Iowa State provides ‘Support for Your Adventure’ with resources for student wellness


Iowa State provides a variety of free resources for student health, wellness and safety, all of which are highlighted by the new Support for Your Adventure campaign.

Molly Blanco

As the fall semester begins and thousands of students return to campus, many students may want to take advantage of the mental and physical health resources available to them at Iowa State.

The new school year brings excitement for many, but many other students may face stress and anxiety during the transition. New students, in particular, face an abundance of changes to their lifestyle that can result in mental health challenges. 

“We know that the transition to a college environment can be challenging… you’re experiencing a lot of change,” said Katy Cran, strategic communications advisor for the Office of the Senior Vice President for Student Affairs.

The Division of Student Affairs has launched a new campaign called Support for Your Adventure that highlights several Iowa State departments or programs that support student health and wellness. These departments include Student Wellness, Thielen Student Health Center, Recreation Services, violence prevention with Green Dot, personal safety and the ISU Police, Therapy Assistance Online (TAO), Student Counseling Services, Student Assistance and the student food pantry SHOP. 

The Support for Your Adventure campaign website provides a “one stop shop” to direct students to campus resources.

“Early in the summer, we identified that the students that were coming back to campus, our second year students, didn’t really have that typical first year experience,” Cran said. “They may not have had as many opportunities to learn about or be aware of our resources around mental health, wellbeing and personal safety.” 

Iowa State students have access to free, confidential counseling through Student Counseling Services. The department provides a variety of services and counseling options — including group therapy, couple counseling, mind-body therapy and online self-help resources. 

One self-help resource offered by Student Counseling Services is a program called Therapy Assistance Online (TAO). TAO is an “online library of engaging, interactive programs that help you learn life skills and bounce back from disappointments and stumbling blocks,” according to the Student Counseling Services website. The online resource provides assistance for a variety of common student issues ranging from test anxiety to body acceptance. 

“[TAO] is an app where you can get help and support online. It’s confidential, it’s free and you don’t have to go anywhere to seek help,” Cran said. 

Student Wellness provides a variety of programs and services to support students’ overall wellbeing, including mental health, physical health and safety. The department recently launched Thrive@ISU, a new student-led program that allows students to meet one on one to discuss wellbeing, learn about resources and generate a plan to address wellness concerns. 

Health resources will also be crucial to students as the university navigates this new chapter of the pandemic. Free COVID-19 vaccines are still widely available to students through the Thielen Student Health Center.

Iowa State will also host vaccine clinics on campus for students, faculty and staff through the end of September. Testing is also easily accessible for individuals who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 or have had exposure to the virus. 

Recreation Services offers fitness options for every need and interest, including online fitness classes. 

“Recreation services has done an amazing job adapting and pivoting to our changing public health needs,” Cran said.

Cran said the Support for Your Adventure campaign aims to reduce the stigma of asking for help. 

“We just want to lower those barriers and help students recognize that there are a lot of students who do seek help,” Cran said. “No one should feel uncomfortable getting therapy, visiting our food pantry or calling SafeRide.”

Cran explained that mental and physical wellbeing is essential to academic performance and success in college. 

“We know that… if you take care of yourself, if you’re doing well mentally, you’re going to do better in the classroom,” Cran said.

However you choose to care for your physical and mental health this semester, make sure to take advantage of the wellness resources available at Iowa State. 

“We are here to help you succeed, no matter what that looks like,” Cran said.