You are here: American University Student Affairs Introducing the Center for Well-Being Programs and Psychological Services

Office of Campus Life American University

August 18, 2022

Dear AU Community,

We’re pleased to start the academic year with a new approach to student wellness at AU: the launching of the Center for Well-Being Programs and Psychological Services. The Well-Being Center, as it will be known for short, combines the functions of the Counseling Center and the Health Promotion and Advocacy Center (HPAC) into one integrated unit.

In the Well-Being Center, many facets of wellness that aid in the improvement of student well-being are now housed in one combined center. Expanded coordination of psychological services, wellness programming, drug and alcohol abuse prevention, sexual violence prevention, and advocacy improve student access to the wellness resources they need to thrive at AU.

The Well-Being Center provides the full range of psychological and well-being services. Services provided by the Well-Being Center include but are not limited to:

  • Psychological Services. Individual therapy, group therapy, and single-session appointments are among the Well-Being Center’s core services. This Fall, we will continue providing these services by telehealth, enabling students located in DC to access therapy support from their residences as well as private secure spaces within the former Counseling Center space.
  • Crisis Intervention (AU ProtoCall). The 24/7 crisis intervention service, AU ProtoCall (202-885-3500), is available regardless of location to any student experiencing a mental health crisis and any American University community member (including parents, guardians, faculty, and staff) concerned about a student’s well-being.
  • Workshops and Outreach programming. A wide range of educational workshops, presentations and programs are provided to the AU community, including QPR Training, which teaches individuals how to recognize and address the warning signs of suicide.
  • Victim/Survivor Advocacy Services. Confidential services are provided to students affected by sexual violence, interpersonal violence, and stalking, as well as sexual violence prevention programming for the whole community.
  • Peer Health Educators. A trained cohort of undergraduate students provide a variety of health education programs and workshops.
  • Empower AU. AU’s nationally recognized, peer-led sexual violence prevention program was brought about by Student Government referendum and is attended by every incoming undergraduate.
  • Wellness Platforms. The personalized wellness platform You@American and the culturally informed, solution-focused MySSP app are two technology partnerships geared specifically to the needs of AU students anywhere in the world.

The formation of the Well-Being Center also offers us the opportunity to look ahead to the future. As President Burwell has shared with the community previously, AU is investing in a student thriving hub that will involve three connected spaces: a Student Well-Being Center, renovations to the Mary Graydon Center, and the Alan and Amy Meltzer Center for Athletic Performance. This new space, and the new opportunities it will facilitate, are critical to advancing the resources for students and creative collaborations. Bringing together our mental health and wellness services into an integrated Well-Being Center is a first step in helping us move towards that vision.

Offices within the Well-Being Center continue to be housed at their current locations, with psychological services based at Mary Graydon Center Room 214 and victim/survivor advocacy services, wellness promotion, and outreach based at Hughes Hall 105.

We are excited to support the AU community through the holistic approach to wellness embodied by the Center for Well-Being Programs and Psychological Services.


Jeff Volkmann
Executive Director
Center for Well-Being Programs and Psychological Services

Jacquelin Darby
Director of Well-Being Outreach and Prevention Services
Center for Well-Being Programs and Psychological Services

Traci Callandrillo Assistant
Vice President of Student Affairs