The Center for Cadet Counseling offers free, confidential, individual counseling to help cadets address personal and interpersonal concerns or stressors. Our approach is collaborative, developmental, and strengths-based which means that we know cadets possess a variety of strengths, resources, and abilities when they arrive for assistance.  Our goal is to help cadets capitalize on these strengths by developing new skills and insight to better navigate concerns in the future.

All counseling services are confidential which means that information cannot be shared with others without your written permission.  There are legal exceptions to confidentiality which will be reviewed with you prior to receiving services (see Confidentiality and Privacy). 

Counseling sessions are scheduled for approximately 45 minutes.  During appointments, cadets work collaboratively with his or her counselor to identify and address primary concerns.

Counseling may help if you:

  • Feel unhappy or hopeless
  • Worry excessively or feel on edge
  • Have difficulty concentrating on schoolwork or other extracurricular activities
  • Experience changes in your appetite (weight gain or loss of appetite)
  • Have difficulty sleeping or falling asleep
  • Experience a loss of a loved one or traumatic breakup
  • Notice an increase in your alcohol, tobacco, or other drug use
  • Feel overwhelmed and find the demands of VMI to be unbearable
  • You have thoughts of harming yourself or others

Staff at the Center for Cadet Counseling (CCC) are available for consultations with parents, faculty, staff, and cadets.  During consultations, a counselor will explore your concerns, either in person or over the phone, and help you develop strategies to effectively manage or address your concerns. If the circumstances warrant, we can help you get connected with additional resources, either at the CCC or in the community.

If you are concerned about a member of the VMI community and wish to consult with the CCC, please contact us 540-464-7667.


Referral Guide for VMI Faculty


Counselors are not typically the first point of contact when a cadet experiences problems. Cadets regularly interact with friends, academic advisors, faculty, and family members and they will naturally confide in those closest to them when they are having difficulties. As a result, these individuals are in an excellent position to provide information and assistance to cadets in distress, and also to refer cadets to professional counseling when they appear to have more serious concerns. 

Faculty might find this resource helpful: "Recognizing Students in Distress Faculty Handbook".


The CCC provides substance abuse assessment and education for the Corp of cadets. Each assessment is individualized and based on cadet’s needs.

VMI has a strict zero-tolerance policy regarding alcohol. Cadet's who receive a penalty for alcohol use are required to meet with a counselor for education and assessment. 


The CCC offers online self-assessments that are free and anonymous; please contact our office, 540-464-7667, to schedule an appointment. These assessments are not diagnostic tools and should be used to help assess the presence and severity of symptoms.


The Institute Alcohol and Other Drug Committee annually disseminates information to the Corp of Cadets, faculty, and staff in regards to substance use and abuse.  The notification includes the following:  standards of conduct, possible legal sanctions, and penalties, health risks associated with AOD abuse, AOD programs available to Cadets, staff, and faculty, and disciplinary sanctions for violations of the standards of conduct.

The Center for Cadet Counseling will refer for psychiatric and psychological services as needed.  Often, this includes a referral to a local psychiatrist; however, we can help you connect with psychiatric providers outside of the Lexington community as well.  Cadets who are interested in receiving psychiatric or psychological services exclusively will be provided with referral information.

To augment the demands of VMI training, the CCC provides education and skill-building regarding performance enhancement. Performance enhancement aims to teach the mental skills necessary for successful performance in athletics, the military, and the classroom. Performance enhancement skills include topics such as goal setting, anxiety regulation, concentration, and use of imagery to enhance the mind-body connection and help cadets perform at their best.

During your time at VMI, a cadet will face demanding schedules, new roles and responsibilities, and one of the most unique and challenging first-year experiences.  During a cadetship there will be challenges, adversity, and struggles, however, the time is marked also by mental and physical growth.  To buffer the adversity and struggles we recommended enhancing resilience protective factors.   The staff at the CCC have compiled 4 skill sets to help cadets thrive at VMI through enhancing resiliency skills that will help cadets bounce back quicker after facing adversity and challenges. 

The four skill sets are:

  • Psychological Flexibility
  • Emotion Regulation
  • Connectedness on and off Post
  • Strengthening Cognitive Fitness

To schedule an appointment to learn how to enhance your resilience protective factors contact the CCC to schedule an appointment.



Self Assessment Anonymous Online Screening

VMI invites you to the anonymous online screening module for mood disorders, alcohol, eating disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

9 8 8 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals in the United States.

Wellness Resources for VMI cadets

Resources are available for VMI cadets on important topics related to well-being and mental health. [requires VMI log-in credentials]


VMI cadets have FREE access to virtual care services with TimelyCare — the virtual health and well-being platform designed for university students.




VMI: Forging 21st Century Leaders