When most people think of the Student Health and Wellness office, their mind immediately correlates it to a medical center. But, SHaW is so much more than just that. It provides a variety of resources that can aid students in anything they are going through, both in individual or group settings.
Kristina Stevens, SHaW’s director of mental health, recently shed light on what her office truly strives to accomplish here on the University of Connecticut campus.
“Student Health and Wellness offers a comprehensive set of services from medical, mental health and wellness services by a team that works collaboratively to cultivate optimal health and well-being for every UConn student,” said Stevens. “In the other words of our motto, we want students to ‘Be Well, Feel Well and Do Well.’”
There are a multitude of programs SHaW hosts to aid in cultivating a feel-good environment for students, including Meditation Monday
“Meditation Monday takes place every Monday at 4 p.m. and offers students a virtual space to engage in practices that support mental wellbeing, and help to build community and connection,” said Stevens.
Students from any UConn campus can join Meditation Monday through a simple link. For those focused on building a skillset that can help reduce stress and promote wellbeing, Introduction to Mindfulness takes place on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1 p.m to 2 p.m., as well as on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Arjona Room 403.
For something more interactive, Pet Therapy is the perfect option. Every Wednesday from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in Wilson Hall Room 126, students are given the chance to not only hang out with dogs (what could be better?), but also to use the time to decompress and take a step back from their hectic lives.
On the more physical side, Gentle Therapeutic Yoga is held in Arjona on Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., and online on Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.. As Stevens describes it, Gentle Therapeutic Yoga is a “full body practice that calms, dissolves stress and strengthens core muscles.” If one is looking to use yoga as a method to help with addiction, Recovery Yoga Sessions are held in-person at the UConn Recreation Center and virtually on Wednesdays from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m..
SHaW uses these resources to help aid in the holistic wellbeing of students.
“All aspects of who we are affect our mental health,” said Stevens. “At SHaW, when we talk about cultivating optimal health, that means the optimal health of the whole person.”
If you find yourself in a situation of wanting to help a peer, there are a multitude of ways where UConn students can provide temporary aid.
“Students have been active partners in programming for and participating in activities that increase awareness, decrease stigma and create a culture of care across the University community,” said Stevens. “Their voices have been and always will be central to promoting mental health across the University.”
The programs listed above are not the only options if a student is struggling. Other services include online self-directed support, informal consultation with a counselor, as well as crisis support day and night, group and individual therapy, medication management and clinical case management.
Any student is welcome to participate in SHaW’s programs. Many of them involve simply dropping in and joining the activity; however one can always call (860) 486-4705 with any questions or concerns. Students can also reach SHaW by visiting their website at https://studenthealth.uconn.edu/. Furthermore, all newly issued One Cards contain a QR code that will lead a student directly to the SHaW website where other information can be found.