Supporting Your Well-being

During Times of Difficulty — April 7th, 2020 Edition

Dear community,

As Cornell resumes classes online this week, we want to wish you all the best and remind you of the resources available to support you during this transition. Cornell Health's page on coping during COVID-19 contains information about accessing CAPS and other mental health resources as well as a collection of materials to serve the diverse needs of students during this time. Cornell's coronavirus updates webpage offers a section of FAQs related to teaching and learning remotely to assist our academic community. There is also a list of academic, health, and employee resources. In this newsletter, we will share with you some promising results from our Cornell Students COVID-19 survey, free mental health and meditation options from Headspace, information about Cornell's Let's Meditate online weekly offerings, a bit about the importance of physical distancing, and a reminder that spring is now beautifully in bloom.

Wishing you wellness,

The Skorton Center for Health Initiatives at Cornell Health

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Cornell Student COVID-19 Survey: Cornellians Care

First, some good news! This week many Cornell students participated in our Cornell Student COVID-19 survey, and the initial results (below) reflect the many ways in which Cornellians are doing their part to flatten the curve. Keep it up!

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Free Offerings from Headspace

Headspace, a leading mindfulness and meditation app, has expanded their free offerings to support the global community through COVID-19 - part of their collection entitled "Weathering the Storm." Headspace's free offerings include meditation resources ranging from two minutes to ten-day basic courses, mindful movement and exercise resources, sleep resources, and an entire collection on managing stress and anxiety.

Headspace is also offering free access to Headspace Plus for all US healthcare professionals, free Headspace access to all K-12 teachers, school administrators, and supporting staff in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia, and a free collection of resources to help workplace leaders guide and support their teams during this challenging time.

Additionally, through a partnership with Governor Cuomo, Headspace has created "A New York State of Mind", a collection of free content curated specifically to support the mental health and well-being of New Yorkers.

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Let's Meditate

If the weather is nice, consider joining the virtual Cornell Let's Meditate community from your backyard, deck, front doorstep, or even in front of an open window to incorporate nature into your meditation practice! Virtually "gather" together with other members of the Cornell community for free, 20-minute guided mindfulness meditation sessions that will help you feel more relaxed, grounded, and connected. Find the schedule of upcoming Zoom meditation sessions online here! You can also visit our meditation page to learn about meditation, its benefits, and follow online audio meditations.

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The Importance of Physical Distancing

It is crucial to practice physical distancing right now in order to slow the spread of the virus. This entails staying home, refraining from hosting or attending in-person gatherings, and maintaining a distance of 6 feet or more from others if you must leave your home. The CDC now recommends wearing a non-medical cloth face mask to inhibit the spread of the virus via asymptomatic individuals if you must leave for essential reasons (obtaining medications or medical care). You can find answers to FAQs about cloth face coverings here as well as information on creating and cleaning your own face mask here. However, bear in mind that some individuals may not feel comfortable wearing face masks for many reasons, including racial profiling, claustrophobia/anxiety disorders, and hearing impairments where reading lips aids communication. Respect the choices of others, and if you are able to, follow CDC guidelines by staying home and wearing a mask when outside for essential reasons. Remember, the actions we take now will directly impact the duration, severity, and consequences of this pandemic.

Bright Spot:

Sping has Sprung at the Botanic Gardens!

Even though it may feel like many aspects of life have been put on hold, the changing of the seasons serves as a beautiful reminder that the world continues to blossom and grow right outside our doorsteps.

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Talk/Text Resources

If you find yourself struggling or in need of someone to talk to, know that you are not alone.

The following resources are here to support you:

Cornell Resources

  • Cornell Health phone consultation (24/7): 607-255-5155

Ithaca Resources (24/7)

  • Ithaca Crisisline: 800-273-8255
  • Advocacy Center (sexual/domestic violence): 607-277-5000

National Talk-Lines (24/7)

  • Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255
  • Trevor Project hotline (LGBTQ+): 866-488-7386
  • LGBT+ National Hotline: 888-843-4564
  • TransLifeline: 877-565-8860

National Text/Chat Services

  • National Crisis Text Line: Text HELLO to 741741
  • Steve Fund crisis text line: Text STEVE to 741741 (connects you to a crisis counselor of color)
  • Trevor Project text line (LGBTQ+): Text START to 678678
  • National Suicide Prevention "Lifeline CHAT" service:

Get in Touch

  • Contact Catherine Thrasher-Carroll, Mental Health Promotion Program Director, at
  • Contact Amber Pasha, Public Health Fellow, at
  • All Cornell students, regardless of location, can access medical and mental health services through FREE telehealth appointments with Cornell Health (appointments may be offered by video, phone, or online, depending on your location and need). Our in-person services are currently limited to pre-screened COVID-19 testing and select pharmacy services. As always, please refer to the Cornell Health website for the most up-to-date information regarding our services.