December 8, 2021 - Resources for Stress and Mental Health Needs

Dear undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students,

As we move into the final stretch of the fall semester, and in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we encourage you to take this opportunity to reflect on your wellbeing. As you work to complete papers and projects and prepare for midterm exams, here are some tips to help:

  • Be proactive about managing stress
    • Maintain a routine that allows for a sense of normalcy. Keep the same sleep-wake schedule, class hours, and daily activities to the extent possible.  Visit recalibrate for more wellness resources designed for the entire campus community.
    • Pay attention to your stress level and prioritize stress management. Talk to friends online or in-person (if fully vaccinated), get some exercise and make sure to take breaks. Rec Sports has in-person programs and services and online exercise classes that you can do virtually anywhere.
    • Eating well can help you manage stress. We have some excellent tips on our Be Well site, including combating stress with nutrition. If you’re having difficulty accessing food, the Basic Needs Center can be contacted by emailing basicneedssupport@berkeley.edu or calling (510) 463-4170 (Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.) for immediate support.    
  • Sleep
    • There is good evidence that high-quality sleep (roughly 7-9 hours for the average person) significantly improves task performance, learning, and memory.
    • Sleep and anxiety are often interrelated, and improving sleep quality appears to lessen generalized anxiety.
    • Learn more from Allison Harvey, a clinical psychology professor and director of the Golden Bear Sleep and Mood Research Clinic at UC Berkeley, about how to find your circadian rhythm and sleep better in this Berkeley Talks podcast.
  • Seek help
    • Be attentive to your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and consider reaching out for help if needed. Getting help is a sign of strength and resiliency. Visit the Office of the Dean of Students’ Mental Health Matters for various resources.
    • It is critical to maintain your connections and reach out to friends, family, advisors and others for emotional support. Support is often only a call or text away. If stress interferes with your life (socially or academically) or if you find yourself depressed or anxious for weeks or longer, this will interfere with your ability to learn and perform academically. There are good online self-help tools, including educational modules and meditation videos.
    • Visit the Student Mental Health website to access a wealth of resources available to you, including Let’s Talk consultations, group counseling and workshops.  You can access same-day counseling visits by calling CAPS at (510) 642-9494, booking on eTang, or calling the after-hours counseling line (855) 817-5667.
      • Graduate Students: The Graduate Wellness Center is a satellite office for CAPS and the Disabled Students Program (DSP). The Wellness Center provides graduate-focused wellness and mental health services, including individual, couples, and group counseling and workshops specific to graduate students. Also for graduate students, the Graduate Peer Support Providers (PSPs) is a new initiative to help you navigate our many resources dedicated to supporting your basic needs, mental health, and academic progress. Our PSPs are graduate students themselves, working under the supervision of School Psychology Program faculty. Because of that, our PSPs understand your unique needs and can provide you with one-on-one guidance and support.
    • Isolation or stress can sometimes lead to increased alcohol and drug use. If you need help, contact UHS to make an appointment or find a local resource.
    • It's okay if you need help. You are not alone. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 800-273-TALK (8255).

In addition to taking care of yourself, please be mindful of other students facing similar challenges this time of year. We wish all of you the best as we reach the end of the academic year. We encourage you to take advantage of the resources available to you to complete the semester successfully and healthfully.

Sincerely,

Stephen C. Sutton, Ed.D., Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (he/him/his)

Lisa García Bedolla, Ph.D., Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and Dean of the Graduate Division (she/her/ella)

Guy W. Nicolette, MD, CAQSM, Assistant Vice Chancellor, University Health Services
(he/him/his)

This message was sent to all undergraduate and graduate students.