The Wellness Center | New England College
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The Wellness Center

Mission statement

We believe quality care, education and outreach build a healthy community to promote individual wellness and independence.  The Wellness Center  and Counseling Services are committed to the health and safety of the entire New England College community.  Through educational programs and participation in college-wide events that promote public health, the Wellness Center helps foster a caring community that shows respect for each other and the world around us.  The Wellness Center supports the mission of New England College

The Wellness Center utilizes the OSSIPEE model of wellness.  This model includes social emotional, spiritual, environmental, occupations, intellectual and physical wellness.  We recognize that each wellness dimension is equally vital to the pursuit of health and well being.  Our holistic model will guide outreach and programming for students staff faculty and the community at large. 


Appointments and Counseling Services

There are two ways to schedule appointments with a counselor or psychiatrist:

For the Henniker Campus
By Phone
Please call 603-428-2253 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m from Monday–Friday to speak with the Administrative Assistant, or leave a voice mail at any time. Please note that we are closed on the weekends.

By Email
Please email any time during our business hours. If you need care during the hours the Wellness Center is closed, you can seek care at an urgent care center in Concord or call Riverbend Mobil Crisis Services at 844-743-5748.

For the Manchester Campus
By Phone
Please call 603.428.2253 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m from Monday–Friday to speak with Administrative Assistant, or leave a voice mail with her at any time. Please note that we are closed on the weekends.

By Email
Please email any time during our business hours. If you need care during the hours the Wellness Center is closed, you can seek care at an urgent care center in Manchester.

If you need care during the hours the Wellness Center is closed, you can seek care at an urgent care center in Manchester or call The Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester Mobil Crisis Services at Call (800) 688-3544

We accommodate requests for initial appointments as soon as possible, usually within 5-7 days, depending on staff and student schedules. Please note that while we will do our best to honor a student’s wish to meet with a specific staff member, this is not always possible.

Generally, an initial appointment with a counselor is necessary to determine appropriate referrals to off-campus services. As requested, or when otherwise appropriate, Counseling Service staff will make referrals to other mental health professionals, usually for specialized psychological testing, individual psychotherapy, group psychotherapy, or private psychiatric medication management. Please call to discuss referrals to an off-campus clinician, or email . Information about referrals are considered Confidential.

Wellness Outreach Services

At New England College, students are challenged to integrate all facets of themselves as they pursue their academic interests.

Our programs highlight the College’s commitment to developing a culture of self reflection, personal responsibility for physical health, comprehensive fitness opportunities and psychological and emotional balance. The health and happiness of each student are of paramount importance in the New England College educational experience. 

Crisis Services and After Hours Emergencies

New England College and the surrounding communities have a wealth of resources to address students’ needs in the event of a crisis or emergency. If you are unsure about who to call, contact Campus Safety or dial 911. 

On the Henniker campus they can be reached at 603-428-2323 and on the Manchester campus they can be reached at 603-836-2112.  They will direct you to the appropriate resource.

What is Mental Health Emergency?

Please read through the following descriptions. On the Henniker campus, if any of the below are true for you please go immediately to the Wellness Center, during business hours.   After Business hours call Campus Safety (603) 428-2323 or 911.

On the Manchester campus please go immediately to the Counseling Center in Concord Hall, during business hours.   After Business hours call Campus Safety (603) 836-2112 or 911.

After Hours

If none of the below apply, but you believe that your situation is still urgent, contact the Wellness Center for an appointment

In Henniker  (603) 428-2253  |  In Manchester (603)-836-2527

  • I am currently so distressed that I may be unable to keep myself or others safe.
  • I have a current plan to attempt suicide or harm someone else.
  • I have recently been physically or sexually assaulted.
  • Someone close to me has died recently.
  • I am having strange experiences such as hearing voices or seeing things that others do not.
  • I have knowledge of another person being abused or assaulted.
  • I have had a severe reaction to a psychiatric medication.
  • I have witnessed a traumatic event within the last few days.
  • I have been unable to attend classes because of severe depression or anxiety.

