Emotional and Mental Health

Resources Through CAPS

MSU Counseling & Psychiatric Services (CAPS) is the place on campus for students seeking help for a wide range of concerns, including: depression, anxiety, stress management, homesickness, adjustment or acculturation, relationships, gender and sexual orientation (LBGTQ) issues, substance abuse, traumatic experiences, eating or body image concerns, and other personal mental health concerns.  CAPS provides short-term individual therapy as well as a variety of support groups, some specifically for graduate students.  CAPS also provides a referral service to help students find mental health providers in the community. If you are in crisis, calling CAPS’ main number any time 24/7 will immediately connect you to a crisis counselor: 517-355-8270.  

CAPS Connect is a brief consultation program that is confidential, completely free, and available to all enrolled MSU students. Join us virtually during the scheduled times - sign up in advance to chat with a CAPS Counselor! CAPS Connect provides a place to talk about concerns. You can have someone listen to you and offer support, or you may prefer to receive expert suggestions about solutions and resources. 

Support Groups at CAPS for Graduate Students. The following groups have been available just for grad students in past semesters.  Click here to learn more about when the groups are offered and how to get started: . 

Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) Group for Grad Students 

Many grad students experience anxiety or depression.  This group aims to help grad students learn mindfulness skills, connect to their values, and strengthen psychological flexibility in their relationship with themselves and others. The group offers a mixture of support, experiential learning, and action-oriented work. 

  • Thursdays from 3-4pm. Begins Sept 21, can join later. In-person format.

Gender Identity and Attractionality (GIAA) Grad

This support group for graduate students addresses life and relational issues related to romantic and sexual attraction, sexual orientation and gender identity, particularly for LGBTQ+ (including questioning) students. Topics are based on student interests and could include exploring identity and identity development, trust and connections, dealing with heterosexism, cissexism, internalized homophobia and/or transphobia, dating and dating technology, attraction and romance, family dynamics, faith and identity, balancing academics with life, and intersectional identities. 

  • Wednesdays from 2:00-3:30pm. Virtual format.

Graduate Student Support Group

This is a supportive space where graduate students can gather, share and empower one another through shared experiences. Themes for this group explore key stressors as they relate to graduate studies, purpose, sense of belonging, “creative differences” with your advisor, juggling multiple roles and responsibilities, challenges with completing dissertation or thesis and impacts related to diet, sleep, and emotional well-being. Whatever your concerns, we can listen, offer support or help you come up with strategies to make the most of your time in grad school. 

  • Fridays, 10:00-11:00am. Begins Sept 22, can join later. Virutal format.

CAPS also offers a wide variety of workshops, support groups, and therapy groups that are open to all MSU students (undergraduates and graduate/professional students). Click the link above for the full list. One workshop series that may be of particular interest is the Cultivating Concentration Workshop:

Cultivating Concentration Workshop. This is a four-part workshop series that focuses on improving concentration, attention and motivation to complete academic and work demands. It is offered in a virtual format and will run in three consecutive sessions held on Tuesdays from 11-12pm.

  • Workshop Session 1 starts September 19
  • Workshop Session 2 starts October 17
  • Workshop Session 3 starts November 14

Online resources through CAPS

Resources through Health4U

Health4U is focused on helping MSU faculty, staff, graduate assistants, and retirees explore the fundamentals of a health-promoting lifestyle. We provide access to high quality, evidence informed, and culturally conscious health education and support.  We offer health and wellness courses, coaching services and departmental services. On our website you will also find articles, resources, and recipes published by Health4U staff.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP). The Mission of the MSU Employee Assistance Program is to support and enhance the emotional health of the campus community. EAP provides emotional assistance to employees and their families as they attempt to work through life changes, expected and unexpected events, chronic physical and emotional health issues, and work/life balance concerns.  The EAP offers six free sessions of counseling for graduate students who are benefits-eligible (e.g. those funded by assistantships). 

Health4U Emotional Wellness Resources 


Other Resources

Kognito. College can be stressful at times, but have you ever been truly concerned for a friend? Would you feel comfortable expressing your concerns and motivating your friend to get help? It can be difficult to deal with these kinds of issues, but an effective conversation can help more than you think—it can help change someone’s life. At MSU we want to make sure that we can all recognize signs of distress and know what to say if a friend needs help. Kognito for Students is an online simulation that lets you practice conversations with a virtual student, so you’ll know what to say in real life. You’ll learn how to determine when a friend needs help, how to talk with a friend who you’re worried about, and where you and your friend can turn to for help. To complete the simulation, follow the instructions below:

  • Go to https://kognitocampus.com/
  • Create a New Account
  • Use Enrollment Key: msustudents
  • Follow the on-screen instructions
  • Choose your simulation and click “LAUNCH”

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact tech support at support@kognito.com or 212.675.9234.If you would like to introduce Kognito to a student organization, or if you have questions about Kognito at MSU, please contact Dr. Sheila Marquardt: marqua36@msu.edu.

Center for Survivors.  The Center for Survivors is honored to work with sexual assault survivors and all others who are impacted by sexual violence. We provide free and confidential individual counseling, advocacy, and support groups to MSU students and community. Our 24-hour hotline, crisis chat, and advocacy services are offered to anyone in the greater Lansing community.

Safe Place. MSU Safe Place is a program that addresses relationship violence and stalking. We are located on the campus of Michigan State University and serve students, faculty, staff, their spouses/partners and non-affiliated members in the Greater Lansing Area. We are committed to providing shelter and other services in an environment that is safe and supportive to all identities, including persons in same-sex relationships, identifying as non-binary or trans, with disabilities, and from various racial and ethnic backgrounds. We provide advocacy, shelter, counseling, support groups, safety planning, information and referrals to survivors of violence and their minor children. All support services are free and confidential. Additionally, we work to increase awareness about relationship violence and stalking through community education, outreach efforts, expert witness training, professional trainings and consultations.

Wellness Coaching. Free individual and group wellness coaching available to all students through the Health Promotion office. Wellness coaching is a positive, proactive and supportive process that explores your life in meaningful ways, helping you to feel better about yourself and enhance your well-being. A wellness coach recognizes that you are the expert in your own life and in that role, they support you in creating lifestyle changes aligned with your personal goals and values. A wellness coach works with you in a collaborative process to enhance your strengths and turn your challenges into victories, establishing appropriate action plans, offering support when you struggle, and celebrating when you succeed. During your sessions your coach will support you in:

  • Identifying one or more priority areas that you would like to change.
  • Recognizing the benefits of creating new, positive habits. 
  • Identifying barriers to performing at your best and come up with manageable solutions.
  • Creating an action plan that incorporates realistic strategies and goals
  • Successfully implementing your plan by providing accountability, problem-solving strategies, skill-building, and referral to other campus resources if needed.

KORU Mindfulness Meditation Classes. In four weeks, you will learn research-validated methods to manage your stress and work more mindfully with thoughts and emotions. You will attend four online 75-minute classes that include small group discussions. You will also complete 10 minutes of daily practice and some light reading.  These offerings are open to all currently enrolled MSU students and current dates and registration details can be found here. Contact Dr. Debra Duxbury MD PhD, Certified Koru Mindfulness Teacher, at mindfulness@msu.edu with any questions.

Developing Resilience. This resource is a Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) for the Postdoc Academy, an NIH-funded project with folks from MSU, Boston Univ, Univ of WI-Madison, and Northwestern. The MOOC is largely for postdocs, however, in past offerings we know senior graduate students and staff are also taking it. From evaluations of participants, it is one of their most popular courses and people have found it very helpful.