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Spring is often a time for renewal and change, particularly for university students beginning an unpredictable new semester. As the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa looks toward a return to in-person classes and activities while mitigating the spread of COVID-19, students may find themselves in need of guidance to address mental health and well-being.

Free mental health resources are available at the UH Counseling and Student Development Center (CSDC) for UH Mānoa students. CSDC provides brief solution-focused individual, couples, group and career counseling in which students can meet with a mental health professional through Zoom. The CSDC is also available for crisis services for students needing immediate mental health support.

Students who are currently enrolled at UH Mānoa and located within the state of Hawaiʻi are eligible for services, while those living outside of Hawaiʻi can receive help connecting with mental health resources in their area. Interested students should call (808) 956-7927 to complete a brief initial telephone appointment with a CSDC counselor who can connect them with the most appropriate service.

“We encourage all students, staff and faculty to show compassion and care toward themselves and others during these challenging times,” said CSDC Psychologist Alexander Khaddouma. “Showing care means paying attention to your own mental and emotional health, reaching out for help when necessary, and encouraging others to do the same. Fortunately, UH Mānoa has many resources to support students’ well-being throughout their academic journey.”

CSDC also offers a variety of services aimed at learning new skills and connecting with other students, regardless of their current location within or outside of the state.

Specialized services

During the spring 2022 semester, UH Mānoa students can register online to attend virtual drop-in support spaces, one-hour group sessions that provide a place for students of various identities (student-athletes, on-campus residents, international, LGBTQ+) to connect and share experiences via Zoom.

Students can also participate in a series of interactive, educational self-help workshops focused on practical tips for maintaining mental and physical wellness. Workshops address topics such as developing healthy sleep routines, stress management and cultivating mindfulness.

Group therapy is also available to students who are located in Hawaiʻi. Groups focus on a variety of issues which include coping with anxiety, overcoming attention and hyperactivity concerns, building healthy relationships, and exploring personal identity. Groups that are currently being offered are included on the CSDC website. Interested students should call (808) 956-7927 to complete a brief telephone screening appointment with a CSDC counselor to ensure group therapy is appropriate.

For students looking to connect with peers, the CSDC offers services meant to connect students directly with peer-to-peer guidance and support through its Peer Fellows Program. The CSDC Peer Fellows team consists of current UH Mānoa undergraduate and graduate students who provide educational programming and personalized support alongside CSDC counselors, such as hosting virtual support spaces, providing workshops, and assisting students in organizing their academic and personal lives or connecting to campus resources.

Training available

For faculty, staff and academic programs, CSDC offers training opportunities as well as clinical and program consultation regarding student mental health. UH Mānoa faculty and staff are encouraged to contact CSDC about how to refer students to appropriate resources, or to arrange topical training for their departments.

CSDC also offers all UH Mānoa faculty, staff and students with free access to Kognito, an online training program that teaches skills for communicating with others about mental health concerns and motivating them to seek help when needed. The UH Mānoa community will have access to the Kognito program throughout the spring 2022 semester.

Urgent, crisis services

CSDC has adjusted services for students and is set up for urgent individual crisis intervention, including brief solution-focused counseling via Zoom, telephone consultations, and walk-in appointments (with adjustments to accommodate physical distancing). The center requests that students call to set up an appointment prior to attending a walk-in appointment. Staff will help arrange appropriate services. If students are not able to connect with counseling services through CSDC, counselors can assist with referrals to outside resources, including for students living outside of the state of Hawaiʻi.

Faculty and staff can contact the UH Employee Assistance Program for counseling services through Employee Assistance of the Pacific.

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