After Hours Emergency

Henniker Campus – If you need care during the hours the Wellness Center is closed, please see the resources below:

Emergency Care:
Concord Hospital
Riverbend Emergency Mental Health Services

Riverbend Mobile Crisis Unit 1-844-7-HELP4U

Urgent Care:
Horseshoe Pond Urgent Care
60 Commercial Street, Concord, NH

Convenient MD Urgent Care
8 Loudon Rd, Concord, NH

Additional Resources:

Concord Orthopedics Acute Injury Clinic (walk in clinic)
264 Pleasant Street, Concord, NH

Equality Health Center
38 South Main Street, Concord, NH

Planned Parenthood
136 Pleasant Street, Claremont, NH

VA Veterans Crisis Line and Veterans Chat:

 1.800.273.TALK (8255)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
or after-hours emergencies, please call Campus Safety at 603.428.2323 or 911.

Emergency Services:
Catholic Medical Center
100 McGregor Street, Manchester, NH

Elliot Hospital
1 Elliot Way, Manchester, NH

The Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester Mobil Crisis Response
 (800) 688-3544

Urgent Care:
Elliot Urgent Care at River’s Edge
185 Queen City Avenue, Manchester, NH

ClearChoice Urgent Care
7 Cinemagic Way, Hooksett, NH

Additional Resources:
Planned Parenthood
24 Pennacook street, Manchester, NH

VA Veterans Crisis Line and Veterans Chat:

 1.800.273.TALK (8255)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
or after-hours emergencies, please call Campus Safety at 603- 836-2112 or 911.

Telephone Consult
Our Wellness Center nurses are available to discuss health concerns and provide self-care tips over the phone. If an appointment is needed, the staff is able to schedule this.

Pharmacy Services
Prescriptions can be filled at the local pharmacy, conveniently located in Henniker.
Henniker Pharmacy: 603.428.3456
Contact and Location Information

Henniker Campus
Address: 32 Union St, Henniker, NH 03242
Phone: (603) 428-2253

Manchester Campus
Address: 153 Concord Street, Manchester NH 03104
Concord Hall (counseling office is in room 105)
Phone:   603.836.2527

Meet the Staff

Our Wellness center staff includes 5 counselors, with various specialties and degrees,  a nurse and nurse practitioner, consulting psychiatric nurse and support staff members. To learn more about the New England College Wellness Center staff, please click the following links:   –  would like it to look this way when you do the roll out – but for now with just info about each person – we are going to do new pictures in the spring

Julie Nicknair-Keon LCMHC NCC Director of Counseling: Julie has been employed at NEC since 2012. She has a BA in Secondary Education from New England College and a MA in Community Counseling from Fairfield University. She has been practicing in the mental health field for over 30 years. Julie is an active member of the NHCUC Campus Mental Health Suicide Prevention Committee. In addition to various clinical certifications, Julie is certified in Critical Incident Stress Management and is a member of NH State CISM Response Team. She was also a member of the first NEC’s Women’s Soccer Team. 

Laura Anderson, MS, APRN, FNP-C, Medical Director: Laura is the medical director and nurse practitioner for the Wellness Center. She earned her Master’s in Nursing/ Nurse Practitioner in 2008 from Rivier University. She earned her Nursing Degree in 1990 from Worcester City Hospital School of Nursing.  She spent many years as an OR nurse and wound care/ hyperbaric specialist before becoming a NP and starting her own practice in Concord NH. She started with NEC in 2012. When Laura is not at the college she enjoys spending time with her family at Lake Winnipesauke, working ski patrol at Pat’s Peak and playing with Winni her Great Dane.

Carolyn Valiquet, Administrative Asst. to the Wellness Center: Carolyn has been employed with NEC since 2016. She came to us after 18 years with New London Hospital in primary care and specialty services experience. Carolyn is a 1984 graduate of the University of New Hampshire with a BA in Political Science and a minor in Criminal Justice. She and her husband, Jim, have 5 children and 6 grandchildren. Carolyn and Jim love camping, Big Band Music and the Doo Wop Singing Groups of the 50’s. She enjoys reading, needlepoint, American History, especially the lives of the First Ladies of the United States, and gardening.

David Kells LICSW Fulltime Counselor: Dave has been employed at NEC since 2016. He holds a BA in Political Science from St. Michael’s College, MA in Teaching from the University of Vermont, and a MA in Social Work from the Smith College of Social Work. Dave has been practicing in mental health for 16+ years. He has an expertise in the area of athletics, anxiety, grief counseling, and families/individuals in recovery. Dave’s fun fact is he’s a “professional” Elvis Impersonator.

