Gamecock Wellness

a student runs on a treadmill in the Rec Center

The Gamecock Wellness Initiative is a campus-wide push to provide students, faculty, and staff, the support they need to maintain great mental and physical health. The Dean of Students Office, Counseling Services, University Recreation, and the Office of Housing Operations and Residence Life are partnering to offer various special events, trips, and programming geared toward normalizing talking about mental health along with resources to help students, faculty and staff learn how to guide themselves through their mental and physical health journey.  

Trainings, Events, and Organizations:

What is Basic V-A-R? 

Basic V-A-R® is Active Minds’ everyday guide for everyday challenges. It’s about showing up for one another in our everyday struggles. 

The letters V-A-R correspond to three steps: Validate, Appreciate, Refer®. The steps are easy-to-understand, easy-to-do, and easy-to-remember. They provide a guide to listening and responding in a helpful way. 

V-A-R conversations can take many forms — phone, in-person, text message, Facetime. The medium doesn’t matter as much as the message that you care. 

Why V-A-R is important 

A conversation can be life changing. For many people, feeling supported is just what they need. 

It can be challenging, though, to know exactly what to say when someone tells you they are stressed, having a difficult day, or are in pain or have a mental health need. 

Active Minds suggests an approach that includes 3 V-A-R® Steps so you’ll know what to say and do in those moments. A conversation that includes the elements of Validate, Appreciate, Refer is one that allows you to actively listen to someone you care about and help them cope. A conversation with you could make all the difference and prevent a crisis from developing later. 

With V-A-R, Active Minds lets everyone know that someone doesn’t need to be in a crisis to seek help; you don’t have to be an expert to provide help; and help can come in many different forms. Being there for someone in a moment of need is what it’s all about. 

Crisis Text Line

The Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7 support via text message. We’re here for everything: anxiety, depression, suicide, school. Text HOME to 741741.

Escalation is a film that honestly and compellingly tells the story of an abusive relationship –– from its sweet beginnings to the tragic end. The authentic depiction of unhealthy behavior escalating into violence helps you understand and recognize the early signs of relationship abuse. The 40-minute screening is followed by a guided discussion. 


Escalation Training Dates: 

October 19, 2021
November 16, 2021 

Sign Up for Escalation Training 


Visit the Title IX website

College can be a stressful time in your life, but we want you to know that you’re not alone.  As a student, have you ever wanted to learn more about what it takes to have a happy and healthy college experience, but just aren’t sure exactly where to begin?  Join the Gamecock Wellness Initiative every other Tuesday as we address a variety of relevant topics and resources to help you live your healthiest life. 

Topic Date
Stress/time management/sleep September 21, 2021
Anxiety/Depression, Suicide Prevention/VAR October 5, 2021
Healthy Relationships/ partner violence October 19, 2021
Brew Review (Alcohol Awareness) November 2, 2021
Opioid Education November 16, 2021
Sexual Health November 30, 2021

Check the UREC website for a full listing of University Recreation classes, trainings, and trips.