Office of Health Promotion

How can the Office of Health Promotion help? 

The University at Albany Office of Health Promotion utilizes evidence-informed, equity-minded, and multi-level approaches that center empowerment, student experiences, and campus partnerships, to promote the prioritization of well-being at all levels of the university to create communities where students can thrive. 

We help UAlbany students live healthier lives by offering a variety of programs, services and initiatives that address mental and physical health, alcohol and other drug use, sexual health, sexual violence prevention, and survivor advocacy.  

Our approach to health promotion centers student empowerment and experiences, encourages campus partnerships and prioritizes well-being at all levels of the University to help create communities where students can thrive. 

Consult with the Office of Health Promotion

We offer free consultations to campus community members and groups — including students, faculty, staff, departments, offices, organizations and teams — who are invested in supporting holistic student well-being, survivor advocacy and collegiate recovery.  

We’re available to help you: 

  • Develop a public health strategy relevant to your group’s role in supporting student well-being and flourishing

  • Assess your team’s health-related needs, capacities and assets 

  • Create a student or professional development plan tailored to your goals 

Contact us at [email protected] or 518-956-8477 to request a consultation. 

For urgent situations or emergencies, please refer to the Emergencies page for guidance and assistance.

Available Health Promotion Services

Appointments and drop-in hours are available whenever classes are in session:

  • Schedule an appointment by emailing [email protected].
  • Drop-in hours are available Wednesdays, 5-7pm in the Bean in the Campus Center.
Well-being Appointments

Students looking to engage with their well-being or students looking for help navigating this relationship can connect with an Office of Health Promotion staff member. 

During a well-being appointment, you’ll meet with one of our staff members to discuss your goals, questions and curiosities, as well as any concerns and how they’re affecting your life. Based on what you’re looking to do, we will answer questions, help you strategize or prioritize what you’re managing, gain a deeper understanding of a topic and your relationship to it, and connect you with the on- and off-campus resources that feel right for you.  

Commonly addressed topics include time management, stress and overwhelm, sleep habits, sexual health questions, conflict with friends or roommates, building healthy relationships and connections on campus, supporting survivors, and exploring alcohol and drug use. 

Schedule an appointment or attend our drop-in hours.

Survivor Support & Advocacy

The Office of Health Promotion provides direct services to students who are survivors of sexual and intimate partner violence and students who have experienced harm through violence and exploitation. 

Our non-judgmental, trauma-informed approach is guided by the individual survivor’s vision of autonomy and healing. Comprehensive survivor advocacy has four main components: 

  • Navigation: We help survivors identify their safety needs and connect them with appropriate resources, both on and off campus. 

  • Support: We offer supportive spaces to process experiences of trauma, as well as experiences with accessing various systems of support and justice. 

  • Education: We provide survivors with information about trauma responses and how they relate to survivors’ lived experiences, as well as information about systems and policies, coping strategies, and self-care. 

  • Systems Change: We hold the systems that survivors rely on for justice and support accountable. We champion intersectional, antiracist frameworks that empower survivors and support their autonomy. 

Schedule an appointment or attend our drop-in hours.

Visit the Sexual Violence Support & Advocacy webpage for a full listing of available support services and reporting options.

Support for Students in, or Curious about, Recovery

The Office of Health Promotion supports students in, or curious about, recovery by offering individuals meetings, as well as sober events and programs.  

Our office also manages the Collegiate Recovery Program, which offers weekly recovery meetings for UAlbany students. 

Recovery is a multi-dimensional process and relationship — there is no single “right” way to engage with recovery. You do not need to be abstinent, or envision abstinence as an end goal, to access any of our recovery services. 

During an individual meeting with a Health Promotion staff member, you can:  

  • Learn about your relationship with alcohol, other substances, gambling and/or other addictive behaviors

  • Explore what recovery is or could mean for you 

  • Discuss coursework, friendships, self-care, cravings and other topics 

  • Learn about harm reduction strategies and how to implement them, as needed 

  • Find additional resources on- and off-campus that can support you on your journey 

Schedule an appointment or attend our drop-in hours.

Follow us on Instagram to learn about upcoming sober events and programs. 

Wellness Coaching

The Office of Health Promotion offers wellness coaching to students seeking to activate internal strengths and connect with external resources to make sustainable and healthy lifestyle changes. 

Wellness coaching allows students to determine their own goals, engage in self-discovery and self-monitor behaviors to increase accountability and success.

Our staff offers unconditional, positive support rooted in the belief that each student is capable of change and is an expert on their own life.  

Schedule a coaching appointment using EAB Navigate or by emailing [email protected].   

