Emotional Wellness

What is emotional wellness?

Emotional wellness means staying in tune with your feelings and performing the self-care necessary to maintain a positive outlook on life. Graduate school is an immense time of growth, which can be stressful. Our feelings are a large contributing factor to our behavior, and our behavior affects how successful we are in all areas of our lives. Therefore, it’s only practical to pay as much attention to maintaining a healthy emotional state as you do to the other areas of wellness in your life.

The time of graduate education coincides with the average onset age of many mood disorders, including depression and anxiety, and so staying in tune with your emotions and monitoring your mental state is key. There is no shame in recognizing the need for an outside perspective in this task; even in the absence of a major problem, many people find it helpful to talk to a mental health professional as it helps them to stay in balance.

Mental Health Through University Health Services

Mental health services are paid through tuition and fees so there is no cost for appointments through UHS. Individual UHS appointments focus on brief problem solving-based sessions, and so the number of sessions you get with a counselor is limited. The counselor will refer you out to other therapists or groups within the community if they feel you would benefit from additional care.

The process begins with a drop-in Access Consultation, at which point, decisions will be made about what would be the best care for you.

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Individual Counseling

UHS provides one-on-one counseling for a variety of mental health issues. These sessions are limited, and if your needs do not match the services provided by the counselors, an appropriate referral outside of UHS will be made. Students interested should come to the reception desk of the UHS counseling service (333 East Campus Mall, 7th floor) any time between 9 am and 4 pm, Monday through Friday, for an Access Consultation.

Stress Management

  • Managing academic, social, and personal responsibilities can bring about stress that negatively impacts your quality of life. Students interested in a stress management appointment should come to the reception desk of the UHS counseling service (333 East Campus Mall, 7th floor) any time between 9 am and 4 pm, Monday through Friday, for an Access Consultation.
  • UHS offers free stress management consultations which includes:
    • learning a brief mind/body relaxation exercise for immediate relief
    • using a mindfulness-based approach for prevention and improved focus
    • receiving specific electronic and print resources for self-care
    • designing a plan on which to act
  • UHS has compiled a new web page with services and resources to continue supporting students’ health and well-being while you engage in remote learning.


Group Counseling

  • Group counseling provides an opportunity to share experiences, learn perspectives, and experiment with new behaviors in a safe and supportive environment. The sessions are provided by UHS and take place at 333 East Campus Mall. Call 608-265-5600 (option 2) for more details and check out the list below for a sample of some of the groups UHS offers. Schedules are updated every semester so be sure to check back in!
  • Virtual Let’s Talk provides no-cost, informal, confidential virtual consultations.  Speaking with a Let’s Talk counselor can help provide insight, support, and information about other resources.

Crisis Counseling

Other Campus Resources and Groups

  • UHS offers wellness groups and workshops related to yoga, meditation, and mindfulness.
  • UW-Madison’s Let’s Yoga has online videos available for you to do in the comfort of your own space If you enjoy those and want to mix it up a little, YouTube has a near infinite variety of free body movement videos of varying lengths.
  • The Center for Healthy Minds has a meditation app that is cost-free during the ongoing pandemic.

Process groups are small groups of people that meet to share their struggles and concerns with 1-2 trained therapists, providing an opportunity to receive multiple perspectives, support, and feedback from others in a safe environment. Process groups are usually unstructured but often revolve around a theme or target specific groups of individuals. Here are some of the themes/groups UHS caters to:

  • First-generation Students Support Group
  • Students of Color Group
  • Transgender & Gender Non-conforming Support & Empowerment Group
  • LGBTQ Support & Empowerment Group
  • Dissertators’ Group
  • Graduate Students’ Group
  • Graduate Women’s Group
  • Men’s Group
  • Grief Group
  • Eating Concerns Recovery Support Group
  • Exploring your Substance Use Group

Visit the UHS Group Conseling Schedule for dates and times.

  • Badger Spill is a peer-to-peer support network made of and for UW-Madison students.  Spill your guts here, confidently, and you’ll get feedback, empathy, and encouragement from fellow Badgers who can relate.
  • Silver Cloud is an online, self-guided, interactive mental health resource for UW-Madison students.
  • UWell is a UW-Madison website that helps you connect to additional resources encompassing various dimensions of wellness.
  • YOU@Wisc is an online portal used for mastering your academics, tackling stress head-on, or finding your passion.

Mental Health Resources Through Your Insurance

Often times, your health insurance will fully or partially cover access to mental healthcare resources, including individual counseling and psychiatric services. Each healthcare provider is different.

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Unity provides stress, depression, and other assessments to allow you to see if treatment is right for you. In order to make an appointment, use the MyChart app to access their Personal Wellness Portal.

Group Health Cooperative

Complementary health services are offered with no referral necessary through the MyChart online platform. You log in using your member number and password and can directly make the appointment using the “Appointments” tab.

There are a number of counselors, and they have a short summary of how they approach mental health care (https://www.ghcscw.com/Search/Pages/SpecialistAdvanced.aspx – select your plan as well as “Mental Health”). These counselors are spread out at the four GHC clinics that provide mental health services. You do not need a referral to schedule an appointment for mental health services.

In order to schedule your appointment, call the individual clinic and ask to schedule an appointment with your counselor of choice. If you don’t have anyone in mind that you’d like to see, they will ask you some questions to see what you’re looking to accomplish in therapy in order to match you with someone.

Individual Clinic Numbers:

Sauk Trails

(608) 831-1766

East Clinic

(608) 222-9777

Hatchery Hill

(608) 661-7200

Capitol Regent Mental Health Clinic

(608) 441-3290
GHC also offers an anxiety and depression workshop that spans 10 weeks.


Dean offers a wide range of services, including individual and group therapy as well as psychiatric care. In order to access these services, follow the steps outlined in the Seeking Mental Health Services page. Prior to your appointment with a Dean specialist, you are asked to print and fill out two forms: the New Patient Intake and the New Patient Packet.

Contacts for Psychiatry Departments

Dean Clinic – East

(608) 260-6006

Dean Clinic – Fish Hatchery

(608) 252-8226

Dean Clinic – Hematology & Oncology

(608) 410-2700

Dean Clinic – Janesville East

(608) 371-8625

Dean Clinic – Sun Prairie

(608) 825-3777

Dean Clinic – West

(608) 824-4777

Physicians Plus

https://www.pplusic.com/members/manage-your-health-condition/depression To get started, please contact UW Behavioral Health (UW BH) (608) 233-3575 or (800) 683-2300 for a professional assessment of your situation and referral to an appropriate participating provider.