Betsy Cunningham, RN, MSA: Betsy has been a Registered Nurse for 26 years with most of her previous nursing experiences being in the ER and Urgent Care. Prior to joining NEC, Betsy was the Clinical Nurse for four Urgent Care Clinics in Massachusetts. She received her MA in Nursing Leadership and Management from Western Governors University and her BA in Nursing from Salem State College and a BA in Psychology from Bridgewater State College. Betsy enjoys spending time with her family, going to the beach, biking and listening to live music.

Erin Terry, LCMHC Part-Time Counselor: Erin began her employment at NEC in 2017. She has a BA in Psychology from Marist College, MA in Developmental and Educational Psychology, Boston College, and a MS in Mental Health Counseling from New England College.  She has 19 years of clinical experience. She holds a Certification as a Child Life Specialist and has an expertise in trauma treatment as well as working with diverse populations. Erin was a Division I Rower at Marist College and is an avid downhill skier.

Patience Ashey, LCMHC Part-Time Counselor: Patience recently joined the counseling team, in February of this year. She obtained her BA in American Studies at Fordham University and a MA in Counseling Psychology from William James College (Previously Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology). She has 11 years of counseling experience with certifications in DBT and Treating Trauma Victims with Expressive Art Therapy. Patience is an outdoor enthusiast and enjoys exploring local trails.

Anna Li Pebble, Administrative Assistant of Student Affairs and Counseling Center – Manchester:  Anna Li has been employed with NEC since 2019. She has worked in multiple schools and clinic settings with a wide range of children. Anna Li graduated from Colby- Sawyer College in 2018 with a BA in Sociology and a minor in Education. Anna Li has lived in Henniker, NH her whole life with her family and dog. She has always been involved in the New England College Community attending sports games, theater shows, and taking summer classes. Anna Li is passionate about fitness and nutrition which has led her to starting her own side business. In her free time, she enjoys nature walks, meditation, cooking, trying new restaurants, and spending time with family.

Jennifer McAllister, LICSW Fulltime Counselor- Manchester: Jennifer earned her Master’s Degree from the University of Southern California. Prior to coming to NEC, she worked in a variety of settings providing mental health counseling and services to foster and adoptive youth and their families. She also has experience working as a Hospice Social Worker and most recently working as a school Social Worker. When not on campus, you can find Jennifer spending time with her family and her dog, Evie. She enjoys traveling to all places that are warm and has a slight obsession with visiting Disney Parks.


Recognizing and Responding to a Student in Need

Faculty and staff are often the first contact for students in distress.  This guide outlines steps to respond compassionately and effectively to our students.  Counselors at the Wellness and Counseling Centers are available to faculty and staff for consultation and guidance in responding to students in distress.  Call us at (603) 428-2253 (Henniker Campus) (603) 836-2527 (Manchester Campus)

Occasionally you are presented with a situation where you have an opportunity to work with a student who is displaying emotional behaviors ranging from minor to significant. This guide will assist you in how to respond to students displaying different types of significant emotional  behaviors.

Remember, your personal safety & those around you is of utmost importance  – Follow your protocols

Contact Campus Safety 603-428-2323 (Henniker) 603-836-2112 (Manchester) and/or #911 if needed.

Students displaying significant emotional behaviors:

  • Display calm body language; sitting with the student is appropriate when possible.
  • Role model calming actions: deep breathes, speak slowly & in a quieter tone; be patient.
  • When gathering basic information, keep questions brief.
  • Validate where students are at; we are all human & are not perfect – do not dismiss or make light of what’s going on; this is often very scary for the     individual experiencing this.
  • Check with the student to see what has worked in the past? Provide suggestions for relief: deep breathing, meditation, exercise, going outside, listening to music, reading, watching comedies, ice packs.
  • Attempt to distract with questions such as asking details about music choices or comedies; use grounding technique (feet on the floor butt in the chair); use non-judgmental language.

Recognizing Signs of Distress

Academic Indicators:

  • Missed assignments or repeated absences
  •  Deterioration in work quality
  • Written work with disturbing content (e.g., suicidal thoughts, violent thoughts)
  • Disorganized or erratic performance

Personal/Physical Indicators:

  •  Lack of personal hygiene
  • Coming to class bleary-eyed or hung over
  • Sleeping in class or excessive fatigue
  • Inappropriate or exaggerated behavior (e.g., aggressiveness, emotional outbursts, crying)
  • Withdrawal from interactions with faculty and peers

Other Factors:

  •  Peers expressing concern about a student
  • Direct knowledge that a student has experienced a trauma or a loss
  • References to harming oneself or others
  • Online postings that seem threatening or concerning

Is it OK to Ask?

