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May 2020 Family Newsletter

As we all face this new challenge of navigating the measures surrounding COVID-19, we'd like to introduce you to well-being.vt.edu: A tool to help you locate Virginia Tech's well-being resources.

All of our health and wellness departments have vamped up their virtual and remote well-being services, which are all indexed and can be easily-accessed on this site.

Hokies at Home

No matter where you look, even if you are not intentionally looking, you are being inundated with articles, videos, and memes telling you what you need to do to get through this period of physical distancing from others. Some offer tips and tricks to stay on task, some offer suggestions to stay motivated, and others are simply offering a way to distract you in hopes that this time will be over soon. The truth is, we are in a difficult time right now and we need to acknowledge that. Our day to day lives have changed in a very short time and we honestly do not know when things will get back to “normal”.  And, unfortunately, there is no simple cure or fix to this situation, no--not even binge watching a show about exotic cats.

We are all unique individuals who all have different needs, and these needs can change daily. This is where Hokie Wellness can help! While we will also be posting tips and strategies on our social media sites to hopefully educate, inspire, and entertain, our services do not stop there. Our mission on campus has always been to promote the health and wellness of students, faculty, and staff, and while we have transitioned to a virtual world with the rest of you, our mission remains the same.

We encourage you to check out all of the free offerings listed below and engage with us to not just “make it through this period”, but to thrive in it as best as you can.

Financial Wellness – We recognize that this time of physical distancing may be putting a great deal of additional financial stress on you. We would be happy to meet with you in a one on one Zoom meeting to discuss issues related to your current financial situation and enhance your knowledge in areas such as budgeting, credit, loans, etc. We also offer zoom workshops if you have a group that would be interested getting together to discuss their financial wellness. 

Substance Use  - We know that substance use has the potential to increase during this time for many individuals. We are here to meet with you in one on one virtual consultations via zoom to offer our support to you. We also have a Recovery Community made up of Virginia Tech students that continues to meet virtually and would love for you to join them.

Mental health - Cook Counseling is still offering services and we encourage you to reach out to them if you would like to meet with a counselor. In Hokie Wellness, we can offer informal live group workshops to learn and practice skills around resiliency and mindfulness. We are currently offering workshops on developing a growth mindset, learning to press pause, self-care, and the Koru 4-part mindfulness series.

General Student Health and Wellness - We are also offering many other services virtually around topics such as sleep, nutrition, quitting tobacco, sexual health, body image, and more. We would be more than happy to meet with you one on one to see how we can best support you in these areas and we are able to offer virtual workshops on these topics.

Employee Specific Wellness Resources – Come check out the employee’s resiliency workshops, the Hokie Live Well program, one on one nutrition counseling, the Virtual Learning Center and more. You can also access and learn more about the Employee Assistance Program.

To access any of the above resources or to learn about all of our services that we are providing during this time, please visit our Hokies at Home website. We also encourage you to follow us on your preferred social media platform to engage with us daily on different health and wellness topics:

#MindfulMondays, #TipTuesdays, #WellnessWednesdays, #TikTokThursdays, #FunFactFridays, #SocialSaturdays, and #SuperSnackSundays.

There are no easy answers or solutions right now, but if you are looking for substantive support for your health and wellness, know that we are here to help. If you cannot find what you need on our website or through our social media, we encourage you to reach out to us personally at hokiewellness@vt.edu so that we can help you find what you need. If we cannot assist you, we will do our best to help you get to another campus partner that can.   

Recap: 2020 Virtual Run in Remembrance

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2020 Virtual Run in Remembrance last month! Over 11,500 Hokies came together (virtually) to walk, run, and remember the 32 Hokies tragically taken from their loved ones on April 16, 2007. Check out this recap video for stats and highlights:

Loading player for https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShFASsAuSSQ...

Virtual Programs, Services, and Events

Although we can't be together, we are still here to help Hokies find their favorite way to move! Check out our virtual programs and events page to find free on-demand fitness classes, personal training programs, weekly live sports trivia, happiness groups, intramural sports, and other great resources!

Schiffert Health Center Hours:

The health center will remain open for Spring Semester until May 16th. Our current hours are:

  • Monday – Friday: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
  • Saturday: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • Our Summer hours will begin on May 18, 2020:
  • Monday – Friday : 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
  • No Saturday hours

For appointments, students are instructed to call (540)231-6444. Online appointment scheduling is not available during the pandemic.

Follow Schiffert Health Center on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and stay up-to-date through summer! We regularly post health advice, resources, and tips along with any changes to hours or operations.

COVID-19 Resources:

As the weather warms and everyone grows weary of the COVID-19 Stay-At-Home order, students will be tempted to relax personal prevention measures. Health officials continue to urge all of us to remain vigilant and adhere to the recommendations. We encourage all students to follow CDC guidance for social distancing and personal prevention measures, including wearing cloth masks when physical distancing isn’t feasible. The University COVID-19 website houses many of these guidelines and links.

If your student feels like they may have symptoms of COVID-19, the CDC provides guidance for caring for yourself at home. This information is also valuable for those who may be living with a sick individual. Students living on-campus or in the local community, who are seen outside of Schiffert Health Center, and test positive for the disease should contact us at (540)231-6444, so that we can assist the student with a plan of care. The health center is capable and prepared to evaluate any student who suspects they may have COVID-19 and testing is available at the clinic for patients seen here.

Lastly, the Virginia Department of Health’s website provides an extensive resource for many COVID-related frequently asked questions and the World Health Organization houses a Mythbusters page to help combat inaccurate information regarding the virus. We ask students and families to visit these resources when seeking health advice and to help us to dispel false, and potentially, harmful information in their communities.

From all of us at Schiffert Health Center, we wish every Hokie a safe and healthy end to a topsy-turvey Spring Semester!

Cook Counseling is currently still providing crisis services for students who are experiencing a mental health emergency (e.g., suicidal thoughts, symptoms of psychosis, recent assault, recent self-harm, etc.), which students can access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 540-231-6557.

Students new or returning to Cook are also able to connect with a clinician by calling 540-231-6557 during business hours (Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm) and can request a phone or Zoom consultation appointment. Returning Cook clients can request to speak to their former or new counselor. 

Our office provides services and accommodations to those with disabilities, and also serves those with temporary disabilities or severe illness.  This includes if a student were to have a concussion, if they broke their wrist and wasn't able to take notes, or if they have an extended illness that was preventing them from being able to perform their usual tasks. 

SSD provides:

  • Support for accommodations
  • Academic relief and suspension appeal
  • Standardized testing

Some accommodations include: 

  • Classroom accommodations
  • Accommodations for the deaf and hard of hearing students
  • Testing centers
  • Note takers
  • Alternative text
  • Special housing

The SSD office will review disability documentations year-round, there is no deadline to apply.  If your student already has a 504 plan or IEP you can submit them to our office.