lakers to speak out and intervene if they notice others are being mistreated. This national comprehensive bystander intervention program educates students on how to intervene successfully when they see someone in distress, and also advocates for sexual assault prevention, responsible social media use and other prosocial behavior. Through a series of events, videos and information sessions, STEP UP demonstrates that everyone can make a significant difference and promote a caring, hospitable campus community. 


Learn more about Residence Life