One of the biggest barriers to reaching out is the worry that it’s none of our business or that students will be embarrassed. But students actually feel cared for and recognized when asked how they’re doing. Asking about suicide is difficult but potentially life-saving. If you hear or see signs of hopelessness or depression, you might say: “Sometimes when people are feeling bad they have thoughts of suicide. Have you had any thoughts about hurting or killing yourself?” Asking about suicide will not give someone the idea or make things worse. In fact, it may be a relief for the student to know you’re open to hearing about whatever they’re feeling. If a student is having thoughts of suicide, continue talking. Find out if they’ve acted on or plan to act on the thoughts. Express concern and say that you want to make sure they get connected to further help. Call CPS with the student, or walk them over to McCosh Health Center. If the student refuses, call the student’s director of student life with the student, in order to make a plan to keep them safe.


  • Speak with the student privately
  •  Listen carefully, ask open ended questions, and reflect what you hear
  • Focus concerns on behaviors that you have observed that concern you
  • Ask how the student has tried to cope, and what else the student thinks might help Express willingness to help
  • Help him/her explore options for help and sources of support If able, offer to follow up with the student, plan a time to check in
  • Give the student time to talk; know that you don’t have to fill silence


  • Don’t promise your confidentiality
  • Don’t leave the student alone if you have concerns about their safety
  • Don’t offer reassurance before you’ve heard the student out
  • Don’t rush into problem solving
  • Don’t underestimate the power of listening and validating
  • Don’t involve yourself beyond your limits
  • Don’t debate with an angry student; often after having a chance to vent, students will be more open to help
  • Don’t meet in an isolated place if you have any concern for your or the student’s safety

On-Campus Resources:

Henniker Campus
Wellness Center – (603) 428-2253 | (M-F 8:30am—5:00pm) 
Campus Safety – (603) 428-2323 | (24hrs)

Manchester Campus
Counseling Center – (603)836-2527 | (M-F 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM)
Campus Safety – (603) 836-2112  | (24 Hrs)
Dean of Students—(603) 428-2241 | (M-F 8:30am –5:00pm)
Academic Affairs—(603) 428-2235 | (M-F 8:30am-5:00pm)

Connecting Students to Help— Other Campus Resources
Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI), 603.428.2293
Office of Student Access and Accommodations P: 603.428.2302

Riverbend PSYCHIATRIC EMERGENCY SERVICES 1-844-7-Help4U (1-844-743-5748)

The Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester  1(800) 688-3544


Confidentiality and Privacy

We are personally, professionally and ethically committed to a student’s right to privacy and we take this very seriously. What is discussed in the Wellness Center remains confidential and cannot be disclosed without your prior written consent. Should you desire a parent or other person to receive your personal, protected healthcare information, please be sure to include that person on the Medical Release Form

There are exceptions to confidentiality:

  • Medical providers and mental health counselors
  • May notify appropriate authorities (eg emergency services, police, campus safety, residential life, the dean of students) if it is a matter of saving a students life or keeping them from hurting themselves
  • Are required to warn the victim and/or police as well as the possibility of the aforementioned college personnel if they know a students significant threat to harm another person and/or property
  • May be required to disclose certain information if a student is under the age of 18 and their parent/guardian requests access to the records
  • Are required under NH state law to report current child abuse, elder abuse or abuse of an incapacitated adult
  • Are required under NH state law to report episodes of hazing involving students or others
  • Must respond accordingly in instances where a students records may be subpoenaed


How to Help a Friend

It is difficult to watch a friend in distress; it can be even more difficult deciding what to do to help them.  If and when you find yourself in this situation, Counselors are available for brief consultations to help you better understand your concerns about your friend, the dynamics of the situation, community resources, and possible plans of action

Whether or not you choose to seek support in person, the following outline is offered to help you think about how to most effectively identify and engage with a friend in need of added support.

If you ever become concerned about a roommate, teammate, or friend, you may hesitate to do anything for fear of making things worse or simply because you don’t know what to do.

Below are some guidelines about what to do if and when that situation arises. We’ll discuss what observable behaviors may signal concern, how to engage with a friend in distress, and how to connect both them and yourself with supportive resources on campus. In our experience, after having weathered a crisis, clients often identify a friend’s genuine expressions of concern as having been pivotal in helping them to get the help that they needed.

