Campus Departments Offer a Holistic Look at Health and Wellness for Students
Attending college often takes adjustment on both the part of parents and students. This time can be characterized as fun, exciting, overwhelming, and even stressful. During this period of growth and development your student is likely to utilize you as a sounding board in moments of frustration or stress, whether you are five minutes away or 5,000 miles away. Understanding the on-campus resources available to your student can help you to better support and direct them in those moments. UCLA is made up of a variety of departments to help students navigate their experience successfully and address their health in a holistic way
Resources including the Office of Residential Life, Counseling and Psychological Services, and UCLA Recreation all play an integral role in maintaining your students physical, mental and emotional well-being.
Greetings parents and family members, from the Office of Residential Life:
UCLA students are turning the corner towards spring quarter, and this means different things to different Bruins. First-year students are becoming familiar with the realities of campus life, and upper-division students are gaining focus and thinking about the future. Graduating students are ready to take what they have learned and make an impact on the world. In Residential Life, we consistently seek to learn from the moments where we positively impact the student experience, and where we can do better.
We’ve curated some of the tips, facts, and highlights of the year for you and your student to consider:
It takes a village…
With over 13,000 undergraduates living in our Residence Halls, we rely on a dynamic and diverse network of faculty, staff, and student leaders to guide your students through life on campus. This includes:
- Professional staff with a passion for helping students living in each Residence Hall who supervise a team of Resident Assistants, provide 24/7 emergency response, and who meet regularly with students on every issue imaginable
- Student government, student event planners, and academic peer mentors providing peer-to-peer advice, friendship, and resources
- Our Faculty-In-Residence program, featuring some of UCLA’s top professors who live in the Residence Halls (with their families, kids, and pets!) alongside our students
- Educational outreach programs presented by campus police, Counseling and Psychological Services staff, chefs from our dining halls, and many more
Engagement happens before learning.
To maximize the learning experience for students in and out of the classroom, we must first create a place that is engaging. When students feel like they matter, they are more likely to engage with the opportunities around them. This is why we place maximum effort in our Move-In Weekend and during True Bruin Welcome. For a look back on how we welcomed your students, check out http://www.truebruinwelcome.ucla.edu and tap into the #welcomebruins conversation on social media from last fall.
“The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
A student’s ability to learn, create, and demonstrate citizenship during and beyond college benefits from the learning environment being a diverse one. We engage our students in conversations related to diversity and inclusion in annual events such as Rehearsal for Bruin Life, the Martin Luther King Jr. Oratorical Contest, TEDx UCLA, guest speakers, and community events. Our resident assistants plan trips beyond the borders of UCLA into Los Angeles for our students to engage with all the city has to offer.
Stress and recovery is a part of a healthy college experience. Stress without recovery is not.
UCLA students are bright, talented, and passionate about making a difference while succeeding academically. Even when our students’ lives go according to plan, things can become stressful. Given that real life continues to happen alongside attending college, Residential Life provides proactive wellness and mindfulness programs, connects with our colleagues in Counseling and Psychological Services for both proactive and crisis response, and empowers our students to help one another through certifications such as Mental Health First Aid. UCLA Recreation has one of the most robust and diverse selection of offerings for students to stay well during their time at UCLA, including the opening of the brand-new B-Fit fitness center built directly into one of the residence halls.
Learning happens inside the classroom, outside the classroom, and in digital space.
Students learn and socialize in digital spaces. With that comes a responsibility for us to educate students on issues of digital citizenship, privacy, career networking on sites such as LinkedIn, and more.
Learning is a continuing process.
The above is just a sample of what is happening on the Hill this year. You can learn more about our office and the values that shape our work in Residential Life here.
To meet our team, visit this link.
UCLA is an academically competitive institution, attracting the highest performing students from around the world.
This level of academic rigor can influence students’ self-esteem and may impact stress and anxiety levels. The Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is a wealth of mental health resources for UCLA students.
Overview of the Department & Staff:
UCLA Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is the campus’ counseling center, whose mission is to foster students’ mental health and wellbeing within a complex university and global environment. CAPS offers Crisis management, Counseling and Psychotherapy, Campus Consultation, and Community Education. CAPS staff includes over 40 therapists, 8 psychiatrists, 4 clinical coordinators, multiple clinicians in training, and a number of administrative support staff.
Brief Screen clinicians welcome students into the center, and assist them in connecting to the most appropriate resources for their needs. Staff psychologists provide individual and group treatment, as do the clinicians in training. If needed, students are referred to one of CAPS psychiatrists for psychiatric medication. Administrative support staff help students navigate the system, scheduling appointments and completing necessary paperwork. Clinical coordinators manage urgent concerns, and help students in crisis access care immediately.
