Mental Health and Wellbeing

Life can be stressful, and that stress can affect your mental and physical wellbeing. Finding ways to cope with stress in a healthy way will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.

MSU offers a wide range of support for your wellbeing.


University Health and Wellbeing

Health and safety have a big impact on your success. University Health and Wellbeing offers programs and resources designed to help you develop healthy behaviors, manage your mental health, get immediate support in a crisis and more. Student Health Services, Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS), Health Promotion, the Resource Center for Persons with DisabilitiesCenter for Survivors, and Safe Place — are here for you year-round.

Student Health Services

The Student Health Services team provides preventative health care and services for illness and injuries. Services are available by appointment at Olin Health Center and in the neighborhood clinics. Neighborhood clinic availability varies by location.

Services include:

Radiology and pharmacy services are also available on campus. Registered MSU students are not charged for the first three medical office visits each academic year (some services, such as laboratory tests or x-rays, are billed separately). For information about these and other services, visit or call (517) 884-6546.

Health Promotion

The Health Promotion department aims to challenge the health attitudes, behaviors, and perceptions of the MSU community through education, environmental management and harm reduction efforts so students can better pursue their personal and academic goals. Services include:

  • Fitness assessments: A SPARTANfit team member will help establish baseline measurements of your fitness level so you can set goals, monitor performance and assess your progress. Then, they will work with you to establish a tailored, three-month, goal-oriented fitness and wellness plan to help you get there.
  • Wellness coaching: This free program helps students achieve their mental and physical health and well-being goals by working with their individual strengths and values to create a long-term, sustainable wellness strategy.
  • Sexual wellness resources: We provide accurate information about sexual wellness to help students with communication and decision-making skills that encourage healthy relationships consistent with their beliefs and values.
  • Nutrition and body image education: These programs help people achieve eating competence through a non-diet, weight-inclusive approach to support health.
  • Alcohol and drug use education: We offer educational sessions for students concerned about their own alcohol and other drug use or that of a friend or family member.
  • Substance use recovery programs: The Collegiate Recovery Community serves students in or seeking recovery from alcohol and other drug addiction. Our mission is to provide a safe and supportive campus community in which students in recovery from addiction can achieve their academic, personal and professional goals.
  • Student Food Bank: The Student Food Bank serves MSU students that do not have an on-campus meal plan experiencing food insecurity by providing free food and related items.

Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS)

CAPS is committed to providing students the most appropriate available care to optimize your health, well-being and success. Services include short-term individual counseling, group counseling, medication, referrals to other services and more.

Counseling is free for MSU students. The first three psychiatry appointments are prepaid by the University for most enrolled MSU student. These appointments are separate from the three free medical office visits through Student Health Services, and counseling appointments do not count against either the first three psychiatry or three medical office visits.

For information about all CAPS services, visit

Crisis Services are available 24/7. Call 517-355-8270 and press “1” to speak with a crisis counselor at any time.

Getting Started

If you are interested in exploring options to support your mental health should visit to schedule a virtual consultation with CAPS.

During the virtual consultation, the counselor will ask questions and listen to gain a better understanding of your background and unique concerns and needs. Next, CAPS will work to connect you with the most appropriate and available resources to meet your needs. Services could include individual or group counseling, referrals to other on- or off-campus care and more.

Keep in mind that licensing laws require many CAPS’ staff to provide treatment services only to students residing in Michigan. Consultation, referral and care management services are offered on a limited basis to out-of-state students to help you connect with local resources.

CAPS also offers outreach services such as:

  • CAPS Connect: Free, confidential, brief conversations with a CAPS counselor. CAPS Connect is available to all enrolled MSU students. CAPS Connect provides a place to talk about concerns like stress, difficulty adjusting to school, academic concerns, family/roommate/relationship issues, financial concerns, sadness and more. You can have someone listen to you and offer support, or you may prefer to receive expert suggestions about solutions and resources. Students should sign up in advance at
    • CAPS Connect is not meant to supplement ongoing counseling or provide support in crisis situations. Students in need of crisis services can call (517) 355-8270, and press 1 at the prompt to speak with a crisis counselor. Crisis services are available 24/7.
  • Listening Spaces: Listening spaces are designed for students to be able to share, listen, and be a part of the MSU community. The topics discussed are open and include social justice issues, current stressors, points of connection, and other topics that are impacting our students. Listening spaces are open to all MSU students and some are for specific MSU student populations. Visit to see current offerings.
  • Podcasts and Pre-Recorded Videos: CAPS experts have recorded podcasts and videos that you can access any time! Topics include gratitude, coping with COVID-19, coping with adjustments, couples dynamics, mindfulness, self-care and more. Popular recordings include:
  • Virtual Care Kit and Self-Guided Resources: The CAPS Virtual Care Kit includes information on goal setting, connection, dealing with uncertainty and loss, and meaning and motivation. The kit and other online resources can be found at


Kognito for Students

College can be stressful at times, but have you ever been truly concerned for a friend? Would you feel comfortable expressing your concerns and motivating your friend to get help? It can be difficult to deal with these kinds of issues, but an effective conversation can help more than you think—it can help change someone’s life.

At MSU we want to make sure that we can all recognize signs of distress and know what to say if a friend needs help. Kognito for Students is an online simulation that lets you practice conversations with a virtual student, so you’ll know what to say in real life. You’ll learn how to determine when a friend needs help, how to talk with a friend who you’re worried about, and where you and your friend can turn to for help. To complete the simulation, follow the instructions below:

  • Visit
  • New users will need to create an account. Returning users can enter their login credentials.
    • New users will have to agree to the "Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy" to complete registration.
  • After registration is completed, users will need to login with their credentials and answer the demographic questions.
  • Select ‘Launch’ to begin your Kognito simulation
  • Note: To complete your training, please finish all required simulation content and using the orange next button, complete the post-survey. This is required by your institution. Once completed, you will see a green button on your home screen that says ‘Completed.’

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact Kognito technical support at

If you would like to introduce Kognito to a student organization, or if you have questions about Kognito at MSU, please contact Dr. Sheila Marquardt:


Additional Resources for Graduate Students

Employee Assistance Program

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a confidential short-term counseling and referral service provided at no cost to MSU faculty, staff, graduate assistants, retirees, and their insurance eligible dependents who are located within the state of Michigan.

EAP’s resource page:

EAP’s resource guide responding :

Health4U’s Emotional Wellness courses page, with upcoming courses and webinars and such will be posted:

Health4U general courses page, which has all of the focus areas (Emotional Wellness, Food and Nutrition, MSU Moves, My Health, and Alcohol, Nicotine, and Drug Information (ANDI):