Health and Wellness
We know that for students to succeed academically, they must first feel their very best, which means they must be healthy—mentally, emotionally, and physically. We have several resources available for students who need extra support.
The Wellness Center
Located in the Fort Awesome residence hall, The Wellness Center is a resource to help students live well at Purchase College. Our programs and services stem from the eight areas of wellness: Intellectual, Environmental, Vocational, Social and Emotional, Physical, Financial and Spiritual.
We collaborate with the campus community to provide an engaging roster of activities that mindfully promote health and well-being while reducing student stress:
The Wellness Center offers campus-wide prevention programming to help students make informed choices and avoid the negative outcomes of substance use. The Wellness staff works with the Office of Community Standards to provide educational sanctions for students found in violation of campus substance use policies. Students seeking help with substance use concerns may also elect to work with licensed counselors to obtain short term interventions, assessments, treatment referrals and support.
The Wellness Center is proud to offer the Lighthouse Program for students living a sober lifestyle or in recovery. A supportive environment embedded in campus culture, the Lighthouse participants, allies, and events reinforce the decision to be sober. Lighthouse programs are often located in the designated substance-free lounge in Fort Awesome known as “The Harbor.” The Harbor offers a secure space and cozy setting where all students are welcome to gather and socialize.
The Wellness Center hosts the “Yoga for a Natural High” program at no cost for students. This program offers several classes per week taught by certified yoga instructors and/or students. A variety of Yoga, Meditation and Mindfulness classes are offered for all skill levels – all students are welcome.
Many students use the word “stress” to express all kinds of transitional and adjustment pressures but may not know how to manage new levels of stress associated with college. Our natural stress response activates the body to take action in response to demands. A continuous stress response, without relief or management, can cause fatigue, physical and emotional difficulties.
Wellness programs help students learn about self-care and habits that manage and reduce stress:
- Healthy Lifestyle Choices: sleep habits, nutrition, exercise; positive relationships, seeking help
- Practice Attention-Centering Techniques: Mindfulness, breathing techniques, yoga, Meditation, Self-Compassion and gratitude practices
- Reflection Exploration, Expressive and Creative Strategies: Journaling, Art/Music/Dance/Physical Movement, environmental experiences, service learning projects
- Learning New Ways to Think: learn skills to work with thoughts and change a perspective
The Wellness Center promotes Mindfulness as a life skill and an important tool to combat stress. Mindfulness is “the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, nonjudgmentally to the unfolding of the experience moment by moment”(J.Kabatt-Zinn).
- Purposefully and intentionally focusing attention
- Present moment experience: observing thoughts, feelings and sensations in the body; avoiding focusing on the past or future.
- Non-judgmentally, allowing the observance of thoughts, feeling, or sensations; gaining awareness of judgment and learning to suspend this
How to Prepare Your Student Against High-Risk Substance Use
This may be your first time sending your student off to college or they may be coming back to Purchase as seniors. In addition to the on-campus programs and resources Purchase offers, parents can do a lot to help students manage college stressors and social life. Here are some tips on how to support your student against the consequences of high-risk substance use:
The Counseling Center
The Counseling Center offers a range of mental health and supportive services to matriculated students. Quality care is provided by a multidisciplinary team of licensed professionals committed to a student centered and culturally informed approach to therapy. Students have access to short-term individual counseling, weekly support and therapy groups, advocacy services, and after-hours crisis response as well as campus programming and self-help tools. All services are provided at no extra cost. Students whose needs fall outside our Scope of Practice will be assisted with referrals into the local community.
Frequently Asked Questions
Students are encouraged to speak to one of our Counselors when they are experiencing emotional distress, mental health symptoms, and other concerns. Some of the concerns commonly addressed at the Counseling Center include:
- Personal: Stress, anxiety and panic, depression, loneliness, grief; mental health symptoms
- Relationship: Romantic relationship, roommate problems, family problems, social life; conflicts
- Developmental: Identity (e.g., personal, cultural, sexual orientation, gender identity), adjustment to college, healthy lifestyle choices, decisions, life transitions
- Substance Use: Concerns related to alcohol or other drug use/abuse Academic: Performance anxiety, perfectionism, academic difficulties and many others.
The Counseling Center’s scope of care offers a short-term model for individual counseling. At the initial meeting, students work with the counselor to determine an appropriate course of action based on needs. Students seeking long term or routine individual care, specialized services, or more intensive treatment modalities will be referred. All students are able to utilize our emergency and Advocacy services. Students are also encouraged to join one of the weekly support groups offered by the Counseling Center. Before you come to campus: check out the local referrals available through our website menu.
Some of the groups offered are: Anxiety & Self-Compassion: Cognitive Skills with Mindful Practice to Reduce Negative Self-Talk Bipolar Support Group Complexities: Conversations among People of Color: A support group for students of color Finding Your Voice: Drop-in Expressive Therapy Using Music and Poetry Take Back Your Life: Healing from Sexual Abuse Trans & Gender Non-Conforming Students Support, Drop-in: A safe space for Trans and Gender NonConforming students to give and receive support.
Referrals are listed on our website. Local agencies can be found under the Referrals tab on the Counseling Center page. Visit the center’s database, ThrivingCampus, to access local private therapists.
Therapy Assistance On-Line (TAO): The Counseling Center now offers self-help for mental and emotional well-being via Therapy Assistance Online, or TAO Connect. Any campus member with a Purchase College email account may log in and use a slate of resiliency-strengthening and wellness enhancement tools. TAO Connect may be accessed online or via app. TAO can be used to help in changing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in a positive direction – anywhere, any time.