Parent & Family
While plans to build an Integrative Wellness Center at W&M move forward this semester, several new and continuing efforts are underway to support students in strengthening and maintaining their mental health and overall wellbeing.
“Our goal is to do everything in our power to empower those who need assistance to reach out,” says Kelly Crace, associate vice president for health and wellness, “and for us to provide support and build a community where we are all looking out for each other, a community that is more about wellbeing than only excellence — both can go hand-in-hand.”
Continuing and new initiatives
One new offering this semester that is already seeing a high level of usage is ProtoCall, says Crace. The service connects students who call the Counseling Center outside of its normal operating hours to counselors who are specifically trained on the William & Mary campus and culture. The service isn’t a crisis hotline, says Crace, adding that students may call for any reason, from wanting to know the hours of the center to wanting to talk to someone about devastating news.
“If it rises to a level of crisis, the counselor goes into crisis-intervention mode, does an assessment and determines whether or not to bring in one of our counselors on call,” Crace says. “No matter what happens, the next day, the Counseling Center gets a report of all the calls they got so that they know what the calls were, what the advice was, what the recommendations were.”
Our goal is to do everything in our power to empower those need assistance to reach out.
Another new option available to students through the Counseling Center this semester is Therapist Assist Online, an online platform that uses a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy approach. Students who use it go online to take a number of modules that help them learn strategies to deal with depression and anxiety. Participants also periodically meet with counselors.
The university is also continuing its search for a full-time psychiatrist. Funding for the position was included in this year’s budget.
“We have been actively engaged in a search process for a new psychiatrist since the spring semester, and we are committed to finding the right person to provide psychiatric care services for our students,” says Vice President for Student Affairs Ginger Ambler ’88, Ph.D. ’06.
Integrative Wellness Center
William & Mary will continue to support the health and wellbeing of students across campus with a $1.5 million gift for the new Integrative Wellness Center. Bee McLeod ’83, M.B.A. ’91 and Goody Tyler HON ’11 made the gift, which will provide funding for the construction and interior space of the center, as well as critical support for new programs. The center is expected to open in fall 2017.
“The health and safety of students are top priorities for the university — and for us — and we hope that our gift can help make the center one of the best wellness facilities in the nation,” says McLeod. “We fully support plans to house all important aspects of health promotion and treatment under one roof and our investments in this area show our commitment to helping make this a reality.”
The center will be located behind the Sadler Center, in the area where the lodges currently stand. The building will house the four departments that make up the thematic area of health and wellness in student affairs: the Student Health Center, the Counseling Center, Health Promotion and the wellness components of Campus Recreation. The building will also house a new Center for Mindfulness and Authentic Excellence.
“Our vision is for every student at William & Mary to flourish. This new building, located in the heart of campus, will affirm the importance of student wellbeing and serve as an inviting, dynamic resource for healthful living,” says Ambler. “The center will be an important place for students to not only receive treatment when needed, but also to learn about
integrating wellness practices into every aspect of their lives.”