Self Help

Overview

The Wellness Center offers self-help resources both in office as well as online for students, faculty, and staff.


Online Resources

Check out the resources below for more information.

Disclaimer:

THE INTERNET HAS EXTENSIVE INFORMATION ON A WIDE VARIETY OF PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT TOPICS. OUR LISTING OF THESE SITES DOES NOT IMPLY THAT THE WELLNESS CENTER FULLY ENDORSES ALL OF THE INFORMATION THAT IS INCLUDED. WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO EVALUATE THE MATERIALS AND USE WHATEVER YOU FIND HELPFUL.


 

Alternative Medicine

Alternative Medicine can be used alone or in combination with traditional medicine. For more on Alternative Medicine, click here.

Body Image

Body Image is how you think and feel about your appearance, including how you think other people perceive you. A Healthy Body Image is rooted in realistic examples focusing on the body as a whole while considering a combination of factors such as personal characteristics and how you feel in your own skin. An Unhealthy Body Image is rooted in unrealistic comparisons focusing on appearance with an emphasis on disliked characteristics.

The Body Positive

Health at Every Size

Emergency Preparedness

In Florida, we can have any type of natural disaster happen, and it’s important for you to be prepared. Some simple steps you can follow are: make a plan with your family, friends, roommates; create a kit that can last you if you lose electricity; and be informed on the latest news and weather reports.


STORE AT LEAST A 3-DAY SUPPLY OF WATER FOR EACH MEMBER OF YOUR FAMILY – THAT MEANS 1 GALLON PER PERSON PER DAY.

DON’T FORGET ABOUT PETS; THEY’LL NEED FOOD AND WATER TOO.

CONSIDER STORING TWO WEEKS-WORTH OF FOOD SUPPLIES. YOU MAY BE ABLE TO USE MANY OF THE CANNED GOODS AND DRY MIXES ALREADY IN YOUR CUPBOARD.


Alerts:

AlertUSF is part of USF’s Emergency Notification System (ENS). It was established to notify our community in the event of a campus emergency. The service is free.

Wireles Emergency Alerts (WEAs) are sent by authorities to any WEA-enabled mobile devices within a locally targeted area.

NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR) broadcasts official Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts, and other hazard information.


Emergency Supply Kit

An emergency supply kit is a collection of basic items that you might need during an emergency. It’s good to involve whoever is going to use the kit, including children, in assembling it.

Assemble the following items to create kits to use at your home, office, school and/or in a vehicle:

Water—one gallon per person, per day
Food—nonperishable, easy-to-prepare items
Flashlight
Battery powered or hand crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
Extra batteries
First aid kit
Medications (7-day supply), other medical supplies, and medical paperwork (e.g., medication list and pertinent medical information)
Multipurpose tool (e.g., Swiss army knife)
Sanitation and personal hygiene items
Copies of personal documents (e.g., proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, and insurance policies)
Cell phone with chargers
Family and emergency contact information
Extra cash
Emergency blanket
Map(s) of the area
Extra set of car keys and house keys
Manual can opener


Additional Resources:

Make a Plan

Hurricane Guide

Inclusion and Health Equity

It can be difficult for marginalized students to find health information that speaks to their specific needs. Below we have linked some resources to help improve your health and well-being, not regardless of your unique identity, but for it.

NAMI: Identity and Cultural Dimensions

Trauma and Violence

Improving Health Equity (HRSA)

Combatting Barriers to a Career in Healthcare

CAN Community Health


Ethnic and Racial Minority Health Resources:

BlackLine is a hotline that prioritizes and supports BIPOC.

Racism and Health

Office of Minority Health

Minority Health and Health Disparities

For more specific resources click here!


Neurodivergent and Disability Health Resources:

Assistive Technology (WHO)

Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)

Independent Living Research Utilization (ILRU)

Administration for Community Living (ACL)

Financial Resilience Center (ndi)


Sexual and Gender Minority Health Resources:

Metro Inclusive Health

LGBTQ+ Healthcare Directory

NALGAP Substance Use Prevention and Treatment

The Trevor Project

LGBT National Help Center

The Fenway Institute

National LGBT Cancer Network


Veteran Health Resources:

USF St. Petersburg Office of Veteran Success

St. Petersburg VA Clinic

Mental Health

Therapy Assistance Online (TAO) is an interactive, web-based program that provides assistance to help improve mental health. TAO is based on well-researched and highly effective strategies for helping mental health concerns. Through USF students have free access to TAO where you will watch videos, complete exercises, and participate in guided meditations. Register here with your @usf.edu email.


TogetherAll is an online peer-to-peer platform, offering a safe space to connect with others experiencing similar feelings. There are trained professionals on hand, 24/7 helping to moderate the platform, and all members are anonymous to each other within the community. If sharing isn’t your thing, Togetherall also has tools and courses to help you look after yourself, along with plenty of resources to explore. USF students can register here for free with their @usf.edu email.


Welltrack Connect is a referral website University of South Florida, St. Petersburg campus has partnered with to help students connect with off-campus mental health care providers. Sometimes off-campus care is recommended by the Wellness Center and sometimes it is a choice that students want to have as an option. Visit Welltrack Connect to search for providers who meet your particular needs. If you have any questions about how to seek out community services, please contact us.


Free Online Screening. Mental health is a key part of your overall health. Brief screenings are the quickest way to determine if you or someone you care about should connect with a mental health professional – they are a checkup for your mental health. This program is completely anonymous and confidential, and immediately following the brief questionnaire you will see your results, recommendations, and key resources. This option is especially helpful if you or someone you know is unsure of the exact aspects of mental health that are concerning or may be problematic. Click here to take your free online screening


Additional Handouts:

Anger Management

Anxiety

Depression

Grief and Loss

Homesickness and Adjustment

Homesickness and Loneliness

Is counseling for me?

