University of South Florida


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USF Counseling Center Transitions Services to Telehealth

Mental health services will continue to be available to USF students throughout the semester via telehealth. The Counseling Center is now limiting its services to videoconferencing through Zoom, a secure, encrypted platform that is HIPAA compliant. These sessions are available for short term, goal-oriented counseling to help students facing mental health difficulties with the coronavirus or experiencing general academic stress.

The Counseling Center will also provide daily, online group sessions to assist students in managing the psychological and emotional effects of the coronavirus. No prior contact with the Counseling Center is required to attend these drop-in sessions. Workshops will include mindful meditation and other tools to help the USF community cope effectively with these uncertain times.

“Students will benefit from being aware of their anxious, future oriented thinking and remain in the present,” said Nick Joyce, PhD, staff psychologist at the USF Counseling Center. “No one knows what will happen, but a present based mindset on what and how to deal with today is the most successful way to navigate this type of situation.”

Tips and Tricks for Thriving during Self-Isolation

Maintain a daily routine
  • Wake up and go to sleep around the same time each day, limit naps
  • Continue regular hygiene (shower, brush teeth, clean your living space, etc.)
  • Eat solid meals, limit snacking
  • Study in two-hour increments, schedule online study sessions with classmates
  • Free yoga or group instruction online
  • App-guided stretching and meditation routines
  • Calisthenics (jumping jacks, push-ups, sit-ups, jog in place)
 Screen time
  • Limit television, video games and social media as they can increase symptoms of anxiety, depression and fears that you’re missing out. Experts recommend watching a series that you can discuss with others to aid in social connection.
  • Limit media consumption of virus-related news, especially if you begin to feel anxious or upset.
Focus on health and wellness
  • Meditate
  • Learn a new language
  • Explore different musical genres
  • Update your resume or get started on a job/internship search (
  • Draw or paint
  • Do a puzzle
  • Journal about your experience
  • Call or write an old friend
  • Play a musical instrument
  • Learn a new technique or skill
  • Keep in touch with friends and family via Face Time or Skype
  • Schedule a group video chat

It is recommended to reduce alcohol consumption and other substances that may temporarily provide some relief but are likely, in the long term, to increase anxiety and depressive symptoms.

Same day videoconference sessions are available throughout the semester. For more information on how to set an appointment or attend a virtual workshop visit the USF Counseling Center. Students can also speak by telephone 24/7 with a licensed mental health professional by calling 813-974-2831.

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