Health Promotion Office
Health Promotion provides innovative, evidence-based, engaging and enriching experiences to cultivate a culture of wellness and of care for students by fostering partnerships with student organizations, departments, national organizations and the surrounding community. We seek to engage students in health and wellness topics through hands on experiences and one-on-one interactions in an inclusive environment that promotes a continuum of growth and learning.
Stop by the Health Promotion Office in Webb Center (1525 North Webb Center, Norfolk, VA 23529) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mental & Emotional Health
ODU's Peer Mental Health Ally Program
Connect in person with an ODU student who can provide you support on a multitude of mental health topics in a safe and private environment. Topics include general wellbeing, healthy relationships, academic concerns, health and wellness coaching, family concerns, and roommate conflicts.
Peer Mental Health Allies (PMHAs) are fellow ODU students who have been specifically trained to provide peer support, wellness coaching, active listening, advocacy, and referrals via group and one-on-one sessions.
Confidentiality Statement: Peer-2-Peer individual and group sessions are meant to offer a safe and private space for ODU students to receive support from their peers. You will be asked to sign a confidentiality statement before the start of the session.Sign Up For a 1 on 1 Meeting
ODU Peer Support Groups
Experience the benefits of connecting with fellow ODU students who can relate to what you're going through. Come as your are and share what you'd like.
Group Names & Descriptions
- Let's Talk About It - General support group focusing on topics that impact student mental health and wellbeing
- Let's Paint About It - General support group focusing on general mental health and wellbeing, but with a creative twist. Participants can expect to paint or create a craft each session
- Navigating Through Anxiety - This group is a safe space for students managing anxiety including but not limited to, academic anxiety, general anxiety, and social anxiety.
- Healthy Relationships - Support group that encourages students to practice and engage in healthy relationships. Students that are managing familial, platonic, romantic, roommate and professional relationships are encouraged to attend.
- Let's Write About It - General support group focusing on general mental health and wellbeing, but through reflective writing. Participants can expect to write each session
- Zoomin' In - General support group focusing on topics that impact student mental health and wellbeing, but virtually. Distance learners are highly encouraged to attend these sessions, but any student that prefers to connect virtually is welcome.
- You Belong - Support group for students that have not been able to make meaningful connections on campus or managing homesickness. This group will not only allow you to explore your feelings but help anchor you into your community.
- The Vault - This group is a safe space for students that identify as black men. The group will allow a space to express and explore feelings about sensitive topics regarding societal challenges and expectations.
- Foster Youth - The group is a safe space for students that are foster youth.
Wellness is a holistic active lifestyle that challenges the individual to function at his/her optimal potential by achieving balance in all the areas of the Wellness Wheel including: Cultural, Emotional, Environmental, Financial, Intellectual, Occupational, Physical, Spiritual, and Social health.
- Peer Mental Health Ally Program
- Peer Support Groups
- ODU Counseling Services
- Academic Student Success Resources
- Student Outreach & Support (SOS)
- Report Concern about a student to ODU Cares
- Women & Gender Equity Center
- Intercultural Relations
- Outdoor Adventure Center Did you know that the great outdoors is proven to help improve mental health? Take some time to get outside!
De-Stress encourages you to prioritize self care, which is so important for mental health, especially during finals!
Substance Abuse Prevention (Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drugs)
Drinking is not necessary to have a good time! If you choose to drink, be sure to do so safely by avoiding high risk or binge drinking. When you consume more than the recommended standard drink amounts in a two-hour time period, you are engaging in binge drinking or high-risk drinking.
What is a standard drink size?
1 standard drink is equal to 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1 ounce of 80 proof liquor. The lines on a Solo Cup are measurement marks.
How many standard drinks in a 2-hour sitting does it take before high-risk drinking occurs?
Men: 4+ in one sitting | Women: 3+ in one sitting
*Disclaimer: If you are under the age of 21, you cannot legally consume or purchase alcohol.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind if you choose to consume alcohol:
Happy Hour with a Twist
Get happy for the first Activity Hour of the semester with free food, fun, music, and games! Learn about the importance of making healthy choices and win a free shirt by completing the online assessment prior to the event.
