Happy Spring! Welcome to a new issue of the University Wellness Center Newsletter!

Who Are We? The University Wellness Center at the University of the South is a campus resource which offers integrated and holistic health care, comprehensive wellness outreach, and peer health education for students. The University Wellness Center is composed of Counseling and Psychological Services, Student Accessibility Services, University Health Service, and Wellness Outreach.

What to Expect? New issues will be published at the beginning of each month, all of which we hope will keep you updated on our latest news and provide you with information about upcoming trainings, events and programming!

Each month's issue will focus on a new topic and include a spotlight post and monthly challenge based on that theme. The topic for April is Celebrating the Body and Enjoying a Life Free from Dieting

April Spotlight: Celebrating the Body and Enjoying a Life Free from Dieting

Ashley Liston-Avnaim, LCP-MHSP, Licensed Professional Counselor, University Wellness Center

One of my areas of specialty and interest in the therapy room is supporting people who have been ensnared in the difficulties of disordered eating. As a lover of the body and its amazing ability to self-heal, my approach with clients comes from a philosophy called Intuitive Eating developed by registered dietitians Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch.  Along with this approach, I am also an advocate for a movement called Health at Every Size birthed out of a desire for weight-inclusive care and activism for all bodies in medical and mental health settings. IE takes an anti-diet approach to healing one’s relationship with food through helping us return to our natural state of being able to intuitively determine what tastes good, satisfies hunger and letting go when we’re full- it’s the way we ate when we were toddlers!

Developing a compassionate, honest relationship with our bodies is important because it affects every part of our life. I think this is done best when we respect and listen to our natural cues instead of overriding through dieting or exercising when we’re exhausted or injured. I’ve never known anyone who was dieting that felt truly free! The Health at Every Size Movement addresses how deeply impacted we all are from growing up in “diet culture,” and in the Western world where weight bias is very strong. There’s a sense of morality connected to the thin-ideal. While most of us would not consciously admit that we think thin people are “good” and fat people are “bad,” most of us have unconsciously bought into the idea that diet culture is selling, which is that thinness equals happiness and fulfillment. As we approach summer, a season in which we’re using our bodies in lots of fun ways, I want to encourage you to find things that bring you joy and a sense of connection with others outside of appearance or the thin ideal. Find ways to celebrate your body and all that it can do and look for new and interesting opportunities to challenge yourself.

April Challenge: 
  • Spend one meal refraining from “food talk” and use of any guilt-filled language from diet culture. Bring your friends in on the challenge and find another juicy topic to discuss!
  • Find a new activity to explore joyful movement for one day this week! If you usually run, could you throw a Frisbee or dance in your dorm instead?
  • Share your progress on the challenge of the month by tagging #SewaneeFlourish

Calendar & Upcoming

Screen Free Lunches

Every Monday 


McClurg Balcony

Weekly Yoga

Wednesdays 3:30pm-4:30pm

Fridays 10:00am-11:00am

Social Lodge (Except 4/12 at the UWC Annex)

Conversations with People Who Hate Me: Why I Engage in Dialogue Across Difference with Dylan Marron

Thursday, April 4, 2019 at 4:30pm in Convocation Hall

Forest Bathing with Connie Keetle

Sunday, April 14, 2019 from 1:00pm-3:00pm in Abbos Alley

Green Convene

Monday, April 22, 2019 (Location & Time TBD)

Family Dinner

Contact Sabeth Jackson to sign-up

Group Therapy Schedule:

Tuesday 3:00pm: Interpersonal Therapy Group

Email caps@sewanee.edu if interested . All group therapy sessions are held in the University Wellness Center Annex and facilitated by John Jackson, Ben Craft and/or Katie Van Cleave. 


  • Goat Yoga WEEK is April 15th through April 19th. All sessions will be held in Manigault Park! Weather permitting, we will have 3 opportunities to participate. 
  • Registration will open on Sunday April 14th and remain open for the week (You may sign-up for more than one session).  
  • Goat Yoga is sponsored by the UWC and the Farm at Sewanee and is a part of the Sewanee Flourish Project sponsored by a SAMHSA Garrett Lee Smith Award

SAMHSA GLS Grant: Equity in Mental Health Pilot Project

Earlier this year, the University of the South was selected as one of 16 universities across the nation to participate in the Jed Foundation & the Steve Fund pilot of the Equity in Mental Health Framework (EMHF). The purpose of this pilot project is to further explore and support the mental health and emotional well-being of young people of color on college campuses. 

Two focus groups were facilitated by Dr. Alfiee Breland-Noble, Senior Scientific Advisor, the Steve Fund (one with administration and one with students). The focus groups concentrated on current mental health challenges facing students of color and on the availability of current campus services and how to improve implementations. An initial summary report of findings can be found here. 

The University Wellness Center and the Jed Campus Team will continue to work with representatives from the Jed Foundation and Steve Fund on this initiative. 

EMHF is a part of the Sewanee Flourish Project and sponsored by a SAMHSA Garrett Lee Smith Award. 

Wellness & Outreach.

Sabeth Jackson, Wellness Coordinator.

As we work to create programs that support a healthy and happy campus community, I’m really struck by how many creative and caring people we have working on ways for our community to come together.

April is Sexual Assault awareness Month, and the Women’s Activist Coalition, Fine Arts House, and Writing House are putting together a "Me Too Sewanee Installation" (participate by filling out this questionnaire or by writing your experience at one of their writing stations at Stirling’s). There will be an exhibition later this month. The Peer Health Educators are also working on organizing an event about healthy sexual behavior (details tbd).  

