#Forward Together: What you need to know about wellness

Illustration of doctor and patient

Beginning a new academic year can be a stressful time, with or without a pandemic.

Recognizing that mental health matters, the University of Oregon is committed to supporting students and employees as they strive to improve their overall health and wellness. The entire campus community is encouraged to take time for self-care and mental wellness this fall.

With the beginning of the academic year approaching, Deb Beck, executive director of University Health Services, shared tips to keep all Ducks healthy and mentally well:

  • Stay as socially connected as possible, and if not fully vaccinated, be mindful of  physical distance.
  • Eat a healthy diet; get plenty of water.
  • Walk, run, ride a bike, go outside and get fresh air – keeping 6 feet of distance from others.
  • Avoid too much news to help lower stress levels.
  • Don’t forget wellness exams. General overall health is very important to keep immune systems functioning at optimal levels to fight illness.
  • If you feel any phyusical or mental issues, don't hesitate to seek help.

“Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, both mental and physical, is essential while dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic,” Beck said. “The pandemic has brought on many things that create worry and negatively affect our health. Staying mentally and physically healthy strengthens your well-being by lowering stress and anxiety.”

What mental health support services are available to students?

Counseling Services offers support options for UO students. Check out its blog for self-care ideas or make a virtual appointment to talk to a counselor. Everyone reacts differently to stress, and it is vitally important to seek help if needed.

“Given the ever-evolving nature of this pandemic and the uncertainty that comes with it, it’s understandable that we all carry some amount of stress and anxiety, particularly during times of transition such as coming back to campus this fall,” said Mariko Lin, assistant director and education and prevention outreach director for Counseling Services.

Counseling Services provides a variety of resources to help students manage anxiety, cope with stress, and find ways to serve their social and emotional needs.

What mental health support services are available to employees?

The Office of Human Resources offers a variety of employee wellness resources and quick links to employee support and assistance resources particularly useful as the university continues operating during COVID-19.

Benefits-eligible employees can get confidential one-on-one counseling and personalized assistance through Cascade Centers, the university's employee assistance program provider. The program is available to help peopleprocess these emotions and refocus.

Additionally, it can assist with locating various resources that may be helpful at this time, including child care and mental health providers. To connect with a Cascade Centers representative, call 800-433-2320, text 503-850-7721 or email info@cascadecenters.com.

Learn more about Cascade Centers and explore additional resources through the member site at cascadecenters.com, and visit the Cascade Centers YouTube channel for a library of wellness videos that assist with managing stress and maintaining mental wellness during difficult times.

What services are available to help manage stress?

The Duck Nest helps students, faculty members and staff develop self-care and life-balance strategies related to stress, nutrition, physical activity and general wellness. Explore its website for options and resources, including the Wellness Ambassador program. The program applies the peer-to-peer education model already in place at the Duck Nest for faculty members and staff to provide an array of wellness programs for employees.