Mental Health & Basic Needs Resources

Mental Health Support

We encourage students and faculty to take advantage of the following mental health and wellness resources on campus.

University Health Services (UHS) offers a safe and confidential environment with a variety of support services available free of charge and open to all graduate students.

Below are examples of group counseling topics.

  • Dissertators’ Group – A supportive group environment focused on the emotional, behavioral, and organizational challenges associated with the dissertation process. Click here and open Support-Theme Groups for the schedule.
  • Graduate Students’ Group – This group examines the sources of stress, ways of coping, and the role of peer support in adjusting to a role that often feels like it’s 24/7 as a graduate student. Click here and open Support-Theme Groups for the schedule.
  • Graduate Women’s Group – Through offering support to others and receiving support, group members are challenged to learn about themselves, initiate change, and exercise honesty in a safe space.  Click here and open Support-Theme Groups for the schedule.
  • Graduate Students of Color Support Group – UHS and the Multicultural Graduate Network will be offering a support group for graduate students who identify as persons of color (African American, African, Caribbean-American, Latino/a, Indian, Asian, Asian American Indian-American, Native American, etc). The group will explore ways in which their identity as a student of color affects their academic, personal, and social experience, through the lens of the unique identity as a graduate student. The group aims to provide a safe and supportive environment for students of color to explore feelings around racially oppressive experiences, strengthen self-concept through activities and discussion, and to help one another navigate academic and social experiences on campus. Wednesdays 12-1pm (beginning 1/25/17); EcoWell Studio (Room 1107), School of Human Ecology. Please feel free to bring your lunch.
  • Drop-in Survivor Support Group – UHS provides weekly drop-in confidential support groups for victims of sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking, and sexual harassment. Click here for more information.

The groups listed above are just a few examples.  Additional groups address relationships, depression, anxiety, and other topics.  Groups typically meet one to two hours weekly, and may run from four to 12 weeks per semester.

  • Welness Initiatives – UHS’s interdisciplinary program is designed to assist students’ pursuit of healthy mind, body, and spirit. Programs include: healthy living, nutritional counseling, mindfulness, exercise consultation, yoga, massage, stress management, and more.
  • Let’s Talk – UHS offers drop-in consultations at locations around campus.  It’s free, no appointment is necessary, and students are seen on a first-come, first-served basis.  Click here for the schedule.
  • Sexual Violence Prevention Program – UHS provides an online violence prevention program, which all incoming graduate students at UW-Madison are expected to complete.  Click here for more information.
  • Victim Advocacy Open Access Hours – Drop-in support, information, and referral with confidential UHS victim advocates for students who have experienced sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking, and/or sexual harassment. Located on the 8th floor of UHS (333 East Campus Mall). Hours: M/T/W 1-4pm, and Th/F 9am-12pm.
  • UWell – This is a comprehensive wellness initiative aiming to advance the health and wellbeing of the entire campus community by promoting existing resources.  Visit UWell here.
  • Dean of Students Office – This office is committed to fostering a caring environment for all students. Responsibilities include the Bias Reporting Process, addressing Sexual Assault, Dating, and Domestic Violence, as well as many other issues affecting student wellbeing.
  • Ombuds Office – University employees, including graduate students, can seek guidance regarding workplace concerns without fear of reprisal and at no cost to them. Click here for more information.

In addition to UHS’s services, there may be mental health services covered by your health insurance plan. If you are interested in setting up regular appointments with a therapist/psychiatrist, setting these appointments up through your health insurance by getting a referral from your Primary Care Physician is often the best way to do this.

Basic Needs Support

Basic Needs support offers dedicated resources to assist students in gaining access to food, housing, and insurance to promote overall wellness while attending UW-Madison. We have Basic Needs Assistants ready to support in getting students connected to resources including programs such as Foodshare and Badgercare, as well as getting connected to different food pantry’s or other resources.

Take Advantage:

Students can sign-up for an appointment with one of our Basic Needs Assistants via Starfish in MyUW, by contacting us directly at, or by completing this short follow-up request form.

Find additional Basic Needs Support during the COVID-19 pandemic here: