Supporting each other through stressful times

Dear Twin Cities students,

As the days get shorter and colder, and the semester winds down, we would like to take a moment to honor your resilience through what has been an unprecedented period of global upheaval and uncertainty. We also acknowledge the toll that this pandemic may have taken on mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing since March 2020.

As we have moved in and out of periods of isolation over the past two years, it is more important than ever to remember that you are not alone. In addition to formal mental health services, which are often in high demand at this time of year, the University offers many other resources that you may find helpful if you are grappling with the effects of stress or burnout.

  • Let’s Talk: an informal in-person and virtual counseling service available to students during the academic year (through Dec. 22 for fall semester)
  • PAWS (Pet Away Worry & Stress): free sessions with registered therapy animal teams (including bunnies, dogs, cats, chickens, and other therapy animals), available through Dec. 21
  • Exam Jam: a range of services to reduce your academic stress, including writing support, academic skills coaching, peer tutoring, and a “Study Vibes Only” pizza party presented by the Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence
  • UMN Libraries: offering a variety of stressbusters, including crafts, pajama study night, peer tutoring sessions, bullet-journaling workshops, and an online self-care guide
  • Online wellbeing tools: [email protected]EffectiveU (both available 24/7), and the Mindful Mondays series from the Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing (webinars through Dec. 20); the Bakken Center also offers mindful movement and meditation videos, viewable anytime
  • The Care Program: a resource, referral, and brief case management service for students who are at risk of harming themselves or others
  • Boynton Health's Nutritious U Food Pantry: open Dec. 14-16 in 210 Coffman Memorial Union, in case you or another student in need would like to stock up on healthy food while you prepare for final exams

Small acts of kindness, such as reaching out to a friend or classmate who is struggling, take on even greater significance as end-of-semester stresses take their toll on students and instructors alike. Please feel free to share these resources with your friends and colleagues in need.

We hope that you will find some time over the winter break to reflect on your semester: what went well, and what areas might benefit from extra support now or in the spring. Above all, we hope that you find time to relax, renew, and connect with loved ones.

Sincerely yours,

Rachel T.A. Croson
Executive Vice President and Provost

Calvin D. Phillips
Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

email sent December 13, 2021 to all Twin Cities undergraduate, graduate, and professional students