If you need someone to talk to right now, text the Crisis Text Line (Text HOME to 741741), call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline (1-800-273-8255), or call the Trevor Project LGBTQ Lifeline (1-866-488-7386) for 24/7 support.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a feeling of nervousness, dread, or tension that someone feels as a result of a stressful or threatening situation. Anxiety is a signal for us. It can help us take action and be more careful. It can make us study harder for tests. In general, anxiety can help us cope and it is usually a temporary feeling. But when these feelings last for a long time, or happen when there isn’t a threat, this emotion can be considered a problem. You might need treatment and support.

Anxiety can feel like:

Gemma Correll cartoon of elephant sitting on a person's chest

  • Worry or agitation that doesn’t go away
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Nausea
  • Feelings of fear, panic and restlessness
  • Sweaty hands or feet
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Shortness of breath

You can help take care of yourself by:

  • Talking about your feelings with someone you trust
  • Getting lots of sleep
  • Eating well-balanced meals
  • Doing things that help you relax, such as listening to music, reading a book or getting a massage
  • Journaling when you are feeling stressed or anxious to find out what triggers your anxiety
  • Taking deep breaths – breathe in for a count of 5 and breathe out for a count of 5

Do I need to get help?

When your feelings of anxiety are lasting a long time, do not seem to go away, or continue to happen when there isn’t a stress or threat, it is time to get help. There are many people and resources on and off campus that are here to help you.

On-Campus Resources

Seeing or talking to a mental health provider can be helpful for dealing with anxiety. Professionals, like doctors, counselors, or psychiatrists, can make recommendations for managing and treating anxiety.

Counseling and Psychological Services

  • They offer individual and group counseling and support
    • To schedule an appointment, call (415) 338-2208 or stop by Student Services Building Room 208

Student Health Services

  • They can connect you to someone for support.
    • To schedule an appointment, call (415) 338-1719, login to myHealth, or stop by Student Health Services (located between the Ethnic Studies & Psychology and the Student Services buildings).

Peggy H. Smith Counseling Clinic

  • They provide free individual, couple, or group counseling to registered SF State students during the academic year.
  • The clinic is staffed by second year trainees from the masters program in the Department on Counseling, and supervised by licensed clinical counselors form Counseling & Psychological Services.
    • To schedule an appointment, call (415) 338-1024

SF State Psychology Training Clinic

  • They offer low-fee individual, couple, family, and group therapy.
  • The clinic is staffed by clinical psychology graduate students who are supervised by licensed clinicians.
    • To schedule an appointment, call (415) 338-2856


Off-Campus Resources

There are many resources in San Francisco and the Bay Area to assist you with immediate and long term support around anxiety.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) San Francisco

  • Help Line: (415) 905-NAMI (6264)
  • Support Groups
  • Peer-to-Peer Classes
  • Support for family and friends

Well Clinic

  • Offers sliding scale therapy in San Francisco
  • Call (415) 952-0290 for a free consultation

Integral Counseling Center at Pierce Street

  • Offers low cost mental health counselling
  • To schedule an appointment, call (415) 776-3109

Mental Health Association of Alameda County

  • Find services in Oakland, Berkeley, and Albany.


For a longer list of resources, visit the Counseling & Psychological Services Resources page.