University Health and Counseling Services

Health, Wellness and Well-being

 

Telemental Health Services

We are offering Telemental Health Services through HIPAA secured Zoom to all USM Students residing in the State of Maine.

We will also be offering some appropriate workshops and groups through Zoom.

If you are interested in accessing Telemental Health Individual Counseling services through University Health and Counseling Center;

1). Read these two documents Telemental Health Student Informed Consent and Counseling Services Information for Students

2). Log into your Medicat account and you will sign the Telemental Health Student Informed Consent electronically.

   To Log into Medicat account:

  • Go to the launchpad on home page (with all the icons like mainestreet, zoom, etc)
  • Scroll down to USM (not UMS) Quick links
  • The very first box says Health Record- open this
  • Go to forms 
  • There is the teletherapy agreement and you will want to electronically sign this Informed consent

To more help click here:   Medicat Directions

3). Contact our administrative staff at the Counseling office at 207-780-4050 and let them know you were able to sign the informed consent. The administrative staff  will verify your address, email and phone number and add a Zoom appointment to your counselors calender. 

  You will receive a link from the counselor for your Zoom appointment.

 Please know that if you are experiencing a crisis during this time, there are crisis services available to you:

 State line: 1-888-568-1112

 Cumberland County: 774-(HELP) 4357

 

For important and helpful tips for Social Distancing, Quarantine, And Isolation During An Infectious Disease Outbreak, Read:

SAMHSA  Taking Care of Your Behavioral Health and Well-being

 

Reducing Stress and Protecting our Health and Well-Being

Every day we all make choices, in fact we are constantly making choices, every minute of the day. Our choices are influenced by many factors. Some of these factors are referred to as Internal or Psychological. These factors would include perceptions, emotions, values, learning, attitude, beliefs, personality traits and motivation. Other influences are External or Social factors. These include the influence of some experiences, our families, culture, friends, social norms, media and larger society. Psychological (Internal) and Social (External) factors influence Physical Health and Physical Health can have an effect on our Mental and Emotional health. The opposite is also true!  These Internal and External factors influence our Emotional and Mental Health which can impact our stress level and physical well-being.  (for more information on this mind body connection research psychoneuroimmunology. An interesting article to begin with: Psychoneuroimmunology and Stress  

While this may seem complex, it is also simple once we understand that each component Physical (biological), Mental (emotional), Sociocultural and Spiritual (sense of belonging and meaning) are all connected and intertwined making the sum of all much greater than any single part.

Why Prevention? Prevention is important because it is primarily about protecting what is important to us. What each of us values is unique and personal to us, yet many of us value similar things, such as our health, families, social connections, education, careers, and environment.  As a student, and/ or member of the USM community, most likely education is valuable to you and achieving academic success is important to you.

To achieve academic success we quickly learn it’s not just about studying, we must practice balance, self-care, and learn to make choices that support our own mastery as we move towards our future.

The choices you make can shape you, impact your health, influence your goals, shape your college experience, inspire you and give you what you need to get where you always dreamed you would go.

 

Prevention is about protecting yourself so that you can achieve your own special unique greatness! Greatness, we want you to realize!

Wellness is about becoming aware and taking an active process to promote emotional, physical, social, sexual, intellectual, financial, occupational, environmental, multicultural and spiritual. wellness.

The World Health Organization defines Wellness as  "...a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."
The National Wellness Institute defines Wellness as "a conscious, self-directed and evolving process of achieving full potential."

Wellness is Holistic, and understands that all dimensions of wellness impact each other.  

 

Wellness and Well-being influence each other – Well-being speaks to a holistic life experience.

University Health and Counseling  will provide you with resources to help you live a life that is meaningful, balanced and fulfilling.

A manual to help you find balance. To review or dowload:  Creating a Healthier Life, A Step by Step Guide to Wellness

 

Resources from USM's Counseling Team

 

November 2020      Election Stress Kit

                                Election Day Stress

                                Election Day Emotions

                                Coronovirus Anxiety Workbook   

                                General Mental Health Tips                         

Working on Wellness (a collection of publications) 

 

October 5th         2020        Free Press- Tips For Starting Mindfulness Practice

October 4th         2020        Suicide Prevention- You Are Not Alone

September 24th  2020        Counseling Services During Covid

                                              Supportive Recovery Community on Campus

                                              ROCC online Virtual Connections

                                             What is Recovery and What is the ROCC anyways?

August 31st       2020         University Health and Counseling Welcome Letter

 

 

More Helpful Resources:

Depression

 How to Beat Lonliness by Guy Winch.IDEAS.TED.COM. Read Guy Winch's article: How To Beat Lonliness

IDEAS to Beat Lonliness

Watch this video from TED TALKS (11 minutes): Confessions of a Depressed Comic

For helpful suggestions on self care and negative thinking:"I Need to Take Better Care of Myself"  and "How Can I Interrupt My Negative Thinking" visit: Depression Center Toolkit

 

Seasonal Affective Disorder

What is it? To learn more about Seasonal Affective Disorder: National Institute Mental Health

You may also want to check out:  MedlinePlus

Light Therapy has been shown to be helpful to treat this seasonal condition. To learn more, read this article from the Mayo clinic:  Light Boxes

USM will be providing Light Therapy Boxes for students, faculty and staff at the libraries on the Portland, Gorham Lewiston campuses.

