New UChicago student wellness center, and expanded health and counseling resources

To: All Students
From: Daniel Diermeier, Provost, and Michele Rasmussen, Dean of Students in the University
Subject: New UChicago student wellness center, and expanded health and counseling resources
Date: October 4, 2018

Dear Students,

Providing excellent health and wellness services to students in the College, graduate and professional schools is an important priority for the University of Chicago and part of our commitment to supporting your well-being and academic success.

Based on feedback from students and others across the University, we have made a number of enhancements to our services in recent years, including providing additional staff in Student Health and Counseling Services to meet the diverse needs of students, and offering innovative programs, such as telemedicine, Mental Health First Aid training, group therapy, hereditary cancer screenings, and drop-in counseling sessions through Let’s Talk.

We are pleased to announce that after two years of planning, the University is building a new student wellness center to further improve our health, counseling and wellness resources. The center will expand the existing student health facility located at the University of Chicago Medical Center on 59th Street and Maryland Avenue and will feature a dedicated entrance on 59th Street for greater ease of access.

The new space – which is slated to open in 2021 – will bring together the Student Health Service, Student Counseling Service, and Health Promotion and Wellness in one location, enabling us to provide integrated care in a welcoming and student-centered environment with more medical and mental health providers on staff. We will continue to provide services and resources targeted at building overall well-being, including primary and acute care, immunizations, individual and couples therapy, substance use evaluations, meditation courses, and more.

Other recent enhancements include:

  • The appointment of a full-time case manager in the Student Counseling Service. A new position, the licensed clinical social worker will serve as a guide to assist students who are referred to off-campus mental health providers. This role will connect students to services while working to expand the University’s network of local providers, and helping students find answers to their questions about insurance coverage for off-campus care.
  • Launching a new online mental health simulation, At-Risk for College Students. This 30-minute simulation, which is required for all incoming College students and available to any student who wishes to complete it, helps students learn to recognize warning signs of psychological distress and encourage friends to seek help. The goal is to increase confidence in identifying and supporting fellow students in need of mental health resources.
  • Helping faculty identify and support students in need of mental health resources. This program will start this autumn and builds off our successful Mental Health First Aid program, which is available to any member of the University community.
  • Launching a redesigned, mobile-friendly Student Health and Counseling Services website, where you can find quick access to information, including a provider directory, education on healthy living, and services by topic.

These significant changes, which were informed by student input – most recently through student participation in a comprehensive review of our counseling services by health and counseling directors from peer institutions – will improve the care you receive, ensuring services are offered in a professional, welcoming, and confidential manner. As always, we hope that you make your health and wellness a priority and take advantage of Student Health and Counseling Services during your time at UChicago.

Thank you for your thoughtful input, which has helped to shape all of these changes. We continue to welcome your feedback through our online form or by emailing wellness@lists.uchicago.edu.

We wish you all the best for a productive and healthy academic year.

Sincerely,
Daniel Diermeier, Provost
Michele A. Rasmussen, Dean of Students in the University