Personal Hygiene

Coming soon!

Sexual Health

Sexuality is a normal part of who we are as individuals. As you go through college, you will learn more about who you are, what you prefer, how your body works, and what you want from any type of relationship. See the resources below to get more information on healthy sex topics.

American Sexual Health Association (ASHA)

Planned Parenthood

Go Ask Alice!

Answer - Sex Ed, Honestly

Sex, Etc.


Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) & HIV/AIDS

STI Information

STD Wizard

STI Prevention

External Condom

Internal Condom

Dental Dam

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

HPV Vaccine

HIV/AIDS

PrEP

Find an STI Testing Site


Contraception

Birth Control Methods

Bedsider

Emergency Contraception (EC)


Reproduction

Our Bodies, Ourselves

Men's Sexual Health

Women's Reproductive Health

Sexual Assault and Dating Violence

Violence in any form is never okay and is not tolerated at USF St. Petersburg. We promote healthy relationships and open communication as a way to prevent dating and sexual violence from occurring on- and off-campus. We also promote bystander interventions because the whole community is responsible for preventing violence from happening. Click Here for more on education and prevention.

Sleep

Getting good sleep can be difficult while in college but sleep is a critical component of your overall health and wellness. Try to incorporate the tips below from the National Sleep Foundation for a better night's rest.

  • Maintain a regular sleeping schedule. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, including weekends.
  • Set a relaxing bedtime routine. Examples include listening to calming music, reading a book, or taking a warm bath. Consider reducing or eliminating the use of screens leading up to bedtime.
  • Make sure your bedroom is cool. Your body temperature naturally decreases to initiate sleep. A bedroom temperature between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit helps promote sleep.
  • Make sure your bedroom is quiet. Turn off noisy distractions such as a TV. Silence unwanted noise with earplugs or use “white noise,” such as from a fan, sound machine or an app.
  • Make sure your bedroom is dark. Use blackout shades such as eye masks or curtains to block out unwanted light.
  • Sleep on a mattress and pillows that are comfortable and supportive.
  • Finish eating meals 2-3 hours before bedtime.
  • Exercise regularly. A low-impact fitness program, like walking, swimming or yoga, is helpful for managing pain and stiffness and improving sleep.
  • Limit how many caffeinated products you consume in the afternoon.
  • Avoid alcohol and nicotine. Substances in your body can disrupt sleep and can cause nighttime waking. For optimal sleep, skip them close to bedtime or altogether.

Stress

Stress is your body’s natural response to any kind of demand. A moderate amount of stress is required to help you with motivation and focus. When your body responds to stress, it undergoes changes in hormones, blood pressure, blood sugar, and body temperature to prepare your body to cope with a given situation.  Afterwards, your physical responses should normalize and your body should return to a state of rest.  

However, too much stress can make your body less likely to return to its state of rest. Thus, you remain anxious and tense, draining you of your emotional and physical energy. Prolonged stress can lead to many difficulties including emotional, medical, and social problems.   Because stress is a part of everyday life, and originates in everything from academic pressure to relationship issues, it is essential to learn ways to manage your response to stress. 

Tips for Managing Stress:

  • Take note of how you respond to stress
  • Regulary practice self care, do not wait until you are already overwhelmed
  • Shut down negative self-talk
  • Practice deep breathing
  • Set and maintain boundaries
  • Try guided relaxation activities
  • Participate in positive self-regard
  • Create a routine sleep schedule
  • Participate in physical activity regularly
  • Set small, obtainable goals
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Relax your muscles
  • Practice radical acceptance

Additional Handouts:

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Scheduling

Test Anxiety

Time Management

Substance Use

Substance Use refers to specific substance such as alcohol, cannabis, tobacco, narcotics, and other substances that can potentially create a dependence and other detrimnetal effects. Substance Misuse reference use that can cause harm to the individual and/or those around them. Substance Use Disorder (SUD) is a complex condition characterized by uncontrollable use despite harmful consequences.

Recovery Programs

NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse)

SAMSHA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)

Poison Control Center

Alcohol

A common challenge on many campuses is alcohol misuse. Students  may drink because of social pressures, while others may drink to avoid uncomfortable situations or feelings. Regardless of  reasons, students who are not careful with their drinking habits risk developing more serious problems. Below are strategies to help you drink responsibly:

  • Set a limit on how much you will drink and stick to it  
  • Moderate your use
  • Alternate alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks
  • Eat before you drink and stay hydrated
  • Don’t go out alone; stick with friends you trust
  • Have a seperation and emergency plan
  • Don't leave a drink unattended
  • Don't accept drinks from people you don't know or trust
  • Don’t drink to escape unwanted emotions
  • Don’t drink and drive

Local Recovery Epicenter Foundation

Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcohol Use and Health

Binge Drinking

MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving)

Cannabis

Reminder: Marijuana is still illegal at the federal level. USF receives federal funds so regardless of state laws, we abide by federal regulations.

Cannabis Use and Health

Marijuana Anonymous

Tobacco

Our campuses are all smoke-free, vape-free, and tobacco-free to promote health and reduce harm. 

Free Cessation Services

Tips to Quit Vaping

Tobacco Free Florida

Truth Initiative

Other Narcotics

Pinellas Health Department Resources

Narcotics Anonymous