Mental & Emotional Well-being
Essential to overall health, positive mental and emotional well-being allows individuals to realize their full potential, manage stresses of life, work productively, and make meaningful contributions to their communities.
National Prevention Strategy Recommendations
The National Prevention Strategy outlines the following mental and emotional well-being recommendations:
- Promote early identification of mental health needs and access to quality services.
- Facilitate social connectedness and community engagement across the lifespan.
- Provide individuals and families with the support necessary to maintain positive mental well-being.
- Promote positive early childhood development, including positive parenting and violence-free homes.
As an individual, maintain positive mental and emotional well-being by getting professional help if you need it, connecting with others, volunteering, staying physically active, eating nutritiously, drinking enough water, utilizing relaxation techniques, and getting enough sleep.
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 Training for Stress Reduction
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. This program is limited to Columbia faculty and staff.
Program is currently on hold.
Cultivating Compassion Training (CCT)
CCT was developed at the Stanford School of Medicine by Thupten Jinpa, his Holiness the Dalai Lama’s principle translator, and a team of psychologists and neuroscientists, who were interested in compassion as a as a pathway to connection.
CCT benefits healthcare professionals, and others, gain stress resilience and cultivate a more sustainable sense of compassion resulting in an improved ability to handle everyday challenges. The course consists of lectures and group discussion designed to support the inner capacity to care for ourselves and others, interactive exercises and informal practices to increase mindfulness and joy in everyday life, and a structured sequence of guided meditations aimed at cultivating a warm-hearted and robust responsiveness while protecting against the side effects of empathic distress and burnout. This training can help you rediscover your sense of mission and purpose!
Columbia University Resources
Besides our own programs and initiatives, you can also access these other Columbia programs and resources.
The Employee Assistance Program (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.
LifeCoach, a free, telephonic, personalized coaching experience available to you and your household members. 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 get started call the LifeCoach program at 855-290-2655.
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 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
- 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 International SOS (ISOS) program provides support services for Columbia faculty, staff, and students traveling abroad on University-related business. This support includes access to up to five counseling sessions per trip. Visit the website to register and learn more.
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.
Looking for more? Here are resources outside of Columbia.
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).