UCC launches Innsightful Wellness Program to aid student mental health – Observer Online

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| Monday, February 14, 2022
The University Counseling Center (UCC) is attempting to evolve by partnering with Innsightful, a company aimed at helping young adults deal with their stress and other emotions. Notre Dame is conducting a pilot run of a 12-week program set to help the mental health of students. The deadline for students to sign up for the program was Feb. 4. 
This program is different than anything currently offered from the UCC because it utilizes the Human Givens approach, a method that is focused on basic human needs, according to UCC director Christine Conway. The program itself is concerned with fulfilling different needs. 
“The group … is focused on another one of those needs [and] how do you get those needs met?,” Conway said. “And then the whole basis of it is having connection with other people and how can a group of people support each other in meeting their needs and prioritizing their self-care.”
The new Innsightful Wellness Program is available to undergraduate and graduate students alike. This semester there will be 31 graduate students and 52 undergraduates in the program, according to the UCC. 
Conway hopes the group involved will learn proper skills to manage their lives and emotions. 
”It’s connection with people,” Conway said. “And just, I think, learn some strategies to manage stress and emotions. I think that’s a big piece of it too. Just how do you manage the changes in emotion that are a normal part of life?”
Conway noted ideally students will be able to use what they learn in this program and apply it to their life beyond their time in school. 
 “I think the goal of the group is to just teach students some skills that they can use while they’re at Notre Dame, but use in their life in general,” Conway said.
Conway believes this is a growing opportunity for the UCC.  “If it is really successful and students like it, then I think we can consider how we would keep it going for the next year. We said something that we can do more of on campus through our resources. So I hope we just learn from it”, Conway said. 
Since registration is closed, Conway encourages students to visit their website to see the other resources offered by the UCC. These resources span from skill building groups to group therapy and Conway recommends them for all students.
“All of them are just good life skills for people”, Conway said. “[It is] not like you have to have a mental illness to do those groups, but they are ways to learn skills”.
Many students may be reluctant to go to the UCC if they have heard about inefficiencies. However, Conway explained that there was limited space in scheduling.
“We saw so many students right at the beginning of the semester in the Counseling Center [that] we just got filled up pretty quickly, and so we had a waiting list for the first time in our history”, Conway said. 
Conway noted that the UCC has responded to the feedback by hiring more staff.
“Since that happened, we’ve hired eight new part time people and so, we are in much better shape this semester,” Conway said. “We have a lot of availability to see students, we’ve also increased a lot of groups and workshops.”
Emphasizing the resources at the UCC, Conway assured students that there are many ways to get help from the Center.
“I just want students to know that, you know, we’re available if people need help and that, you know, there isn’t a waiting list, and there’s just lots of different opportunities to fit people’s schedules and I hope if we can be helpful to students, they’ll take advantage of it.”
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About Emma Duffy

Editor’s note: This is part three of a three-part series on mental health services…
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