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For many students, the beginning of a new semester brings both excitement and new challenges. This year, the tragedy hitting the state with the deadly wildfires on Maui is certain to raise anxieties. As students navigate school, work, family, social life and extracurriculars, they may wonder where to go if they find themselves needing support for their mental health and wellbeing.

Free mental health resources are available on campus for University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa students at the Counseling and Student Development Center (CSDC). CSDC provides brief solution-focused individual, couples, group and career counseling in which students can meet with a mental health professional via Zoom. The CSDC is also available to provide crisis services during business hours (Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.) to assist students needing immediate mental health support. Students interested in attending a crisis appointment are asked to call CSDC at (808) 956-7927 to speak with a crisis counselor. Staff will help arrange appropriate services.

Students who are currently enrolled at UH Mānoa and located within the state of Hawaiʻi are eligible for six individual counseling sessions per academic year. Among CSDC’s top priorities is accommodating student session requests as quickly as possible. Though wait time for individual therapy varies by time of year, students are generally seen for an initial consultation within one to two weeks to discuss treatment options and resources. Interested students should call CSDC to complete a brief initial telephone appointment with a counselor who can connect them with the most appropriate service. Those outside of the state can utilize CSDC’s online self-help resources and contact CSDC for help connecting with mental health resources in their area.

A range of services

This year, all UH Mānoa students have access to Therapy Assistance Online (TAO), a suite of online educational programs with engaging videos, animations and interactive activities that use evidence-based content to address common mental health-related concerns. Students have completely anonymous, free access to TAO throughout the year using their UH email address.

Group therapy is also available, with groups focused on a variety of issues, such as adjusting to college, building healthy relationships and exploring personal identity. Groups that are currently being offered are listed on the CSDC website. Interested students should contact CSDC to complete a brief telephone screening appointment with a CSDC counselor to ensure group therapy is appropriate.

“We want all students to feel like they have the support they need to be successful at every stage of their academic journey,” said CSDC Psychologist Alexander Khaddouma. “We welcome any student to connect with us if they have concerns about their mental health, or want to learn more about resources to help them remain happy and healthy.”

CSDC also sponsors a variety of educational events and workshops, which serve to familiarize students with mental health resources and teach them skills to improve their mental health. On September 11, CSDC will host its Love Life Event from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Campus Center Courtyard. The free event will provide resources and information on mental health, and how students can help and support their peers as the university marks National Suicide Prevention Week.

In addition, the CSDC’s Testing Office serves as a testing site for various educational examinations and certifications, including the GRE, Praxis, TOEFL, MAT, CLEP and Meazure Learning testing programs, and offers individual proctoring for non-UH system distance learning courses. Any inquiries regarding test availability, scheduling, fees and more may be directed to the Testing Office at (808) 956-3454 or

Employees can learn how to help students

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 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 Kognito program is available through September 30.

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

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