Additionally, Peer Wellness Coaching is available through the Middle Earth Peer Assistance Program.

Safer Sex & Harm Reduction Supplies

Free safer sex supplies (such as lube, internal condoms, external condoms and dental dams) and harm reduction supples (such as Fentanyl testing strips and drug deactivation kits) are available. 

To request supplies, please complete the Health Promotion Supplies Request Form

Any campus community member can request supplies, as long as the supplies will reach students. Faculty and staff cannot request supplies for their own use, but they can request supplies for distribution at a student event they are hosting.

Follow us on Instagram to learn about events where we’ll be handing out supplies.

Explore additional sexual health services by visiting the Project SHAPE (Sexual Health and Peer Education) webpage.

Self-Assessments (Screenings) for Alcohol & Cannabis Use

Engaging with your well-being is deeply personal and something that requires safety and comfort to begin exploring. Self-assessments can be a great way to approach your relationship with your well-being from the comfort of a location that feels safe to you.  

These screenings — which are free, confidential and anonymous — will help you identify any health implications related to your alcohol and/or drug use. Score interpretations and relevant resources are provided at the end of each screening. 

UAlbany offers free recovery resources, including counseling and weekly meetings, through the Collegiate Recovery Program and CAPS’ STEPS Program

Assistance with or Partnership for Events, Workshops & Training Sessions

The Office of Health Promotion is available to partner with student organizations, classes, departments, units and other campus groups to host health and well-being events, workshops and training sessions.  

We’re also available to support your campus group as your plan and host your own events by helping to ensure our campus has access to high quality, accurate and reliable information. 

Visit the Health & Well-being homepage for in-person and virtual events, workshops and programs for students and other campus community members, as well as opportunities for campus groups to partner with us on programming.

Campus Health Survey

The Office of Health Promotion develops, implements and analyzes the Spring Health Survey each year. 

The survey asks questions about UAlbany’s health-related resources and students’ health-related behaviors.  

The annual results help us understand students’ health-related concerns, design programs and services to address those needs, and measure the effectiveness of our efforts overtime. 

The Spring 2023 Health Survey Report will be posted here when it becomes available. 

Campus community members will have additional opportunities to support our ongoing data collection and participate in focus groups during Fall 2023 and Winter 2023-2024. 

Health & Well-being Resources 

These common topics may be helpful to consider in the comfort of your own space:


Suicide Prevention 

If you have a life-threatening emergency, please immediately call the University Police Department by dialing 911 on a campus phone or 518-442-3131 on a cell phone. For guidance on how to respond to urgent mental health situations, visit our Emergencies page.

Ask a question. Make a connection. Save a life. 

People are most likely to open up about suicidal thoughts and feelings with someone they trust — and talking or asking about suicide won’t increase the risk. 

Signs of Student Distress & What to Do

These risk factors are often the first signs of stress and may be warning signs for suicide. If you or someone you know is experiencing one or more of these symptoms, you might benefit from talking with a mental health professional.  

  • Problems with academic performance and/or work 

  • Change in typical habits or behavior 

  • Inability to care for themselves 

  • Feelings of failure 

  • Persistent difficulties falling or staying asleep 

  • Intolerable anxiety, inability to stop thinking or severe agitation 

  • Repeated panic attacks 

  • Persistent sadness, irritability or emptiness 

  • Thinking, talking or writing about self-harm, suicide, death and/or dying 

  • Using alcohol and/or drugs to cope or feel better 

  • A recent crisis in or loss of a close personal relationship 

  • Feelings of being trapped, helpless or desperate 

  • Inability to look toward the future with some hope and optimism 

Suicidal crises can occur after a loss, such as the loss of a relationship or interest in important activities or goals. 

Students who are already struggling with depression or anxiety, alcohol and/or drug use, or issues with anger may be more likely to experience suicidal thoughts or feelings. 

If you’re concerned about a student, talk to them. Express concern for their well-being and be specific regarding the behavior that concerns you.  

Accept their feelings, don’t judge, and encourage them to get help. You may not understand what they are going through, but you can help them get through it. 

Ask if they would consider a visit or consultation with Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS). If they say yes, offer to call CAPS on their behalf (518-442-5800). (While some students prefer to make the call themselves, a distressed student may appreciate your assistance.) 

Students, parents, families, faculty, staff and other campus community members can also request a consultation with CAPS to discuss concerns about a student. 

When to Seek Immediate Assistance  

Safety is always the priority. Call 911 if any of the following situations: 

  • You or someone you know has caused serious self-harm, regardless of the stated intent (such as pill overdose, alcohol poisoning or serious cutting). 

