Mental Health and Wellbeing

While we know the value of care for our mental health throughout the year, COVID-19 has caused additional stressors, even for people who typically have few mental health concerns. Online learning, social distancing, quarantine, and isolation can be overwhelming and cause even more stress for undergraduate and graduate students. 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 to help you experience mental health and wellness. Do not hesitate to reach out to this wide range of resources.


For ALL students

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:

  • Go to
  • Create a New Account
  • Use Enrollment Key: msustudents
  • Follow the on-screen instructions
  • Choose your simulation and click “LAUNCH”

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact tech support at at or 212.675.9234.

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:


All CAPS’ services will remain virtual

Counseling and Psychiatric Services is here to help. The CAPS team is committed to providing and connecting you to a wide array of services and resources to address your concerns. These may include short-term individual counseling, group counseling, medication, or referrals to other services.

A more thorough overview of this information can be found directly on the CAPS homepage:

Our routine on-campus operations (e.g. Olin Health Center, MSU Union, embedded counselors in REHS and VetMed) remain suspended except in the rarest of extenuating circumstances. If a student is not able to receive virtual care, we ask them to let us know so we can seek to provide accommodations.

CAPS uses HIPAA-complaint Zoom and Phone as virtual service platforms.

Crisis Services will remain available virtually 24/7/365 by calling 517-355-8270 and pressing “1” to speak with a crisis counselor at any time.

Students not in crisis who wish to get connected to any CAPS service (e.g., counseling or psychiatry) can begin the universal intake process by pressing the “Click here to get started” button on the CAPS homepage. Upon clicking, students will be directed to complete a brief online form, and will subsequently be notified of an offer to receive a phone triage appointment with a counselor. During the call, the counselor will ask questions and listen to gain a better understanding of the student’s background and their unique concerns and needs. This will lead to next steps including the student being offered virtual services at CAPS which may include counseling (e.g., individual, group, couples/relationship) and/or psychiatric care and/or referrals to community providers.

As a general rule, CAPS providers can only provide treatment services to students residing in Michigan due to licensing laws that govern the practice of our professional staff. However, consultation, referral and care management services are offered on a limited basis to students out of state to assist with connecting to local resources.

CAPS is also fully engaged in a wide-range of outreach services to assist students in non-traditional/non-clinical modalities. The following is an overview the CAPS Fall Virtual Outreach Portfolio:

Virtual CAPS Connect

CAPS Connect is a brief consultation program that is confidential, completely free, and available to all enrolled MSU students. Join us virtually during our scheduled times and sign up in advance to chat with a CAPS Counselor! CAPS Connect provides a place to talk about concerns. You can have someone listen to you and offer support, or you may prefer to receive expert suggestions about solutions and resources.

  • Common concerns include:
  • Stress
  • Difficulty adjusting to school
  • Academic concerns
  • Family, roommate, or other relationship issues
  • Financial concerns
  • Sadness
  • Adjustments related to COVID-19

For more information about CAPS Connect, please visit

CAPS Connect is not meant to supplement ongoing counseling or provide support in crisis situations. Students in need of crisis services can call CAPS CRISIS Line (24/7/365) at (517) 355-8270, prompt '1'.

Upcoming Virtual Listening Spaces

Throughout the summer CAPS has hosted listening spaces for MSU students. 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. Here are some upcoming listening spaces:

Latinx identified students listening space - 4 monthly listening spaces are scheduled on the following Wednesdays, 3-4pm: September 23, October 21, November 18, and December 2 (flyer attached; contact Jessica Oyoque-Barron - for registration information)

Middle Eastern identified students listening space: Wednesday, September 30, 2020 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. - registration link

Virtual Outreach Services - Podcasts and Pre-Recorded Videos

Since outreach services were transitioned to virtual offerings, CAPS staff have been providing virtual webinars over zoom. Additionally, there are podcasts and previously recorded videos that are available for viewing. Topics include, but are not limited to Gratitude, Coping with COVID-19, Coping with Adjustments, Couples Dynamics, Mindfulness and Self-Care. See topics and links below:

  1. Self Care for Graduate Students by Caitlin Riley, LMSW (pre-recorded powerpoint presentation) 
  2. Coping with Adjustment by Martez Burks, PH.D. and Sarah Fay-Simons, LMSW (pre-recorded powerpoint presentation w/presenters present) 
  3. Coping with COVID-19 - Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - by Zhenshan Zhong, Dr. Jimmy Bruce and Dr. Yvonne Connelly (pre-recorded powerpoint presentation w/ presenters present)
  4. Exploring Gratitude by Jeff Baker, LLPC and Silvia G. Leija, M.S., LMFT (podcast) 
  5. Gratitude Meditation by Silvia G. Leija, M.S., LMFT (podcast) 
  6. Mindfulness Skills (Breathing) by Jeffery Boyce, LLBSW (podcast) 
  7. Exploring Couple Dynamics (Pt.1) by Ginny Blakely, LMSW and Jessica Mitchell-Corsino, PhD, LP 

Virtual Care Kit

Given our current times, CAPS has produced a “Virtual Care Kit.” This kit includes information on goal setting, connection, dealing with uncertainty and loss, and meaning and motivation. The virtual care kit is designed to help promote the growth and well-being of our MSU students. The Virtual Care Kit can be found on our homepage or by clicking here:


Additional resources for ALL students

Health Promotion

MSU Health Promotion aims to challenge the health attitudes, behaviors, and perceptions of the MSU community through education, environmental management, and harm reduction efforts so students are able to better pursue their personal and academic goals. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for support for some in our community may be greater than ever—please do not hesitate to contact Health Promotion for help with any of the areas listed below. Here is a link to the MSU Health Promotion website -

Alcohol - The Alcohol & Other Drugs (AOD) program is committed to reducing the negative impact associated with substance use, while cultivating an environment in which MSU students can flourish personally, civically, and academically.

Recovery - The mission of the MSU Collegiate Recovery Community is to provide a safe and supportive campus community in which students in recovery from addiction can achieve their academic, personal, and professional goals.

Nutrition - The Health Promotion Nutrition Program provides services guided by a belief that students are capable of making wise, well-informed decisions about nutrition when provided with the information, education, and support necessary to do so.

Fitness and Wellness - The goal of SPARTANfit is to enhance student success and the pursuit of lifelong well-being by creating opportunities that foster engagement and well-being for MSU students through diverse fitness and wellness services and resources.

Sexual Wellness - The Health Promotion Sexual Wellness Program aims to assist MSU students in developing and maintaining skills to make decisions consistent with students' beliefs and values. We provide accurate information about sexual wellness to assist students with communication, decision-making skills, and to encourage healthy relationships.


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):