Come try it out and Get Your Shine Back! 

 

Anxiety

Feeling overwhelmed and Stressed, check out this site from Very Well Mind: Calm Down Quickly 

 

USM Counseling Team's  reccomended Apps to reduce Anxiety: Apps to reduce Anxiety

 

 Borderline Personality Disorder

"For somebody with Borderline Personality Disorder, if the part of the brain that says ‘I’m hurt by that,’ doesn’t then kick in and stop the intensity of that emotion, that emotion becomes overwhelming"

Antonia New, MD

To learn more check out this site: Borderline Personality Disorder videos

 

Sleep

  A great article on Sleep by our Health Center Director Lisa Belanger: Don't Be A Sleep Slouch

  I Need Help Getting More Sleep (video 5.05):  Wellcast- How to Sleep Better

 The Neuroscience of Sleep- TedGlobal Talk with Russell Foster (Youtube video 21:41): Why Do We Sleep

 The Center for College Sleep  offers excellent information on the importance of sleep for College Students including two videos:.

  Sleep and Athletic Performance   and   Sleep and Mental Health  

 

Nutrition 

Informative article about nutrition, food and mental health from Harvard Health Blog. Read: Nutritional Psychiatry~Your Brain On Food

To understand Nutrition from the Amercian Heart Association: Healthy Eating

Choose My Plate                                                                                                

ChooseMyPlate icon

 

Emotion Regulation and Stress Reduction

 Learn about Stress:  What is Stress?

I need help coping with my distress right now: Distress Tolerance Skills

Check this out: 50 Ways To Take A Break

Sometimes Journaling Helps.  "How to Use Journaling Therapy To Know and Grow Your Life" by Mari L. McCarthy: Who Are You- Journal Book 

Sometimes Coloring Helps. There are many free coloring websites:

 Print and Color Mandelas

Pinterest Coloring

 Inspirational Quotes  to color on Pinterest such as; "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think"

 Laughter Yoga- Find a laughter yoga group or begin your own with your friends! To begin to learn more:

Laughter Yoga | Liliana DeLeo | TEDxMontrealWomen

Laughing Yoga

 

Meditations and Relaxation

Compassionate Body Scan   (approx 20 minutes) by Kristin Neff

Body Scan  (16 minutes) by Jim Howland, Ed.D., LICSW 

 

Mindful Breathing  (approx 5 minutes)

Feel more settled and calm by spending a few minutes focused on your breathing. A 5-minute Mindful Breathing mindfulness meditation created by Stop, Breathe & Think.

 

Focused Breathing    (approx 6 minutes) 

Learning how to follow the breath can be helpful for stress management, relaxation, and mindfulness. This podcast gives instructions on how to do this and offers guidance on managing the wandering mind. It can be done sitting, or lying down, and can be used throughout the day.

 

Progressive Muscle Relaxation  (approx 16 minutes)

Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) is a guided series of muscle contraction and release that promote deep relaxation of the body and calm the mind and nervous system. The podcast is 16 minutes long, so use it during a time when you will not be disturbed or when you are planning to go to sleep.

 

Mindful Movement    (approx 15 minutes)

This practice is used as a means to be present through movement. These postures will help you stretch and exlore your edges, as the intention is to be gentle and patient with yourself as you find awareness. Be aware of emotional and physical balance; being flexible is not a requirement. This podcast is best experienced while lying on a mat or rug, with shoes off and wearing comfortable clothes. The practice can be utilized when ever you are feeling restless or anxious.

 

Kindness Practice    (10 minutes)

This practice can be done while sitting or lying down. It highlights qualities of the heart and teaches you to offer kind wishes and affirmations to yourself, and to then offer the same to others. This is a good option to use after being comfortable with following the breath and becoming familiar with sitting meditations. 

 

Self Compassion Guided Meditation  (approx 10 minutes) 

Guided Meditations and Excerises by Dr. Kristen Neff

 

Anger

Tips and Techniques for Getting Anger Under Control from HelpGuide.org

 

Relationships and Communication

Helping Your Friend. This YouTube video from the Ad Councils,  Seize the Awkward campaign offers helpful communication and listening tips to help you be there for your friend. check it out: 

 Hannah Hart on Listening, Friendship and Mental Health

Conflict Resolution, Making Good Friends, Dating tips, and more: Resources to Improve Communication Skills and Relationships from HelpGuide.Org

 

Resources For Women

Educational and Health Resources for Women