Graduate Student Mental Health and Wellness Resources

Graduate and Professional Student Assistance Specialist: The Graduate School and the Dean of Students Office jointly support a staff position focused on graduate student needs. Elaine Goetz-Berman serves in this role, which includes support, advocacy, and resource referral for graduate students. Elaine’s approach to working with graduate students centers on her specialized knowledge about the unique academic and personal challenges they face. Elaine also works closely with faculty & staff in graduate programs to consult on graduate students of concern.

New: Uwill Telehealth Therapy. Every currently enrolled UW–Madison student immediately has access to three 30-minute sessions with a Uwill counselor. Students register for a Uwill account with their email address. Students are usually able to get their first session within 24 hours.

University Health Services – Mental Health Services: UHS offers a safe and confidential environment with a variety of support services available free of charge and open to all graduate students living in Wisconsin. These include individualcouple/partner, and group counseling, as well as stress management and psychiatry services.

Let’s Talk* confidential and informal 20-minute consultations with a mental health provider are available every weekday. For in-person sections, students can just stop by the location. For virtual sections, sign-up is available.

Those living out of state may access specific workshops, crisis support, Let’s Talk services, and care management for connection with care and resources in local communities or at UHS. Mental Health Services offers both Telehealth (via phone or Zoom) and in person appointments and services.

An Access Appointment is the entry point to services at Mental Health Services and is done over the phone. To schedule an Access Appointment, students should call Mental Health Services at 608-265-5600 (option 2) or log on to MyUHS for 24-hour appointment booking. To ensure students are getting the earliest appointment, UHS recommends calling to schedule this. These access appointments will last about 20 minutes.

If there is a risk of suicide or immediate concern about the wellbeing of a student, call UHS 24-hour crisis service* to speak with an on-call counselor at 608-265-5600, option 9. If a situation is immediately life threatening, call 911.

In addition, UHS hosts a variety of group counseling opportunities. Here are a few of relevance to graduate students:

Grad Resilience* (will resume in January 2024: Thursdays 12:00-1:00pm) – This is a series of rotating 1-hour virtual lunch discussions for current graduate students. Each section presents strategies to navigate a feature of graduate culture with the opportunity for participants to share experiences and ask questions.

Graduate Students Support Group (will resume in January 2024: Mondays 1:00-2:30) This group will examine the sources of stress, ways of coping, and the value of peer support in adjusting to the challenges of being a graduate student. Topics may include time management, financial stress, relationship concerns, burnout, isolation, and maintaining balance.

Dissertators’ Group (will resume in January 2024: Mondays 3:00- 4:30pm) A supportive group environment focused on the emotional, behavioral, and organizational challenges associated with the dissertation process.

International Students Support Group (will resume in January 2024: Fridays 3:00-4:30pm) For international students enrolled in undergraduate or graduate studies. This group strives to provide a space for international students to share their experiences, as well as build connections, resilience, and a sense of belonging.

The groups listed above are just a few examples. Additional groups address LGBTQ support, relationships, depression, anxiety, and other topics. Groups typically meet one to two hours weekly and may run from four to 12 weeks per semester. These groups fill up very quickly, so students should enroll in these groups at the beginning of the semester.

Additional UHS Resources Include:

Wellness Initiatives – UHS’s interdisciplinary program is designed to assist students’ pursuit of healthy mind, body, and spirit. Programs address healthy living, nutritional counseling, mindfulness, exercise consultation, yoga, massage, stress management, and more.

Sexual Violence Prevention Program – UHS provides an online sexual violence and misconduct prevention program, which all incoming graduate students at UW-Madison are required to complete.

Survivor Services – Survivor Services provides confidential support for students who have experienced sexual assault, sexual harassment, intimate partner violence, and/or stalking. Services include information and referral, individual and group counseling, and advocacy and accompaniments.

If you would like to have UHS give a virtual presentation to faculty and/or graduate students regarding graduate student mental health and resources on campus, please fill out this form to request a training. You can find all their outreach programs listed online, as well as information about their suicide prevention training for faculty and staff, which is a self-guided training that can be completed at any time.

Additional support and resources on campus include:

Dean of Students Office – This office is a primary resource for connecting students who are navigating personal, academic, or health issues, to supportive campus and community resources. They are committed to fostering a caring environment for all students. Responsibilities include responding to same day drop in concerns, the Student of Concern Report, the Bias Reporting Process, as well as many other issues affecting student wellbeing. Drop-in hours are Monday through Friday 8:30am-4:00pm, room 70 Bascom Hall. You can also call at 608-263-5700 or email

University Veterans Services – Student veterans transitioning to civilian life face unique challenges. The mission of University Veterans Services is to support military-connected students by fostering personal transitions and pursuit of academic success.

Ombuds Office – University employees, including graduate students, can seek guidance regarding workplace concerns without fear of reprisal and at no cost to them.

Employee Assistance Office – Graduate students who hold assistantships are eligible to utilize the Employee Assistance Office. This is a confidential resource that provides counseling and consultation at no cost.

In addition to utilizing UHS’s services, graduate students who hold assistantship appointments may seek mental health services covered by their health insurance plan*.

*These options remain available to students in non-pooled, distance programs that do not have access to other segregated fee-funded services.