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Emergencies

  • For life-threatening emergencies, call 911 and go directly to the nearest emergency room.

  • If you have an immediate concern about suicide, either personally or for someone else, call SHS at 212-305-3400 and request to speak with a clinician or nurse immediately.  You may also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or walk yourself or the person of concern to the nearest emergency room.

  • If you have been sexually assaulted, contact Sexual Violence Response (SVR) at (212) 854-HELP (4357) for 24/7/365 support. Please read what to do if you have been sexually assaulted.

  • If you have had an occupational blood or infectious body fluid exposure, follow our Occupational Blood/Infectious Body Fluid Exposure Instructions.

  • If you have been involved in a non-sexual assault with possible blood/infectious body fluid exposure, go immediately to the emergency room for possible post-exposure prophylaxis for HIV - ideally begun as soon as possible after exposure.

  • If you are uncertain whether this is an emergency, contact SHS at (212) 305-3400. Emergency telephone consultations are available when we are closed and we can:

    • Give you advice

    • Call in indicated prescriptions

    • Often save you a trip to the emergency room (only about 10% of students who call need to be sent to the emergency room and of those who go, about 10% are admitted). We can advise if an Urgent Care evaluation is necessary, and direct you to the appropriate facility, based on your insurance coverage.

It Is Important to Follow-Up with SHS after an Emergency

If you go directly to the emergency room:

  • After you are discharged, call 212-305-3400 so that we can assist you with follow-up.

  • If the emergency room refers you to another physician for follow-up, you MUST get a referral from SHS first, or your referral will NOT be covered as an in-network benefit by the Columbia University Student Health Insurance Plan. Call 212-305-3400 during business hours to make an appointment to get your referral.

  • See Aetna Student Health Plan Design and Benefits Summary for detailed information about insurance coverage, including emergency room and ambulance copays.