  • You or someone you know has threatened suicide, either verbally or in writing, or has somehow made it known that they want or intend to harm themselves (such as via email away messages or by giving away prized belongings). 

  • You or someone you know is making plans or seeking the means for suicide (such as obtaining ropes, weapons or pills). 

You can also contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by calling or texting 988. 

Alcohol & Drugs 

Frequent alcohol and/or drug use can impact your physical health, mental well-being and academic success, so it’s important to know where your alcohol and/or cannabis use stands.   

UAlbany offers free recovery resources, including counseling and weekly meetings, through the Collegiate Recovery Program and CAPS’ STEPS Program

Safety Tips for Drinking Alcohol

Choosing even just a few ways to be safer when drinking alcohol can prevent negative consequences.

People are less likely to have negative experiences when they choose not to binge drink (defined as four or more drinks for individuals assigned female at birth, or five or more drinks for individuals assigned male at birth).

  • Use a ride share or designate a driver who will not consume any alcohol or other drugs

  • Stick with your friends 

  • Decline drinks from strangers and any drinks you didn’t see get made 

  • Never leave your drink unattended

  • Don't mix alcohol and other drugs, especially by avoiding punch

  • Skip shots and chugging

  • Pace to one drink per hour 

  • Alternate alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks 

  • Stay out of drinking games or play with a non-alcoholic drink

  • Determine a safe number of drinks, track your drinking and stick to your plan

Know Your Serving Sizes

Knowing what a serving size looks like for your drink of choice helps you accurately count your drinks. These are the standard serving sizes of common drinks:

  • 12 fluid ounces for a regular beer and spiked seltzer (5% alcohol by volume, or ABV)

  • 8 to 9 fluid ounces for high alcohol content beer and malt beverages (7% ABV)

  • 1.5 fluid ounces of liquor

When to Get Help

When someone consumes alcohol, their blood alcohol content (BAC) will rise. The faster and more someone drinks, the higher their BAC. High BAC increases the risk for alcohol poisoning.

These are signs that someone is dangerously impaired: 

  • Damp or clammy skin 

  • Severe confusion 

  • Trouble staying awake 

  • Throwing up 

  • Seizures 

  • Slow breathing (fewer than 8 breaths a minute) 

  • Long pauses between breaths (10 seconds or more) 

  • Very slow heartbeat 

  • Low body temperature 

  • Blueish, grayish or pale skin 

  • Slow responses 

If you see these signs, do something. Stay with the person and call for help. Call the University Police Department by dialing 911 on a campus phone or 518-442-3131 on a cell phone.

Harm Reduction Strategies for Drug Use

Harm reduction is a set of practical strategies for reducing the negative consequences associated with drug use. It’s also a social justice movement built on the belief in and respect for the rights of people who use drugs and alcohol. 

Harm reduction strategies for safer use and managed use meet people where they are currently — meaning each implementation is highly personalized to reflect specific individual and community needs. 

Here are some quick tips for reducing harm: 

  • Never use drugs alone. This can save your life in the event of an unintentional overdose. Use with others or visit to always have someone with you.

  • Always test your supply for the presence of fentanyl. Fentanyl is a lethal substance and can be tested for with fentanyl testing strips. 

  • Have naloxone available. Naloxone is a lifesaving overdose reversal medication. Complete an overdose prevention training and receive a free naloxone kit.  

  • Buy less so you use less. Buying large amounts of a drug may be cheaper, but you could end up using more than you want to simply because it’s there. 

  • Set a time limit before you start. If you choose to stop drinking at 10 p.m., watch the time, remind yourself of your time plan and stick to it. Have a nonalcoholic drink ready. 

  • Eat a meal before you start, and avoid snacking on salty foods, especially if you’re drinking. You may drink more out of thirst. 

  • Lower your dosage and frequency. In other words, drink, smoke or inject in smaller amounts — and less often — than you do now. When it comes to alcohol, this could mean choosing light beer or other low-alcohol drinks, or alternating alcoholic drinks with water, juice or soda. 

  • Choose the least harmful method of use. Injecting a drug carries more risk than smoking, snorting or swallowing it. (If you do inject drugs, avoid the neck area.) When it comes to cannabis, using a vaporizer or smoking a joint (with a rolled-up cardboard filter) is safer than using a bong and some pipes.

  • Plan out some drug-free days. The fewer days in a row you use a drug, the better. If you use the drug every day, try cutting back your use to every other day, and try not using it at all for two to three days. (Make sure you have in mind other ways to spend your time and energy, so you don’t end up sitting around and thinking about how you miss getting high.) 

  • Use at your own speed and don’t feel pressured by others to pick up the pace. 

