Published: Oct. 3, 2018

Earlier this year, the Division of Student Affairs announced a new multi-year initiative called Redefining Student Support. This initiative ensures students are at the center of all we do, and we are meeting campus imperatives to lead, innovate and impact. I am excited to share some of the innovative programs and changes that have come from this initiative.

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Christina Gonzales

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Christina Gonzales

We know students today are experiencing higher rates of anxiety, depression and other mental health concerns compared to previous generations. In 2011, the teen suicide rate was higher than the teen homicide rate for the first time in more than 20 years. This fall, our support offices have already seen an increase in the average number of daily walk-in appointments.

To meet these changing needs, we brought together Health and Wellness Services to focus holistically on student health. Health and Wellness Services departments include Administrative Services, Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS), CU Collegiate Recovery Center, Health Promotion, Medical Services, Office of Victim Assistance (OVA) and Recreation Services.

This team has implemented a number of changes in the past year to better address the needs of our students. These changes include reorganizing department structures and creating innovative programs and offerings to support and learn more about students’ needs. Here are some highlights:

  • This fall, we launched SilverCloud Health, an online portal that is free for students, faculty and staff. This tool allows the user to learn more about three key emotional health topics—anxiety, depression and stress—all at their own pace. Each module offers information, tips and techniques to better understand one’s emotional well-being.
  • Last spring, Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) expanded their free educational workshops to include topics such as anxiety, depression, relationships and sleep. The Relationship Hacks workshop is consistently popular with students.
  • CAPS is also implementing new technology this year, such as offering telehealth appointments (appointments by video) for established clients and conducting research on the ability to use virtual reality to help clients with anxiety.
  • The Mental Health First Aid program will also launch this semester. These trainings help faculty and staff learn strategies to assist someone experiencing a mental health crisis, with the goal of supporting the individual until professional help arrives.
  • Health Promotion expanded their peer wellness program as well as their workshops and trainings.
  • Health and Wellness Services held its first Take Care Street Fair event on Sept. 25 to promote campus and local resources and help students build skills around physical, emotional and social wellness. Over 600 students participated in events ranging from sending gratitude postcards, planting succulents, fitness and cooking demos, and more.
  • Through Recreation Services, students can find their fit through a variety of services and offerings, including Inclusive Rec events and the upcoming Inclusive Sports Summit on Feb. 20.
  • The Supporting Student Resiliency Professional Development Series was created to give faculty and staff additional skills in areas critical to student retention and success, with the opportunity to earn a non-degree certificate.

Health and Wellness Services is continuing to work and collaborate across campus to help support students and their mental health, and create a culture of holistic health and wellness at CU Boulder. For more information or to request a program, please email

Christina Gonzales
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs