Building resilience together

Lisa Merlo, Ph.D., M.P.E., shares mental health resources for college community

By Lauren Williams
Dr. Lisa Merlo Lisa Merlo, Ph.D., M.P.E.

Common stressors for faculty and staff

Mental health resources for faculty, staff, residents and fellows

  • Office of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development: This office supports College of Medicine faculty scientists, educators and clinicians to promote long-term personal and professional well-being and job satisfaction. UF and UF Health faculty and staff can dial 352-627-0032 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

  • Employee Assistance Program Services: UF Health and UF employees (including residents) are eligible for several free counseling sessions each academic year. UF employees can visit or call 1-833-306-0103. UF Health Shands employees can visit or call 352-265-5493.

  • TalkSpace Free Confidential Online Therapy and Psychiatric Management: College of Medicine and UF Health Shands employees (including residents) who have GatorCare benefits are eligible for this free, unlimited online therapy service. Register at or email

  • Outpatient Psychiatry and Psychotherapy Services through the UF Department of Psychiatry or Department of Clinical & Health Psychology practices: UF and UF Health employees and trainees with insurance can call the mental health services access line, 352-627-0032, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

  • Care for Colleagues: UF and UF Health employees who are involved in work-related events that are emotionally difficult can match with a trained peer who serves as an unbiased support system. This confidential, free-of-charge service can be requested by calling 352-494-5795.

  • Graduate Medical Education Institutional Wellness Committee: Established in 2018, this program completes a needs assessment of residents and program directors to identify areas to target for wellness improvement.

Common stressors for students

Mental health resources for students

  • Office of Student Counseling and Development: Led by Beverly Dede, Ph.D., M.A., this office provides students within the medical school with short-term, personal counseling, referrals for long-term therapy and consultation. To schedule a counseling appointment, email or dial 352-273-8383.

  • COMmunity student interest group: This confidential, student-run organization works to build a supportive student community to reduce the stigma associated with the many struggles students encounter.

  • Mind-Body Medicine Track: This two-credit elective works to introduce students to mind-body practices in three phases to enhance self-awareness and self-care.

  • UF Counseling and Wellness Center: To help students cope with the change and stress that comes along with college years, this center works to ensure that students are better equipped to thrive and learn with on-call providers and after-hour assistance. Visit or call 352-392-1575.

  • UF GatorWell Health Promotion Services: Established to help empower UF students to develop positive health behaviors, GatorWell provides services such as wellness coaching, HIV testing and workshops to prepare students for lifelong personal and professional success.

General crisis services

  • UF Health Shands Psychiatric Hospital: Located at 4101 NW 89 Blvd., Gainesville, FL 32606 or dial 352-265-5481. Emergency walk-in hours are 24/7.

  • UF Crisis and Emergency Resource Center: Located on the 4th floor of Peabody Hall, the CWC has services available for students in need of immediate emotional support, where walk-ins are welcomed and encouraged Dial 352-391-1575.

  • Dial 988: For access to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, dial 988 from any phone, call 1-800-237-TALK (1-900-273-8255) or use the online chat at

  • National Suicide Hotline: Call 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) or online chat at

  • Alachua County Crisis Center: For crisis and suicide intervention phone counseling to all residents of Alachua County, dial 352-264-6789.

  • Alachua County Sexual Assault Helpline: Call 351-264-6760 or 1-800-252-5439 (toll-free).