  • Find someone caring and understanding to talk to when you’re struggling to stick to your reduced use plan. Consider reaching out the UAlbany's Collegiate Recovery Program.

  • Read self-help books that feature stories about people who have successfully cut down on or quit using a drug. 

  • Put condoms in your pocket before you start using a drug, even if you’re not planning to have sex. You might change your mind. 

Substance Misuse Warning Signs & Ways to Help

The following are warning signs of substance misuse: 

  • Regularly drinking or using other drugs more than intended 

  • Developing tolerance and needing larger amounts of alcohol or another drug to produce the desired results

  • Doing dangerous things while under the influence 

  • Becoming sick after drinking or using

  • Using substances as a form of coping with unpleasant feelings 

  • Legal, academic, professional and/or financial problems related to substance use 

  • Putting aside other priorities to instead drink or use drugs 

  • Concern from family or friends 

  • Isolating from friends and activities 

  • Drastic changes in weight 

  • Violent outbursts 

  • Excessive sleepiness 

Learn more about drugs, drug checking and additional harm reduction strategies.

Talk to a friend about their substance use.

Find a treatment facility.

Learn about recovery and recovery support.

Managing Stress & Overwhelm 

College can be a stressful time for students, as they adjust to a new lifestyle, juggle various responsibilities and prepare for their future. Feeling overwhelmed is normal, but it shouldn't be the norm. Use these tips to de-stress. 

Take a mental health screening.

Tips for Better Sleep
General Tips  
  • Wake up at the same time every morning. This helps your body get into a rhythm. 

  • If it’s evening, go to bed when you are sleepy, rather than trying to go to bed earlier or stay up later. 

  • Do something relaxing for about an hour before you intend to fall asleep. 

  • Avoid alcohol and other substances as a sleep aid. 

  • Treat any medical or psychological concerns that might be interfering with sleep, like sleep apnea, anxiety and depression. 

  • To keep your sleep consistent, limit naps to 20 minutes and nap earlier in the day. 

  • Stop using electronic devices 30 minutes before sleep.

Can’t Fall Asleep?   
  • Make sure your sleep environment is cool, dark, quiet and comfortable. 

  • Slow your breathing. Starting with 100, count down every time you exhale. 

  • Each time you exhale, think about how your body is sinking into the bed. This helps you relax your muscles and feel more peaceful.  

  • Go to bed when you’re sleepy. If you are not sleepy, get up and do something relaxing until you are sleepy. 

Can’t Stay Asleep?  
  • If you're waking up hungry, eat a light healthy snack before bed. 

  • If you’re waking up to use the bathroom, limit liquids before bed. 

50 Ways Great Danes De-stress

A big part of effective stress management is knowing what works for you when you are feeling stress.  Here are some suggestions for you to explore to both manage and prevent stress. 

  1. Go for a jog around campus or your neighborhood. 

  2. Take a group exercise class

  3. Sing in the shower. 

  4. Play an instrument.  

  5. Explore the UAlbany Art Museum

  6. Play a video game or board game with your friends or family. 

  7. Reorganize your room. 

  8. Take a virtual cooking class. 

  9. Cheer on the Great Danes at a home game

  10. Enjoy a hot cup of herbal tea. 

  11. Clean out your desk or backpack.  

  12. Call or text a friend to let them know you’re thinking of them. 

  13. Go for a bike ride around campus or your neighborhood. 

  14. Take a nap. 

  15. Eat a balanced meal or healthy snack. 

  16. If you feel like crying, let it out. 

  17. Explore student organizations

  18. Color with crayons. 

  19. Pray or engage in spiritual practice. 

  20. Put on your favorite music and dance to the beat. 

  21. Make a to-do list for the week. 

  22. Find a quiet study spot. 

  23. Take an online drawing class. 

  24. Volunteer.

  25. Watch a new movie. 

  26. Find a peaceful spot to read outside. 

  27. Put a puzzle together. 

  28. Meditate. 

  29. Attend a show at the Performing Arts Center

  30. Look through old photos or old texts from friends. 

  31. Watch your favorite cartoon or sitcom from your childhood. 

  32. Make a late-night snack. 

  33. Take five deep, slow breaths. 

  34. Stretch for 10 minutes. 

  35. Read a good book. 

  36. Go for a hike. 

  37. Go to the fitness center

  38. Plan a study break with a friend. 

  39. Delete the apps you don’t use off your phone. 

  40. Sit outside for a few minutes. 

  41. Take a hot shower or bubble bath. 

  42. Do a random act of kindness. 

  43. Find an event on UAlbany GO.  

  44. Watch a movie or TV show with friends. 

  45. Give or get a hug. 

  46. Unplug and take a break from your phone and the internet. 

  47. Check out San Diego Zoo's live camera feeds.  

  48. Take a walk around the Pond, your yard or your neighborhood. 

  49. Listen to your favorite audiobook or podcast. 

  50. Reach out for help: Make a CAPS appointment or call the Middle Earth Peer Assistance Hotline.

10 Things You Can Do for Your Mental Health
  1. Value yourself. Treat yourself with kindness and respect and avoid self-criticism. Make time for your hobbies and favorite projects. Or broaden your horizons with something new. You deserve to take care of yourself. 