Hypnotic Intoxication, featuring hypnotist Keith Karkut, will amaze you as he studies the powers of the subconscious mind. Simply watch or participate in Keith's performance as we learn more about the effects of alcohol in social settings.
Great American Smoke-Out
There's never been a better time to say goodbye to smoking tobacco. Sign a pledge to go COLD TURKEY and receive a free Subway turkey sandwich! The Great American Smoke-Out is an annual event created by the American Cancer Society (ACS).
OctSOBERfest is a month full of events that provide tons of fun and connection without the consumption of alcohol. Stop by the OctSOBERfest Kick Off to grab a calendar of events and receive information about maintaining healthy habits!
Monarch Safe Spring Break Week
Get ideas to have fun safely during spring break with a focus on harm reduction. Learn how to manage familial relationships during the break as well as ways to destress during your time away from campus.
No Booza Palooza
Learn about the importance of making healthy choices surrounding alcohol. Earn a free t-shirt by completing the online E-Chug assessment prior to the event!
- Academic Student Success
- FreshStart - Smoking Cessation
- ODU Counseling Services
- ODU Alcohol and Drug Policy
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
University Amnesty Policy
The University has a policy of giving amnesty from policy violations involving underage drinking or drug use at the time of help-seeking for students who actively seek medical help for themselves or others, or for students who provide help‐seeking assistance to victims. (learn more)
Want to know more about how to help yourself or a friend? Contact our ATOD Health Educator at email@example.com.
Sexual Health Support
Be proactive in protecting yourself in every sexual relationship. Remember that abstinence is the only 100% guaranteed way to protect yourself from a sexually transmitted infection or unplanned pregnancy. If you choose to be sexually active, use a condom consistently and correctly every time.
You can get screened at Student Health Services for all sexually transmitted infections. Just call (757) 683-3132 to schedule an appointment.
Health Promotion and Student Health Services provides 3 free condoms per visit to all students.
Health Promotion provides free tampons and pads to students in need.
Free STD/STI Testing
Get tested! Understand your sexual health status by getting a free STD/STI test with the VA Department of Health.
The Dating Show
This game show-style event features a dating coach who speaks about relationship red and green flags. The event concludes with a speed friending session.
It's traditional BINGO with a focus on sexual health and healthy relationships! Participate for the chance to win prizes while learning more about the highlighted topics.
- Student Health Services: Call 757-683-3132 to make an appointment or make an online appointment.
- Norfolk Department of Health: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday - Registration at 9am until full. Thursdays - 1st Session 8:30-10:30am, 2nd Session 12:15-2:30pm
- 830 Southampton Ave., Suite 200, Norfolk, VA 23510, 757-683-2800
Stress is often defined as a reaction to change. Acute stress (short term stress) can be exhilarating and exciting, while chronic stress (long term stress) can potentially damage your health. Acute stress that remains unmanaged can result in anxiety.
Adaptation to different kinds of stress is a continuous process. Some levels of stress can be healthy and can enhance our lives, while too much can affect our well-being. You may not be able to control the stressors, but you can control your reaction to them.
People who manage stress well may:
- maintain healthy habits
- recognize warning signs of physical and mental stress
- use constructive rather than destructive reactions to stress
- maintain an ongoing sense of meaning in their lives
- develop and use a strong support system
Sources of stress can include relationship problems, conflict between goals and behaviors, self-imposed thoughts like impatience and perfectionism, work overload, economic factors such as unemployment, threat of harm, increasing demands at home and at work, noise and pollution, and too many demands on your time.
- Be Positive. Use positive affirmations as a tool to quiet your mind when stressed. Positive affirmations are a way of sending your brain a message that the desired result can be achieved.
- Breathing exercises. Proper breathing is very important and can be a great form of stress reduction. When you have stressful situations, you tend to breathe faster and shallower. Take deep breaths and exhale slowly when you are feeling stressed.
- Exercise is great method of relieving and managing stress. It is important to make time each week in order to exercise your body and relieve tension. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which can help to improve your mood.
- Meditation is also tool to use to help reduce your stress. It is the practice of attempting to focus your attention on one thing at a time. You use repeated mental focus to quiet your mind, which in turn quiets your body.
- Listening to music. You can choose relaxing music you find peaceful to help manage your stress levels.
- Just say no. Say no to requests of your time if you feel as though you're overworked with your obligations.
