Graduate School is a time of great change and personal growth. It can be satisfying, exciting, and sometimes challenging. For some students, there are times when the demands and excitement may feel overwhelming. Because we understand that students can benefit from supportive services and strives to accommodate student needs, SCNM has partnered with Dr. Vallery Coats of Advanced Counseling, to offer short term, (non-crisis) supportive counseling services to help support academic success. To help protect confidentiality, Counseling Services are provided independently and off campus by appointment only.

If you are in crisis, please call 911 or any of these numbers below. Advanced Counseling for SCNM students does not offer crisis or walk-in services during or after hours.

  • 911
  • Mercy Maricopa Local Psychiatric Hotline 800-631-1314
  • Local Suicide Hotline: EMPACT 480-784-1514
  • Banner Psychiatric Hospital: 480-448-7600


Short Term Counseling Criteria

  • You must be a full-time student to access Counseling Services. If you are not sure of your status, please check with the Registrar's Office.
  • Counseling services offers non-acute, non-crisis assistance with such issues as:
    • Adjusting to the stress of graduate school
    • Balancing Family and Home-life while attending school
    • Interpersonal issues that impact schoolwork

What to Expect

  • A little paperwork - Please arrive a couple of minutes early for your first appointment to complete a little paperwork.
  • Mental Health Assessment - During your first appointment you will meet with Dr. Coats for an initial mental health assessment to help identify what services will best meet your needs.
  • Short Term Counseling - Students who meet the criteria for short term counseling will be offered up to 6 individual sessions.
  • Referrals - Students with long term mental health needs will be assisted with appropriate community referrals. Students who are referred out for long term services or higher levels of care, do not qualify for short term counseling.

 To Make an Appointment

  • Email Dr. Coats at to request an appointment. 
  • Dr. Coats is seeing students at her private practice located in Scottsdale:

       8700 E Vista Bonita Dr., Suite 280, Scottsdale, AZ 85255



Long-term Counseling Services

SCNM does not offer free counseling services for the following areas. These would be considered long-term issues requiring a Psychiatrist or Psychologist: 

  • Mental illness such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, bipolar, substance abuse, etc. 
  • Trauma from your past or present
  • Childhood or long-standing issues
  • Marital or couples counseling
  • Medication management
  • Disability reports, excused absences or accommodations paperwork (examples: ADA accommodations, Emotional Support Animals, document for missing class or work, Religious Exemptions, Arizona Long Term Care Disability, custody issues, or any legal issues)

It is recommended that students requiring Long Term Counseling get the help they need by utilizing one of the following suggested options: 

  1. Apply for Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) benefits -  AHCCCS is Arizona's version of Medicaid and provides medical and mental health insurance and services for those who have reduced income. You can apply online. The mental health benefits for residents of Maricopa County who receive AHCCCS are managed by Mercy Maricopa. Mercy Maricopa has a vast network of providers and the services are free once you qualify for and enroll in AHCCCS. You can call Mercy Maricopa at (800) 564-5465.
  2. Personal Health Insurance - Some students are still covered by their parents' health insurance plans and may qualify for services through their insurance. Please call the number on the back of your insurance card. There are many excellent providers who accept health insurance. Many are listed on your Insurance Company's website according to zip code or you can search the American Psychological Association's Locator website
  3. Private Pay - There are some providers in the valley who offer a sliding scale for payments. Most accept major credit cards as well. There are websites, such Psychology Today's Find-a-Therapist, that can help you find providers within your zip code area.