Signs of distress

  • Everyone experiences distress. It can be difficult to manage academic and athletic challenges, interpersonal relationships, and changing family dynamics. More often than not, the distress we experience is temporary and circumscribed. At times, we all exhibit one or more of the behaviors listed below. However, when several of these behaviors occur at once, if they become debilitating, or if they persist over time they may signal more severe difficulties that warrant professional help.
  • Deterioration of physical appearance or personal hygiene 
  • Excessive fatigue or sleep difficulties 
  • Skipping class or absence from other activities 
  • Difficulty completing schoolwork or other obligations
  • Avoidance of friends or uncharacteristic social isolation 
  • Marked decrease in concentration, motivation or energy 
  • Visible increase or decrease in weight 
  • Looking sad, worried or preoccupied 
  • Irritability or temper outbursts 
  • Impulsive behavior or acting with poor judgement 
  • Direct statements about problems with family or friends 
  • Statements of hopelessness or comments about death, self-harm or suicide

Approaching a Friend

  • It can be uncomfortable to approach a friend about their well being. You may worry about invading their privacy, making things worse, or you may simply not know what to say. If you are genuinely concerned about somebody, it is okay to express interest or concern—they can always decline to talk with you if they are uncomfortable. Whatever the case, your expression of genuine concern may be what your friend needs to seek help, if not from you, from someone else. Below are some pointers for initially approaching a friend about whom you are concerned. 
  • Choose a time and a place that is most likely to ensure privacy.
  • Let your friend know you are concerned in terms of their own worries or needs.
  • For example, if they have expressed sadness or worry, reflect that back to them, let them know that they have been heard, validate their feelings, and offer sincere empathy.
  • If you have noticed any of the behaviors listed above, share what you have observed and explain why this worries you.
  • Avoid labeling your friend or their behavior. Whether accurate or inaccurate, telling someone that they have a disorder or “are” a certain way may trigger defenses that keep them from getting help.
  • If your friend isn’t interested in talking, explain that you are open to talking at another time if and when they are interested.
  • Remind your friend of supportive resources available on campus including counseling services.
  • If your friend has doubts or questions, looking at this website can be a good first step to learning more about supportive services and to seeking help.
  • Offering to walk your friend to the Counseling Service may help them with the initial step of seeking support
  • Reassure your friend (and yourself) that a referral to counseling services is not a refusal of your help; it is an offer for increased support from impartial professionals that have added knowledge and experience.
  • Avoid making promises of absolute confidentiality. If your friend is a risk to themselves or others, it is important that you seek professional help right away. Student safety is a primary concern. You can:
  • Promise that you care about their well-being, respect their autonomy, and won’t divulge their confidence unless you are afraid for their safety.
  • Promise that if they want to share something personal with you, you will do everything you can to safeguard it and help them to deal with whatever it is. 

Talk of suicide or violence

You should never ignore someone’s comments or behavior regarding suicide or violence. Don’t assume that these are only jokes, ploys for attention, or that they are just passing moods. If you are not comfortable talking directly to your friend or you feel he/she is not responding, bring your concerns to someone at counseling services, your dean, or your residence hall supervisor. While students who talk or behave in suicidal or in violent ways certainly need your sympathy and support, don’t assume that this is all they need. Individuals who have difficulty managing their feelings and impulses may require professional counseling and/or medication.

Call the Lifeline Anytime, 24/7  1-800-273-8255

Taking care of yourself

Engaging with someone in distress, whether as their confidant or simply as their friend, can be stressful. In addition to feelings of sympathy and a desire to help, you may also feel stressed, helpless, fatigued and even angry or resentful. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by a situation, you can call the Wellness Center and receive a confidential consultation regarding your friend. Remember, while you may play a very special role in your friend’s life, there are other caring individuals on campus who may be able to offer them support that you can’t. It is not your role to solve your friend’s problem, but to help them access resources that enable them to solve it themselves.


Self Help

Whether or not you choose to meet with a Counselor, the resources outlined here may offer you some insight, support, and guidance in how to engage with both difficult experiences and challenging opportunities.

Counseling Services staff have compiled a list of recommended readings about common mental health concerns. In addition, we offer online psycho-educational pages, meditations, and assessments both for mental health concerns and for personal strengths that you may choose to build upon. We also offer a list of tools you may check out from the Counseling Service and both on-campus and community based sources of support.

Managing Stress and Anxiety
Surviving stress and anxiety in college and beyond

Grief and Loss
Coping with grief and loss

The college students guide to depression

Coping with depression



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