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Mental Well-Being

If you’re experiencing stress or feeling overwhelmed and lonely, you’re not alone. The level of mental health distress amongst university students is increasing at an alarming rate. According to the 2022 National College Health Assessment results:

  • 81.2% of University of Rochester students reported moderate or severe distress levels within the previous 12 months.
  • Over 50% of students said stress has either negatively impacted their performance in a class or has delayed progress towards their degree.
  • 56.9% of students screened positive for loneliness.
  • Only 5.8% of students felt rested 6-7 days within the previous week.

If stress, anxiety, and lack of sleep having a negative impact on your life, be sure to check out our mental well-being programs! We’ll show you stress management and relaxation techniques, teach you healthy sleep strategies, and demonstrate that it’s possible to bounce back from failures and thrive.

Mindful University Project

The Mindful University Project is an interdisciplinary collaboration with a mission to empower our campus community to build a culture of mindful presence and compassion.

The work of the Mindful University Project allows our students to improve their mental well-being, boost academic flourishing, increase resiliency to stress, and reduce levels of anxiety and depression.

Our goal is to create a safe and inclusive space for all students, staff and faculty to learn and engage in mindfulness through:

  • introductory and advanced learn-to-meditate classes;
  • drop-in meditation sittings and yoga classes;
  • half-day silent retreats;
  • educational workshops and faculty and staff training

Read more…


PAWS for Stress Relief

Come pet the pups! Paws for Stress Relief brings therapy dogs to campus for students to spend some time with. This monthly program occurs on Mondays from 6–7:15 p.m. on River Campus and Thursdays from 6–7:15 p.m. at Eastman School of Music. The Health Promotion Office also provides educational information, fun activities, and stress-relief giveaways such as lavender sachets or stress balls.

Spring 2023 Dates:

  • Mondays at River Campus (Goergen Athletic Center): February 6th, March 13th, April 3rd, and May 1st
  • Thursdays at Eastman: February 16th and March 16th at the Eastman Student Living Center, and April 20th at Sibley Library

DeStress Fests

The Destress Fest is an opportunity to engage in a variety of fun, stress-relieving activities during finals. Two events, held Wells Brown Oasis at Rush Rhees, are held each semester. Enjoy soothing music, calming tea, and more!

Each Destress Fest is different. Activities may include:

  • Board games
  • Puzzles
  • Craft table
  • Stress balls
  • Coloring
  • Gratitude jars
  • Therapy dogs

Spring DeStress Fest dates:

  • Thursday, February 28th from 5-7 PM
  • Friday, April 14th from 12-2 PM

Flourish Festival

Coming on April 14th, 2023, the Mindful University Project and Health Promotion Office will be of

Two students doing yoga on Eastman Quad in front of Rush Rhees Libraryfering a Flourish Festival, a full-day event for all students! At this day-long event, students will be able to take a yoga class, engage in mindfulness meditation practices (such as mindful eating and walking!), get a mental health screening, pet some therapy dogs, meet various wellness-related resources on campus, and more!

Follow our Instagram or sign up for our newsletter to get more information once time draws closer!

Supporting a Student or Peer in Distress

Check out our Mental Health Resource Card for tips on how to recognize and support someone in distress.

Be There Certificate

The Be There Certificate is and the Born This Way Foundation’s digital, self-paced learning experience designed to increase mental health literacy and provide youth with the knowledge, skills, and confidence they need to safely support anyone who may be struggling with their mental health. It will provide a deep understanding of Be There’s 5 Golden Rules — a simple but actionable framework teaching people how to recognize when someone might be struggling with their mental health, their role in supporting that person, and how to connect them to the help they need. The Be There Certificate is available in English, French and Spanish, offering universal best practices while diving deeper into the intersections of culture, identity, and social determinants of mental wellness.

Medallion Program Logo consisting of a gold "m" on top of a white star with the number 2 beneath

The Be There Certificate counts towards an Interpersonal Competence workshop for the Medallion Program. Simply email the Medallion Program with your completion certificate and they will send you a Level 2 Workshop Reflection!

University Resources

All full-time students can set up an initial assessment appointment at the University Counseling Center (UCC) to discuss the options and create a treatment plan that meets their needs. Contact UCC at 585-275-3113 to make an appointment or to learn more.

Learn more about UCC services. Do you have other ideas/questions for how UCC can support you? Contact Michael Siembor.

The Department of Public Safety (DPS) is available 24/7, and can be reached via phone call or text at (585)275-3333.  The majority of DPS officers have completed a 40 hour training to be a part of the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT), to better understand how to work with individuals in crisis.  If a student has safety concerns for themselves or for a friend, DPS can conduct a Check the Welfare of a student and connect them with the help/assistance they need in real time.  DPS recently collaborated with UCC & ResLife for the CIR Program.

The Office of Minority Student Affairs (OMSA) is the official academic home of all historically underrepresented minority students (Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, American Indian, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander). We are dedicated to the betterment of the minority student experience at Rochester through advocacy, holistic advising, education, and collaboration with campus departments. Our department also connects minority students to various resources, on and off campus. We support our students with the social connections needed to ensure academic, professional, and personal success.

The goal of the University Ombuds is to promote a respectful and inclusive community. This is done by resolving conflicts, challenging perceptions, and advocating for fairness for everyone at the University. These confidential services are available for all students. Contact the Ombuds Office.

The Interfaith Chapel is home to eleven different faith communities, all of which offer worship, spiritual practices and opportunities to make friends and have fun. See their website for a listing of services and events happening at the chapel, or check us out on Facebook or on Instagram. Chaplains are available during the day without appointment for students who are struggling and need an empathetic ear. Students do not have to be members of any religious or spiritual tradition to speak with a chaplain, and chaplains will not discuss religion or spirituality unless the student wishes to do so. We also have a labyrinth for meditative walking and a therapy dog, Sasha, who has office hours Tuesdays and Fridays from 11-5.

The mission of the Paul J. Burgett Intercultural Center (BIC) is to promote cultural awareness and engagement, educate on issues of identity, culture, and diversity, and provide avenues for intersection and opportunities for collaboration. We provide opportunities for education and dialogue on topics such as race, religion, LGBTQ issues, privilege, intercultural communication, and bias-related incidents.

The David T. Kearns Center for Leadership and Diversity at the University of Rochester strives to expand the educational pipeline through the doctoral degree for low-income, first-generation college, and underrepresented minority students. The center focuses on the creation of replicable and scalable educational models that will increase the number of low-income and historically underrepresented individuals pursuing undergraduate, graduate, and professional education.

The center provides educational guidance, scholarships, and support services to students who:

  • Come from low-income families
  • Will be, or already are, the first person in their family to earn a college degree
  • Come from racial groups identified by the federal government as underrepresented in higher education: African American, Native American, or Hispanic

Active Minds is a national organization focused on raising mental health awareness, fighting mental health stigma, and inspiring positive change on college campuses. Our chapter works with UHS, UCC, and various student organizations and organizes campus-wide events to educate the student body on issues of mental health, challenge stigmatizing beliefs, and provide a safe and positive environment for students to share their experiences. We believe in compassionate advocacy, and strive to work towards a campus climate where students, staff, faculty, and administration prioritize all aspects of wellness.

Off Campus Resources

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