Resiliency Center Promotes Mental Health Awareness as Part of a Safe Campus


Chris Ayers

Student Services Building, where the University Counseling Center is located. The new Resiliency Center specifically works with University of Utah Health employees. Chronicle archives.

By Brock Bernstein, News Writer

University of Utah students, faculty and staff have come together during October’s SafeU Month to promote multiple cornerstones of a safe campus and lifestyle. One of the biggest stresses was placed on emotional and mental health. One of the key institutions playing a role in this is the Resiliency Center, which is located on the fifth floor of the Health Science Education Building on upper campus. The Center, meant to help foster better emotional health for all U health employees, had an important role on the SafeU Planning Committee, especially during the third week of SafeU Month, focusing on mental and emotional safety. 

“A key piece for the creation of each highlighted week was making sure that there was a mental and emotional health week,” said Vice President of Student Relations Gabriel Martinez. “The week was centered around positive psychological methods, meaning that positivity and the importance of mental and emotional well-being were at the center of the week.” One of the employees who have helped to play a key part in this promotion of mental and emotional health is Megan Call, the associate director of the Resiliency Center.

Call spoke about a number of proven ways to enhance emotional well-being but focused on four particular ways that the Resiliency Center aims to help employees. “Currently we have four pillars — personal resilience programming, support programming, system resilience programming, and then discovery or investigation,” she said. “One of the things [people] should know is that this type of work is new … This is kind of uncharted territory of well-being, especially with health professionals.”

While the Resiliency Center caters principally to employees of the U’s health department, Call continuously stressed the importance of mental and emotional well-being for all. “Part of our purpose right now is to increase awareness,” she said. While half the people Call encounters have heard of the Resiliency Center, many still don’t seek out help due to a general stigma against seeking out support amongst health professionals. 

Martinez said it’s important to give support to those who need help, which includes raising visibility for the various heath centers around campus. “I think the Resiliency Center and the Center for Student Wellness and Counseling Center all share a similar vision, [but]  just work with two separate populations.” The Resiliency Center works with the employees of University of Utah Health. The Center for Student Wellness and the Counseling Center is designed for students on the main campus. “I do believe that knowledge is power, and that students should know about the many resources we have on not only main campus but the health sciences campus as well,” Martinez said.

Martinez hopes that the Resiliency Center grows and eventually covers more of the campus population. “What I think would be a great idea is if it was expanded for staff and faculty on our main campus,” he said, “What I think should be more visible is what each of these offices does, where they are located and for what type of populations they assist.” 

Call also said that it is important to increase the visibility of mental health resources on campus — “other folks need resources too,” she said. She believes her position on the SafeU Planning Committee is to “increase awareness for faculty and staff about psychological safety” and to provide a “voice because of the training I have.”

For the third week of SafeU Month, there were events designed to teach students techniques in mindfulness and positive thinking, such as taking in moments of gratitude, regulating emotions and performing random acts of kindness. “We wanted to be thoughtful in the week and kind of give people the opportunity to learn strategies that would be useful to them, kind of no matter where they’re at in life,” Call said.  

As SafeU Month is coming to a close, the SafeU Planning Committee is planning their next steps to promote campus safety and emotional wellness. “Every office, including the Resiliency Center, will provide feedback on the month,” he said.


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