Thursday, April 4th (Convocation Hall, 4:30 p.m.) we’ll have a presentation by Dylan Marron, an actor, writer, and activist. He’ll be talking about his podcast “Conversations with People Who Hate Me,” in which he contacts people who have left negative or hateful comments on his videos or social media. The goal of this podcast is to "take hateful conversations online and turn them into productive conversations offline." We’ll consider how we can engage in dialogue across difference.

Earth Day is April 22, and the Office of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability is putting together a fair called the Green Convene. The UWC will have a booth showing how to use local herbs, as well as some that are easily purchased, to help us manage and adapt to stress. Another way to enjoy our natural environment is to attend Connie Keetle’s guided forest bathing activity on April 14th from 1-3 p.m. A sign up will go out via email as the date gets closer.

Don’t forget about our regular programs, including Screen Free Lunch, UWC Yoga, and Family Dinner (Writing House, April 11, 6 p.m.).

Counseling and Psychological Services.

John Jackson, Ph.D., Director, Counseling and Psychological Services.

A warm April greeting from the staff at Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). First and foremost, remember that we are here to help you improve your well being as you enter the home stretch of the semester. I’d like to take this newsletter edition to address a serious concern. I was recently made aware of rumors regarding staff at CAPS sharing client information with outside parties at the University and beyond. My determination is that this rumor is grossly untrue. I think what’s critical here is that I directly address and explain confidentiality and its central role in our center. Most importantly, what’s said in CAPS stays in CAPS. We will not even confirm nor deny your existence as a client to outside parties, including anyone outside of our office who works for this University. When you come in as a client at CAPS, we tell you about the three exceptions to this rule. So, I will outline them here. First, if you or a staff member at CAPS becomes concerned that you are in danger of severely harming yourself or someone else AND you are unable to work with staff to develop a safety plan, we likely will need to breach confidentiality to either keep you safe or keep someone else safe. Second, if you share information about a child having been or being abused or neglected, our staff are mandated reporters to state social services agencies regarding child abuse and neglect. Third, if you are in a legal proceeding and a judge files a court order for your record here at CAPS, we must provide a summary of your record to that judge. As I mentioned before, we review these exceptions in your first session at CAPS, and we work with you as closely as possible if a need to breach confidentiality arises. Confidentiality is one of the cornerstones of excellent therapeutic work, its maintenance is our ethical and legal responsibility, and we take it very seriously. A circumstance may arise in which you want a CAPS staff member to share information with another professional.  In such a case, we will have you sign a Release of Information that outlines what information will be shared and with whom.  So, refute the rumors, and take some solace in knowing how important the confidentiality of your information is to the staff here at CAPS.

Training Opportunities

Please see the Calendar and Updates for upcoming training dates.

Bystander Intervention Training

This prevention program emphasizes a bystander intervention approach and assumes that everyone has a role to play in ending violence against women. In addition to the prevention goal, the program has a research component which seeks to measure the effective of the prevention program with different constituencies. Participation in this program and research project represents a unique opportunity to take on a leadership role in educating themselves on how to stop violence on campus. 

RESPOND Training

Respond stands for 1) Recognize signs & symptoms 2) Empathize 3) Share observations 4) Pose open questions 5) Offer hope 6) Navigate resources & policies 7) Do self-care. RESPOND is an eight-hour program designed to train higher education professionals as gatekeepers to identify symptoms of mental illness and to offer effective support to students in distress.

QPR Training

QPR stands for Question, Persuade, Refer. QPR is a two-hour evidence-based practice model for training gatekeepers and the general public on how to prevent suicide. QPR is an approach to confronting someone about their possible thoughts of suicide. It is not intended to be a form of counseling or treatment, instead a means to offer hope through positive action. 

Full Embodiment: An Empowering Dialogue (FEED)

Fully Embodied: An Empowering Dialogue (FEED) is a peer-facilitated experiential workshop designed to help participants explore their relationship to their body with the goals of understanding the effects of (1) gender socialization (2) objectification and self-objectification and (3) cultural forces rooted in patriarchy that influence how one views and experiences one’s body. By gaining knowledge of social and cultural pressures, and the mechanisms by which they retain power, participants are taught new ways of being in relationship with their bodies. Participants complete the program committed to working toward instrumentality and embodiment, experiencing a new engagement with their physical self that recognizes the power of the body to provide meaning and agency in one’s life. Practical skill development includes learning mindfulness, self-compassion, and cognitive reframing skills. 

The program was developed by Dr. Noffsinger-Frazier and is implemented annually with the assistance of two FEED co-leaders. This year's leaders are Ashlin Ondrusek and Loring McDonald.


The University Wellness Center

Offers appointments Monday-Friday, 8:00am - 12:00pm and 1:00 - 4:30pm. Walk-in crisis services are available during this time.

Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) caps@sewanee.edu or 931-598-1325
  • Assessment and evaluation
  • Short-term group therapy
  • Short-term individual therapy
  • Psychiatric services (medication management)
  • Crisis services
  • Community referral coordination
Student Accessibility Services (SAS) sas@sewaneee.edu or 931-598-1325
  • Ensure all university programs and services are accessible to students with disabilities
  • Ensure that the university is in compliance with disability law
  • Grant accommodation requests for students with documented disabilities
University Health Service (UHS) healthservice@sewanee.edu or 931-598-1270
  • Evaluation and treatment of illness and injuries
  • Health education and information
  • Physical exams
  • Sexual health services
  • Emergency contraception
  • Limited prescription medication dispensary
  • Immunizations
  • Diagnostic laboratory testing
  • Referral to specialty providers
Crisis Resources 
  • UWC, After-Hours Crisis Services 931-598-1700
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) 
  • Trevor Lifeline (support for LGBTQIAA youth) 1-866-488-7386
  • Crisis Text Line Text START to 741741