About csusmhealth

Student Health & Counseling Services: HOPE & Wellness Center @ Cal State San Marcos. Providing medical services, counseling & education to the campus community.

Take a minute, Change a life!

downloadSeptember is Suicide Prevention month.  Suicide can be a heavy topic to discuss, but it is something that needs to be talked about.  Around 1,100 college students commit suicide each year.  That’s a pretty alarming amount.  In an effort to bring more awareness to the emotional impact of suicide, the Student Health and Counseling Services, H.O.P.E. and Wellness Center in collaboration with ASI, Gender Equity Center, Pride Center, and Campus Activities Board, along with USU Live! will be hosting a concert on September 21, with a special performance by the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus at 7pm in the USU Amphitheater.  A pre-show event begins at 6pm in USU Ballroom C with guest speaker, Joyce Bruggeman, from San Diego Survivors of Suicide Loss.

Suicide not only ends an important life, but it largely impacts the lives surrounding the individual who commits suicide.  The complex part of suicide is knowing the warning signs of someone you may know and how to approach them.  It’s really a touchy subject, because questions in your mind could surface such as “If I ask him or her directly, won’t that make one want to commit suicide, putting the idea in his or her mind?”  The answer is “No”.

By attending these events, you can be better equipped at knowing what to do, in case you or a loved one is experiencing suicidal ideation.

Continue reading


May Days Focusing on Mental Health and Stress Management

With the school year winding down, many of us are stressed on a wide range of topics. Finals, graduation, job prospect, moving, relationships, and our over- all well-being. May is Mental Health Awareness Month. This article provides tools for stress management along with mental health promotion and SHCS activities that you can participate in that can help.

 Keep Your Balance and Stress in Check

We all try to balance everything at once and in equal proportions. Well, that isn’t necessary; in fact, balance is a constant process of distribution of what matters. Some areas will need more attention then other, the keys is to be sure to take steps with each area and not try to do it all at once, get overwhelmed and crawl into a dark hole somewhere to shut out the world.

Here are some tips for balancing and reducing stress:


National Prevention Week 2017 is themed “Making Each Day Count”.  Realizing the importance of seeking and helping others in our campus community to live healthy and productive lives by raising awareness of substance abuse and promoting positive mental health (SAMHSA.GOV). Continue reading

Start By Believing

Every 98 seconds, an individual is sexually assaulted in the United States. One in 5 women and one in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college. And in case these statistics weren’t alarming enough, just know that more than 90% of sexual assault victims on college campuses do not report the assault, making sexual violence the most prevalent crime to occur in college compared to other crimes.


Sexual violence refers to sexual activity where consent is not obtained or freely given. It ultimately results in the repercussions of psychological, emotional and physical effects on a survivor. No one is protected or exempt from experiencing sexual violence. It is a type of violence that does not discriminate because it could happen to anyone. Nevertheless, it is a widespread problem that needs to be stopped. Remaining silent is not an option because everyone, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, national origin, or ability should feel safe from any and all sexual violence.

With that being said, April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month! It’s time to shatter the silence surrounding the stigma connected to rape culture and strive for a campus and community free of sexual violence. As a strong collective, we can create the opportunity to build a positive community of support. Continue reading

Staying Healthy in College

Staying healthy in college can be difficult.  Last month the Hope & Wellness Center lead efforts to raise awareness on campus regarding eating disorders as part Nation Eating Disorders Awareness Week.  Here are some thought provoking stats on that:edstat.jpg

Unlike many trends and fad diets will lead you to believe, a healthy diet is well rounded in all of the Macro nutrients.  In fact, the key to a healthy weight and even lasting weight loss is a diet balanced in macronutrients.  Lacie Glover gives 6 great reasons to eat healthy in her article here: https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/health/medical-costs/benefits-of-eating-healthy/

foodOf course, we’ve all heard or been lectured on a nutritious diet.  With the many campus activities held each month, there is even a lot of opportunities to have great meals for free on campus! But what are other ways we, as students, can stay healthy?

