Blog

Blog Author:
Danielle Oakley, CAPS

Dear Duke Families,

It is a pleasure to meet you! I am the new director for Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), a unit on campus that supports your student on a path toward academic success. I am excited to be here given the commitment Duke has made to student wellness. Many institutions across the country are working to address mental health issues based on the fact that mental health is the number one factor in lowering retention and is a better predictor of college grade point average than ACT or SAT scores. The 97% four-year retention rate to graduation at Duke demonstrates that retention is not a significant issue on this campus; highlighting that Duke’s focus is supporting mental health services because student wellness is valued.

Blog Author:
Nick Antonicci, Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity

My name is Nicholas Antonicci, I use the pronouns he/him/his, and I'm the Director of the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity here at Duke University.

Yesterday, I woke to the news of tragedy of 50 innocent people killed at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, a gay bar on a night celebrating Latinx people and communities.

I struggle to put feelings and emotions into words, to put pain into soundbites that appease and comfort those around me.

I struggle with balancing immense sadness for the lives lost, with anger at the forces which allowed this to happen and will continue to happen, namely homophobia and transphobia. I balance wanting to care for others, with frustration in the ways many of those who are responding are centering the feelings of heterosexual and cis peoples.

Blog Author:
Larry Moneta, Vice President for Student Affairs

Dear Duke Families,

As I look out my office window, I have the privilege of seeing our students walking (and rushing) by between classes, meals, meetings and study venues. So many things are apparent on the rare occasion that I get to just pause and admire the passersby. I notice that many seem either immune to the winter chill or in denial about the need to wear warmer clothes! I notice that rarely is anyone walking alone. Students travel in pairs, groups and masses! I notice that some kind of technological device is apparently welded to their ears or their palms (hopefully talking or texting with you). But, I also notice how remarkably different they are, reflecting the substantial and wonderful diversity within the Duke student body.

Blog Author:
Isabella Kwai, '16

Let me be entirely honest and open in what I’m about to say. Honesty after all, is so little found in conversations about mental health and yet so powerful when it is. I have, like 1 in 4 other young people my age, struggled with my mental health on and off. There have been times when I’ve been sick with hopelessness and misery, consumed with self-loathing and hatred. Likewise, there have times when I’ve been ecstatically happy and grateful. My emotional health is a mental rollercoaster and contains the best and worst memories for me. But it is not all of me.

Blog Author:
Elizabeth Hoyler, '16

(Entry #3 in the series) Recently, I had the great pleasure of sitting down with Associate Director for Outreach and Development Programming for CAPS and all-around nice guy Gary Glass. The topic: relationships. Relationships in general, with no particular person in mind. It was the first time I'd discussed the topic at length, ever. My conclusion? We should do this more often. Here's #3!

Blog Author:
Jake Schapiro, Peer For You Peer Responder

Peer For You is now welcoming applications for Peer Responders to serve Duke students for next year.

Applications due March 16. Apply now.

We are a student-run resource that provides the space for undergraduate students to reach out for support and referrals in times of struggle. Any Duke student can send an anonymous message to one of our Peer Responders about a struggle or challenge that they are currently facing. The approached Peer Responder will respond to the message within 24 hours.

Blog Author:
Chris Heltne, Director of Communications for Student Affairs

Duke Student Health will pilot a consolidation of their clinical services by closing the East Campus Clinic for Spring Semester, 2014.

"There is a combination of reasons for our decision to close the East Campus Clinic," said Dr. John Vaughn, director of Student Health at Duke, "but first and foremost is that we feel doing so will better allow us to deliver the standard of medical care that students deserve and the Duke University Health System demands."

The East Campus Health Clinic was established in the 1990s.  According to Jean Hanson, RN, MPH, administrative director for clinical support services and outreach, it was initially staffed by a nurse only and was intended to handle “simple” cases for the freshman campus. 

Blog Author:
Isabella Kwai, '16

I woke up last week with a blinding headache, an impending exam and – after checking at the alarm clock – late for class. There was no time for breakfast or to brush my hair. I rummaged frantically around the room with one shoe on. Where was my homework? Finally with a burning coffee in hand, I sprinted like some mad giraffe down the quad. ‘Run!’ shouted a tanned, muscular man lounging on the benches as I whirled past in my sweatpants. Thanks dude.

One of last year's seniors (and a former DUWELL intern), Rose O'Connor, was inspired to write this blog in the spring of 2012, her last semester at Duke.  As we approach Thanksgiving time, it seems especially appropriate to consider gratitude and how to appreciate the small things in life...

Contrary to popular thought, stress is designed to help, an alarm that goes off when there is a threat, much like an alarm system in a house. In that sense, stress is not a bad thing. Stress is the body's and mind's response to challenging situations.

The problem arises with our reactions to stress. The skill is to recognize the things that are going to cause stress, and to deactivating the false alarms. Duke provides a number of resources to help students identify the causes of the alarm and physiological manifestations of stress, to take positive steps toward using this understanding, and to add tools for today and a lifetime that will help students turn stress to their benefit.