Support & Safety

Support and Counseling Services

Your well-being and safety are very important to me.  Once you are accepted in this course, I will ask you to complete an emotional and physical wellbeing survey. This information will help me support you initially.  Within the first three weeks of the semester, I will also meet with each student individually to get a sense of your experience with the class.

Practicing mindfulness meditation and other contemplative practices explored during this course can bring up uncomfortable feelings. You may begin to notice things for the first time that can be unsettling. If any of this leads to persistent emotional distress (such as increased agitation or anxiety, impaired sleep or appetite, poor concentration, low mood or an inability to function as usual), please seek professional support immediately.

Resources for psychological support are available to UVA students:

  • If you find yourself experiencing problems of an emotional type, we strongly encourage you to contact Student Health Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS: CAPS staff know that this course is running and that it includes a contemplative component. They are ready to serve you – they even have a staff member trained in Buddhist psychotherapy who teaches meditation! Usually you can get an appointment within a day or two; Students in crisis between 5pm and 8am can call the Student Health After Hours line (434) 972-7004.

 Statement on Student Safety

The University of Virginia is dedicated to providing a safe and equitable learning environment for all students. To that end, it is vital that you know two values that we and the University hold as critically important:

1. Power-based personal violence will not be tolerated.

2. Everyone has a responsibility to do their part to maintain a safe community on Grounds.

If you or someone you know has been affected by power-based personal violence, more information can be found on the UVA Sexual Violence website that describes reporting options and resources available –

As your professor, know that I care about you and your well-being and stand ready to provide support and resources as I can. As a faculty member, I am a responsible employee, which means that I am required by University policy and federal law to report acts of violence to the University’s Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator’s job is to ensure that the reporting student receives the resources and support that they need, while also reviewing the information presented to determine whether further action is necessary to ensure survivor safety and the safety of the University community. If you would rather keep this information confidential, there are Confidential Employees you can talk to on Grounds ( The worst possible situation would be for you or your friend to remain silent when there are so many here willing and able to help.

There are also other University of Virginia resources available. As noted above, the Student Health Center offers Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) for its students. Call 434-243-5150 (or 434-972-7004 for after hours and weekend crisis assistance) to get started and schedule an appointment. If you prefer to speak anonymously and confidentially over the phone, call Madison House’s HELP Line at any hour of any day: 434-295-8255.

If you or someone you know is struggling with gender, sexual, or domestic violence, there are many community and University of Virginia resources available. The Office of the Dean of Students, Sexual Assault Resource Agency (SARA), Shelter for Help in Emergency (SHE), and UVA Women’s Center are ready and eager to help. Contact the Director of Sexual and Domestic Violence Services at 434-982-2774.