Get enough sleep:

Dave Grossman, a Psychologist and Author, talks extensively about sleep and how our bodies need it and what happens when we don’t get enough.  Students often miss out on a lot of sleep.  Between extra curricular activities, hanging with friends, studying for that exam… or not being able to sleep out of anxious for that exam.  For a long time many believed that once missed, sleep could not be made up for.  Turns out, according to Dr. Grossman, that sleep does indeed have a “bank” that we can add into.  So don’t feel guilty for that nap you’re about to take in between classes!  In fact, according to our own Dr. Calvillo, sleep helps solidify what you just learned, transitioning it all into long-term memory!

(Here’s a great article on Dr. Dave Grossman’s work which is super interesting, especially for our large veteran population: https://www.stripes.com/seeking-better-sleep-1.133924#.WL5PHPnytPY ) Continue reading

Midterm Madness got you Anxious and Stressed?


Good Stress versus Bad Stress. Yes, there IS such a thing as a bit of good stress. You know the type that motivates you to go the extra mile, push yourself a bit harder and that anxious butterfly feeling in your stomach on a first date. Those are okay for you and your body.  And lets face it; we can’t avoid stress even if we tried. So lets look at ways we can help alleviate the added anxiety and stress you may be feeling right about now over your upcoming midterms.

DESTRESS is better that DISTRESS

D = Diet and Nutrition – eat a well balanced diet

E = Exercise- get outside and go for a hike or walk, hit the gym for yoga or a class

S = Sleep- make sure you are getting enough of it

T = Time Management- procrastination can add stress -manage time wisely

R = Relax – a great relaxation technique is practicing mindfulness and breath work

E = Express Gratitude – boosts feelings of joy and happiness

S = Social Connections – stay connected to others – isolation can increase worry

S = Self Esteem, Compassion and Care- be kind to yourself and others Continue reading

It’s Time To Talk About Eating Disorders

lets_talk“Carolyn Proskow, Summa Cum Laude,” announced Dr. Eliza Bingham at the 2016 Commencement Ceremony for the College of Education, Health, & Human Services. For many of the students present that evening, hearing their name announced and walking across the stage was confirmation that despite every challenge that posed a threat to their academic achievement, they had made it…. in that moment, they knew that _______ was no match for their determination to succeed. For some, this “blank” was late-night cramming sessions in Kellogg Library during finals week. For others, this “blank” was having to balance a full-time job with a full-time class schedule. For me, this “blank” was my eating disorder. My eating disorder was no match for my determination to succeed, and indeed, that was something to celebrate on commencement day. Continue reading

National Eating Disorders Week @ CSUSM

In United States, 20 million women and 10 million suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder (http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/types-symptoms-eating-disorders).

At least 30 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder in the U.S (http://www.anad.org/get-information/about-eating-disorders/eating-disorders-statistics/).

The media depicts images that our society should abide by. We mostly see images that show women and men should have these perfect bodies that would be admired by anyone. Losing weight is what comes to mind when you want to have that perfect body to be admired, loved, and happy.

If you have an eating disorder or know someone who does, you are not alone. Knowing that others have experienced eating disorders, hopefully allows you to believe there is hope and will encourage your willingness to get help. Every 62 minutes at least one person dies as a direct result from an eating disorder (http://www.anad.org/get-information/about-eating-disorders/eating-disorders-statistics/). Continue reading

Be Heart Smart!

fheart.jpgYour heart is the core at which you exist, the center of your body’s entire universe. It is the essence of your innermost self. So with that being said, how are you making sure to take care of it?

In the United States, someone has a heart attack every 34 seconds. Every 60 seconds, someone dies from a heart disease-related event. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States as cardiovascular diseases obtain more lives than all forms of cancers combined. But do not fear, for it is preventable! So always remember to be Heart Smart!

With February being Heart Health Month, it’s time to rev up 2017 by making heart-healthy choices and maintaining it throughout the year! Here are a few tips to lead you in the right direction as to how to reduce putting your heart at risk.ilovemyheart

Tips to eating Heart-Healthy:

  • Be conscious of what’s on your plate.
  • Eat fruits and vegetables
  • Eat whole grains and minimize processed foods with added sugars
  • Reduce sodium
  • Include heart-healthy fats
  • Hydrate with eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day
  • Replace red meat with fish

Tips to a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle: Continue reading