Levin College of Law

Wellness At UF Law

Your well-being matters. At UF Law, we are committed to the success, health and welfare of all of our students. Use this site to find resources and opportunities at UF and in Gainesville that can help you stay healthy or find assistance when you need it.

If you or a friend needs help now, call 911 immediately.For those currently in distress, contact UF’s Counseling and Wellness Center at: (352) 392-1575

UF’s Counseling and Wellness Center provides counselors for crisis services on a walk-in basis between 9 am and 4 pm, Monday through Friday.

If you know of a student in crisis, please let us know. The UF Law Student Affairs Office has a resource counselor, Leif Stringer, on staff to help students with any issues students are facing. All services are confidential and do not have to be reported to The Florida Bar as treatment.
Phone: (352) 273-0620
Email: stringer@law.ufl.edu

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Self Care

Law school can be a stressful time. The rigors of exams, social networking and professional obligations can combine with personal matters to weigh you down every day. In order to thrive in law school, students need to make time to care for themselves. Eating right, exercising and getting enough sleep are only a few ways to combat stress and provide a healthy atmosphere that permits students to perform to the best of their abilities.

As part of our effort to promote wellness, we remind you that UF is a tobacco-free campus. Smoking and tobacco use are prohibited in all facilities and areas of the University of Florida campus. Click here to read the full policy.

EAT RIGHT

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A healthy diet can counter stress in a number of ways. Consuming the right amount of fruits, vegetables, grains, meats and dairy can increase the amount of calming chemicals in the brain, while reducing the production of stress-inducing ones.

  • The Alan and Cathy Hitchcock Pantry – The Pantry is a resource on the University of Florida campus committed to supporting students, staff, and faculty who are experiencing food insecurity. If you, or anyone you know, is experiencing food insecurity, the Pantry offers non-perishable food, toiletries and fresh produce grown at the Field and Fork Gardens. There is no proof of need required in order to shop at the Pantry; you must only bring in your valid UFID card.
  • GatorWell – Healthy Eating and Active Living – UF’s GatorWell programs empower UF students to be healthy and well through prevention, and this guide provides information about national and local healthy eating resources
  • Nutrition Services at UF’s Student Health Care Center – UF’s Student Health Care Center offers Nutrition Services as well as online resources to support a healthy diet
  • Foods That Help Tame Stress – Offers tips on stress-busting foods
  • The Center for Mindful Eating – Outlines the principles of mindful eating

REDUCE ALCOHOL

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UF’s distinguished place among the top social universities is well deserved, but it’s important to partake in alcohol in moderation. Alcohol consumption contributes to feelings of depression and makes stress harder to cope with in the long run. Abuse of alcohol and drugs can be a life-threatening problem. Due to the high levels of academic stress at law school, law students can be especially vulnerable to such addiction. If you need help, you can use the U Matter We Care website to connect with a professional.

EXERCISE

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Physical movement releases endorphins, which reduce the perception of pain and trigger positive feelings throughout the body. Numerous studies have shown that exercising reduces the likelihood of depression and elevates mood. Movement also can help learning. Every hour during study sessions, stand up from your desk, leave the room and walk outside for 10 minutes. This will significantly increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your brain’s capacity to focus and retain data.

SLEEP

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It’s difficult to balance academics, fitness and social activities while maintaining a proper sleep schedule. Students often forgo a solid night of sleep in order to accomplish the rest of their goals and responsibilities. Lack of sleep can lead to increased stress, which then makes it more difficult to fall asleep — a vicious cycle that many students fail to properly address.

HEALTH SERVICES

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UF Student Health Care Center (SHCC)– The SHCC’s mission is to help students remain healthy.  They offer primary and specialty care as well as urgent care to UF Students.

UF Student Health Care Center’s Pharmacy – The UF Student Health Care Center Pharmacy is a full-service facility staffed by licensed pharmacists who fill prescriptions written by either in-house medical staff or licensed medical providers from other facilities.

MAKE TIME FOR YOU

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You know what they say about all work and no play. To maintain balance in your life during law school, cultivate friendships unrelated to the classroom or legal arguments. Maintain your relationships with friends and family from back home and your days as an undergraduate. Step away from the books and spend time doing the things you love. All of this will reduce stress levels and cultivate a well-rounded personality that permits you to talk about more than just legal endeavors during interviews.


Mindfulness

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“Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally,” – Jon Kabat-Zinn

Mindfulness is quickly becoming a recognizable course offering of many state bar associations and law schools. The judiciary, too, has begun to embrace the value of this contemplative practice, which has received a great deal of attention from neuroscience research for its contribution to medical health.