  2. Take care of your body. Taking care of yourself physically can enhance mental health, reduce stress, and improve your mood. Eat nutritious meals, stay hydrated, exercise and get enough sleep. 

  3. Surround yourself with good people. Make plans with supportive family members and friends. Or seek out activities where you can meet new people, such as student organizations, campus events and support groups

  4. Give back. Volunteer your time and energy to help someone in need. (It’s also a great way to meet new people!) 

  5. Learn how to deal with stress. Like it or not, stress is part of life. Learn and practice healthy coping skills, such as exercising, taking a nature walk, listening to music, taking a break and journaling

  6. Quiet your mind. Try meditating, mindful activities or reaching out spiritually through prayer. These activities can improve your state of mind and outlook on life. In fact, research shows that meditation may help you feel calm and enhance the effects of therapy. 

  7. Set realistic goals. Decide what you want to achieve academically, professionally and personally, then write down the steps you need to take to realize your goals. Aim high but be realistic and don’t over schedule yourself. You’ll enjoy a tremendous sense of accomplishment and self-worth as you progress toward your goals. 

  8. Break up the monotony. Although our routines make us more efficient and enhance our feelings of security and safety, a little change of pace can perk up a tedious schedule. Alter your jogging route, plan a road trip, walk a new path, hang some new pictures or try a new restaurant. 

  9. Be intentional with your use of alcohol and other drugs. Keep alcohol use to a minimum and avoid other drugs. Sometimes people use alcohol and other drugs to “self-medicate” but alcohol and other drugs can actually prolong and/or aggravate problems. Campus recovery resources are available. 

  10. Get help when you need it. Connect with resources that feel right for you. Seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Effective treatment exists in therapeutic settings, and there are many activities that can feel helpful and supportive. For example, you can: 

    1. Make an appointment with Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS).

    2. Connect with a faith-based leader.

    3. Talk with a professor or mentor you trust.

    4. Engage with the Collegiate Recovery Program.

    5. Make a well-being appointment with the Office of Health Promotion.

Smoking, Vaping & Tobacco 

Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable disease, disability and death in the United States.

UAlbany’s Tobacco- & Smoke-free Campus policy protects the health of all campus community members, promotes respect for our environment and aligns with the University’s commitment to accessibility.  

If you’re interested in more support around managing your relationship with smoking, vaping and tobacco, on-campus services are available: 

Benefits of a Tobacco- & Smoke-free Campus
  • Supports the majority of campus community members’ preference to live, learn and work in a tobacco- and smoke-free environment 

  • Helps tobacco users who want to quit do so successfully, eliminates triggers for those who have quit, and encourages others not to start using tobacco 

  • Prepares students for tobacco- and smoke-free workplaces 

  • Reduces exposure to secondhand smoke — which is associated with cancer, respiratory infections and other illnesses – and considers the needs of people with medical conditions triggered by secondhand smoke 

  • Eliminates littering of cigarette butt, which reduces the risk of on-campus fires and makes for a cleaner, more eco-friendly environment 

  • Helps us all breathe easier 

Quitting Resources

The Butt Stops Here: Sign up for free online sessions. This quitting program is run by St. Peter’s Health Partners. 

New York State Smokers’ Quitline: Speak to specialized quit coaches via phone call, text or chat. Access free gum, lozenges or patches. Find support tools. Access text messaging programs tailored to your needs. Build your quit plan. Learn about quitting apps and nicotine replacement therapy. Get live, online assistance from National Cancer Institute staff, including smoking cessation counselors and cancer information specialists. 

CDC: Smoking & Tobacco Use: Learn about smoking risks and complications. 

Nicotine Anonymous: Join a 12-step, in-person or virtual program for quitting nicotine. 

American Cancer Society: Understand why people start smoking and how to stop. 

American Lung Association: Access smoking and vaping facts, as well as quitting resources. 

Contact the Office of Health Promotion
Seneca Hall Basement, Indigenous Quad

1400 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12222
United States

Office Hours

Our office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Meet our staff.

Follow us on Instagram.