Events, programs, services available to help students deal with stress

Author: Steve Hockensmith
May 16, 2023
A woman holds a dog
Photo Credit: Mental Health Education Assistant AC Star Talingdan consults with Luna the therapy dog

SF State students have lots of resources to turn to … including some with fur

May isn’t just Mental Health Awareness Month. If you’re a San Francisco State University student, it’s also time for final exams and — for soon-to-graduate seniors — preparing for life after college. All that cramming and looming change can be nerve-racking, which is why the University offers an array of services and events to help students manage their stress.

First up: a visit from nature’s most talented stress-busters … dogs! The Wags for Wellness program brings teams of therapy animals to campus several times a year. Their final visit of the semester will be held at the Health Promotion & Wellness (HPW) office (Village at Centennial Square, 750 Font Blvd.) from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, May 18. Students are invited to take a break from their studies and focus on chilling for a while instead. 

“Mental health is always important, but staying mentally healthy during finals or mid-terms is hard,” said Karen Boyce, director of HPW at San Francisco State. “Students often are running on not enough sleep, food and time to relax. It’s easy to burn out or get overwhelmed by all the stress. At HPW we like to bring mental health programs to spaces where students spend a lot of time during finals, because it’s hard to make time to take care of yourself when you are so busy.”

Among the other mental health resources available for students:

  • SF State’s J. Paul Leonard Library is hosting a wellness room with stations where students can take a break and manage their stress or practice some relaxation during the last week of school and finals week. Learn more on the Library website.
  • The Metro Student Success program has also set up self-care stations in its Metro Academic Resource Center where students can drop by to get resources.
  • Students feeling that the pressure is getting to be too much or looking to get some guidance on how to better manage their mental health should schedule a consultation appointment with Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS). These brief appointments help students talk through what might help them and identify the best service to meet their needs.
  • Students interested in talking to someone about medication to help with their mental health can get free access to psychiatric services at Student Health Services (SHS). These appointments could cost over $300 in the community but are part of specialty care at SHS that are included in SF State’s student health fee. The services will continue to be available during the summer to students, even if they aren’t in summer school.

“We are so glad that so many campus departments are partnering with us or doing their own mental health-promoting programs, like wellness weeks or community study sessions,” said Boyce. “Being in community is one of the best medicines for stress. My advice to students is to not try to do it alone and don’t wait to ask for help. Don’t give up — you got this!”

Learn more about Health Promotion & Wellness at SF State.