Mental and Emotional Well-being

National Prevention Strategy Recommendations

The following are what the National Prevention Strategy recommendations for mental and emotional well-being:

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Office of Work/Life Resources

The Office of Work/Life develops and offers programs and initiatives designed to promote positive mental and emotional health, build social connectedness, and support you in learning and adopting relaxation and stress management techniques.

Mindfulness is the ability to pay attention, on purpose, in the present moment, with an open curiosity, and letting go of judgment.  It can be practiced during daily activities including walking, eating, and listening. With a “beginner’s mind”, participants will start to explore mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques during this one-hour interactive, experiential workshop.   

This workshop is for people who have little to no experience with mindfulness practices, including those who are considering taking the Mindfulness Based Training for Stress Reduction Program. This program is limited to Columbia faculty and staff.

Through this seven-week mindfulness training course, adapted to the university setting from the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn, participants will observe how stress unfolds in their lives, their responses to it, and how mindfulness practice can ameliorate it. Participants will learn and practice a variety of stress reduction techniques, including mindful movement incorporating gentle yoga postures. Alongside the meditation practice, the classes incorporate group discussions centering on the experiences working with mindfulness meditation practices.

Participants can learn more about the program and receive registration and payment information for the seven-week course at the free introductory workshop. Participants will need to bring a mat or towel for the training program (not necessary for the introductory session). This program is limited to Columbia faculty and staff.

Intended to provide ongoing tools and support for Mindfulness Training for Stress Reduction Program graduates, this alumni group meets monthly during the fall and spring semesters. The sessions include guided meditations (30-45 minutes) as well as open discussion and questions.  Completion of Mindfulness Training for Stress Reduction (or similar training) is required. This program is limited to Columbia faculty and staff.

Tai Chi features slow flowing movements  aimed to maintain strength, flexibility and balance and improve your overall well-being.  

Tai Chi @ Work is collaboration between the Office of Work/Life and the Dodge Fitness Center. This program is limited to Columbia faculty and staff. All levels and ages welcome.

Click on the following links information and to register for the Fall 2018 Series: Once Weekly or Twice Weekly

Learn about the Yoga@Work initiative.

Learn about the Gym and Wellness discounts available to employees.

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Columbia University Resources

Besides our own programs and initiatives, you can also access these other Columbia programs and resources.

The EAP is a free, confidential service available to faculty, researchers, administrators, and staff who are eligible to receive medical benefits from Columbia. 

All services are provided by Humana at no cost to you or your family.  Humana's counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 888-673-1153. 

For more information and to access online resources, visit the Humana website (username: columbia; password: eap).

Access free, confidential 24-7 short-term counseling (by phone) through Columbia’s Employee Assistance Program at: 888-673-1153.

Life Coaching
LifeCoach is a highly personalized web-based coaching experience. When you sign up for the experience, you are paired with a coach who mentors you and can help you identify and work towards achieving your goals. LifeCoach is available to you and your household members at no cost. To sign up visit Columbia’s EAP homepage, click on LifeCoach, complete your initial assessment, and then you will be referred to your coach.

Convenience Services
Whether you have a quick question or need a local resource, the Employee Assistance Program can discuss options, perform a custom search, and give you a list of referrals along with relevant articles, checklists, and other resources to help you meet your unique needs.

Columbia University’s Ombuds Office offers a confidential place to discuss workplace issues, academic concerns, issues relating to administrative paperwork and process, explanation and interpretation of policies and procedures, and many other issues or concerns. If you should need a place to discuss confidential workplace issues, contact Columbia’s Ombuds Office (Medical Center, 154 Haven Avenue, Room 412) at 212-304-7026.

Columbia Doctors psychiatrists and therapists provide compassionate, evidence-based mental health care tailored to individual goals. Services include:

  • Comprehensive evaluations
  • Medication management (psychopharmacology)
  • Individual therapy
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Group therapy
  • Couples and family therapy
  • Mindfulness
  • Neuropsychological testing
  • Exploratory or psychodynamic therapy

Columbia Doctors Nurse Practitioner Group  provides mental and behavioral services at the Medical Center campus (Washington Heights location: 526 West 168th Street). To make an appointment, call 212-326-5705.

The Center for Student Wellness offers free guided meditation classes.

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External Resources

Looking for more? Here are resources outside of Columbia.

    Learn more about mental health disorders, a range of mental health topics, and the latest mental health research from the National Institute of Mental Health. Contact NYC’s confidential and free mental health service line, NYC Well: 1-888-NYC-WELL, Press 2.

    Mental Health First Aid is an evidence-based public education program that teaches people how to respond to individuals who are experiencing one or more acute mental health crises (such as suicidal thoughts or behavior, an acute stress reaction, panic attacks, or acute psychotic behavior) or are in the early stages of one or more chronic mental health problems (such as depressive, anxiety, or psychotic disorders, which may occur with substance abuse).

    Get inspired, access meditation audio, and receive free resources from Destress Monday.

    Find additional Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction classes in New York City through the Mindfulness Meditation New York Collaborative.