Mindfulness practices are associated with improved immune functioning and the reduction of stress, anxiety and depression. Neuroscience findings associate mindfulness practices with thicker brain regions and greater interconnectivity among brain regions. Anecdotes suggest the association of mindfulness with greater efficacy by lawyers and judges, enhanced civility, and improved relations with family and friends. Mindfulness is becoming more accessible to lawyers, judges, law students and law professors.

The University of Florida is committed to providing mindfulness resources to all of its students. Find out more here on the UF Mindfulness website.


Mental Health

Leif Stringer, Resource Counselor

Mental health is a critical part of your overall health and a key component of your wellness. UF Law employs a resource counselor, Leif Stringer, to assist our students in navigating the available resources. All services are confidential and do not have to be reported to the Florida Bar as treatment. You can reach Leif at:
Phone: (352) 273-0620
Email: stringer@law.ufl.edu

The University of Florida also operates a Counseling and Wellness Center that provides services and information regarding mental health. Visit their website for more information.

The University of Florida’s Disability Resource Center’s website can connect you with resources if you need special accommodations or services.

UF’s U Matter, We Care program offers health & wellness programs as well as programs for students in distress.

LawLifeline –Law Lifeline is an online mental health resource designed specifically for law students.

Lawyers With Depression – Lawyers With Depression is a website that offers information on dealing with depression.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Toolkit for Law School Students and Those Who Care About Them – This toolkit from the American Bar Association provides substance abuse and mental health information and resources tailored for law students.


Sometimes law school can be overwhelming. Asking for help is beneficial. Healthy lawyers are successful lawyers. The college of law strongly encourages you to access necessary resources.

Stress, Anxiety, and Depression

Academic stress is a major problem. Sacrificing sleep and other unhealthy habits can cause stress to compound, sometimes to the breaking point. Studies have shown that almost 40 percent of law students experience symptoms of anxiety or depression by the end of their third year.

These symptoms impact our bodies, can affect our ability to control our emotions and overall make it difficult to be at your best.

UF’s GatorWell Stress Management Program offers students strategies for managing stress including individual coaching

Suicide Prevention

Suicide is the third-leading cause of death for 15 to 24 year olds in the United States and the second-leading cause of death for college-age students.UF Counseling & Wellness Center provides suicide prevention resources in addition to counseling services.

Call 911 immediately if you or someone you know is a danger to himself or herself.


Student Resources

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UF Law’s robust student community features groups that bring colleagues together with common interests and ambitions. Joining with others can be good for your career and your social life. Sharing trials and tribulations with people of like mind and interests can help defuse both tension and stress. For information about joining a student group, you can contact the Office of Student Affairs.

View the complete list of student organizations


Helping A Friend

“Sometimes our light goes out, but is blown again into instant flame by an encounter with another human being.” – Albert Schweitzer

A friend’s well-being is more important than his or her grades, or his or her job status. If you think you have a friend in distress, please take action.

Ways to call for help:

  • If you are worried about the immediate safety of a student(s), please call 911 immediately. Please remember that calling 911 is not a crime, and UF’s Medical Amnesty policy protects students from getting in trouble when there is a medical emergency.
  • If there is no immediate safety concern but you are worried about a friend, UF’s Counseling and Wellness Center staff would be happy to support you. For a confidential consultation, please call 352-392-1575.
  • Remember U Matter, We Care. When you’re worried about a student or classmate, consider calling 352-294-CARE (2273) to identify concerns and potential administrative solutions.

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Campus Safety

UF Law is a welcoming place, and personal threats are rare. But it is wise to be alert to possible dangers anywhere, especially at night. The University of Florida campus features blue – and sometimes yellow – emergency telephones that put you immediately in touch with the University of Florida Police Department.

You can also contact UPD using the GatorSafe App, which is free and available from either the Google Play Store or the iTunes App Store.  GatorSafe allows you to trigger a Mobile BlueLight to simultaneously send your location and call UFPD along with a personal safety toolbox with a flashlight, loud alarm, ability to send your location and much more.

A free nightly campus transportation service known as Student Nighttime Auxiliary Patrol (SNAP) is also regularly available during times of the year when classes are in session. SNAP operates from 6:30 pm to 3:00 am during the fall and spring semesters.  The fastest, most recommended method to use SNAP is to download the TapRide SNAP app, which is free and available from either the Google Play Store or the iTunes App Store. Once you download the app, please choose the “University of Florida SNAP” location and log in with your Gatorlink account.

UF Student Government has partnered with Uber to provide 25% off Uber rides from 9:00pm to 3:00 am.  T o redeem this discount, students just have to apply a unique promo code provided by UF’s Student Government in their Uber rider app. To access your promo code, visit UF’s Safe Rides page, then log in with your GatorLink info. Once you’re logged in, you’ll be provided with a promo code.