All registered students can be seen for short-term individual treatment at CAPS. All students are eligible for up to 3 individual therapy sessions during the academic year and 3 additional sessions in the summer for brief counseling, treatment planning and, as needed, assistance in connect students to their outside insurance providers if they have not purchased the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP). Those with UC-SHIP insurance are allotted up to 3 additional sessions per academic year. Although limited, many students are well-served by this short-term model. Those students who require additional assistance may be seen more at CAPS, as clinically indicated and determined by CAPS clinicians and/or are linked to longer term resources available through their SHIP insurance. CAPS clinicians and clinical coordinators help students identify the best options to address their needs.
CAPS also offers extensive opportunities for of wellness skills groups and therapy groups. Our Wellness Skills groups are 3 sessions in length and cover topics applicable to many of our students – procrastination, perfectionism, body image/eating concerns, effective communication, and anxiety and stress management. We offer “Coping through the Quarter” a “drop-in group”, which allows students to learn a wide array of coping skills, with different modules covered each week. These “drop-in groups” are available every week, and students don’t have to sign up for this group ahead of time, and can simply drop in!
Students with UC-SHIP insurance are also eligible to participate in CAPS many therapy groups. These groups meet weekly for most of the quarter, and include topics such as anxiety, depression, adjustment concerns, disordered eating, etc. CAPS also offers specific groups for graduate students, and for students who identify as LGBTQ and/or who belong to various underrepresented groups on campus.
Campus Partners, Outreach & Prevention:
CAPS also plays a significant role in the campus’ efforts to promote students’ well-being via a number of prevention-oriented programs. CAPS staff provide a variety of workshops during orientation, offer regular trainings in suicide and sexual assault prevention, mental health first aid, etc., and train Residential Life staff to provide wellness workshops in the residence halls and campus apartments. CAPS staff also work closely with partners in Athletics, at the LGBT Center, the Dashew International Center, and the Bruin Resource Center to help historically-underserved student populations (e.g. veterans) gain access to services. Finally, CAPS has partnered with CARE, the Campus Assault Resource & Education program, to facilitate services and advocacy for students who have been the victim of sexual violence.
In addition to the aforementioned partnerships, CAPS staff also provide crisis resources and assist in the response to campus tragedies. Staff engage with students at memorials and participate in mediation efforts when difficult issues arise or in the wake of a loss.
Between classes, coursework, and club meetings, students often forget the importance of physical fitness and can fall into a sedentary lifestyle.
However, with so many options to be physically active there’s no excuse to pack on the “Freshman 15”. In addition to the physical impact of staying active and feeling strong and healthy, getting one’s body moving can also positively impact mood, decrease stress, and improve self-esteem.
UCLA FITWELL Resources
As part of UCLA Recreation, UCLA FITWELL offers a variety of programming to foster active, healthy lifestyles and life-long learning. Studies show that fitness and recreation activities provide significant mental health benefits. Regular participation in physical activity alleviates stress and anxiety, elevates mood, boosts self-confidence, improves brain functions, and overall productivity. Students who participate in fitness and recreation activities prove to be happier and healthier.
All program information and resources can be found at www.recreation.ucla.edu/fitwell
Main Program Offerings include:
GROUP FITNESS CLASSES including Strength Training, Agility and Conditioning, Zumba, Cardio Hip Hop, Urban Kick, Yoga, Meditation, Spin, Step Aerobics, Pilates and more.
S&C ZONES are the strength and conditioning zones of the main fitness facilities on campus including: The John Wooden Center, KREC and BFIT. The S&C Zones provide students the opportunity to workout on their own using treadmills, ellipticals, arc trainers, stationary bikes, rowing machines, krank cycles, free weights, cross cable machines, squat racks, Olympic weight lifting pads, and various individual strength training machines.
- The FITWELL Games help create community among students within each fitness facility. Students are given a fitness challenge and prizes for participation. FITWELL Instructors are present at each challenge to teach form and technique and connect personally with students to answer questions they may have about health and fitness.
- Love Your Body Events help promote positive body image among students through fitness programming that emphasizes the message, “Healthy Bruins come in all shapes and sizes.” Programs include Mindful Eating Workshops, Positive Body Image Workshops and Discussions, Love Yourself Yoga, Love Yourself Dance, and more. Upcoming programs include Love Your Body Week February 22nd-26th and International No Diet Day on May 6th.
- FITTED: Fitness Improvement Training through Exercise and Diet [FITTED] is a student-initiated, student-run program program designed to raise and retain students’ consciousness of holistic health by providing free fitness and health education services to UCLA student leaders. FITTED’s ultimate goal is to assist students in incorporating healthy habits into all aspects of their lives for many years to come. A healthy Bruin mind starts with a healthy body. http://www.cpo.ucla.edu/src/fitted/
- FLP: Fitness Leadership Program is a invaluable program for students to train to become a fitness instructor or personal trainer. Students benefit from being surrounded by peers with a similar passion for health and fitness and grow into highly competent leaders in the field. This program starts in Fall Quarter each year and ends in Spring. Applications are available every October at www.recreation.ucla.edu/fitwell on the Fitness Leadership Program page.
We are happy to help you get connected and involved. For further questions or assistance, please email UCLA FITWELL at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 310-206-6130.