- Avoid procrastination. Keep an organizer to help plan events and due dates. Be prepared ahead of time. Write out to-do lists.
- Take a break. Have some "me-time." Get some exercise and fresh air.
- Have a support system. Talk to people about your stress. If you need guidance or someone to talk to you can see a professional if necessary. Visit the ODU Office of Counseling Services for more information.
Free Massage Chair
Learn more about the free massage chair available to students in the Health Promotion office.
Let off some steam before final exams with a week of free activities to help you unwind!
Why is sleep important?
Sleep has many benefits: strengthens your immune system, allows you to think clearly, helps achieve better moods, and restores energy.
Sleep helps organize and store information so that it is easier to recall. This occurs during dream sleep. Those who have less dream sleep may perform worse on tests of recently learned knowledge.
Products to help you sleep
- Eye mask to block out light.
- Ear plugs to block sound.
- Warm socks to warm your feet and legs
- Lavender scents are known to help calm you and make you tired
- Milk and cookies. Milk has the hormone tryptophan which helps you sleep. The cookie will get the tryptophan to your brain quicker.
- Be consistent: wake up within an hour of the normal wake-up time every day. Also be consistent at bedtime.
- Go to bed when sleepy. You could toss and turn and may more attention to the clock if you are not tired. That makes it harder or the body to go to sleep and stay asleep.
- Complete a relaxing activity. If you cannot sleep within 15-20 minutes, do something relaxing that does not involve electronics, return to bed when tired and sleepy. Repeat if you cannot fall asleep.
- Skip naps or keep them short. Naps over an hour tend to decrease the amount of sleepiness you have during the day which could make it harder to fall asleep at night. Also nap earlier in the afternoon, not closer to bedtime.
- Eat a small snack. If you are a little hungry, try a light carbohydrate snack, such as a cookie, with milk. You do not want to eat a lot since it can cause you to wake up and go to the bathroom.
- Try reducing your exposure to bright lights. Close the blinds and turn off the lights. The light helps stop the flow of melatonin, a hormone that helps you fall and stay asleep. Without bright light, the flow of melatonin can continue.
- Limit alcohol before bedtime. Do not drink alcohol later than 2 hours before bedtime. It may feel like alcohol would relax you and fall asleep; it can lead to restless and non-restorative sleep, since you are more prone to waking up as it wears off.
- Limit caffeine. Do not consume it after 4pm, or within 6 hours prior to bedtime. It is classified as a stimulant, no matter if the person report not feeling its effects. It can interfere with your natural sleep cycle.
- Nicotine is another stimulant you need to avoid before going to bed since you are more physically stimulated.
- Bedtime ritual. Turn down the lights and make sure your bed is comfortable. Minimize the noise, you can use earplugs. Uncomfortable sleeping environments can make it harder to fall asleep. Try to establish the same routine for every night. It will prepare your body and mind for bedtime.
- Limit activities. Do not read, watch tv, talk on the phone, fight, etc. in your bed. Limit those activities to outside of your bed.
- Journal. Write out any to-do lists, or thoughts you are having before bed. These things may be the items that keep you up worrying late at night, such as final exams, fears, worries.
Slumber, No Sleep
In celebration of National Sleep Day, "Slumber, No Sleep" is an event to help you learn the benefits of a good night's sleep for both physical and mental health. Come in your favorite pajamas!
There are many ways to engage with Health Promotion at ODU.
To volunteer to help with Health Promotion programs, email the Health Promotion Office.
Co-Sponsor an Event
Do you need condoms for an upcoming educational or awareness event? Please complete the Co-Sponsorship Request form.
Monarch Wellness Ambassadors
Monarch Wellness Ambassadors (MWAs) are ODU students who help to create a culture of wellness at ODU and act as a liaison between the Health Promotion Office, as well as other major offices, and the campus community. MWAs are crucial to providing feedback, thoughts and ideas to enhance the current and future wellness programs at ODU.
Host an Event
Health Promotion provides virtual and in-person educational events for residence halls, student organizations and academic classes. Need a custom event? Let us know and we will collaborate with you to create the program that meets your needs.
Stop by the Health Promotion Office located in Webb Center for a session in our electronic massage chair! Students can use it for free! It is sanitized between each use.