Campus Life

UWF combines Health, Wellness and Counseling Services

The University of West Florida recently took a big step to further enhance student life, health and well-being.

The new Health,Wellness and Counseling Services building had its grand opening on a chilly morning Dec. 9. The new building combines services that were previously housed separately. It offers a one-stop shop for students to not only get well, but also stay well.

“As the student population grows, the percentage of students who needs services grows,” said Mica Harrell, associate director of Health Promotion Services. “UWF really needed to have a facility that meets the needs of the student population.”

The health portion of the complex offers education in staying healthy, as well as immunizations and vaccines. The wellness portion offers counseling and therapy to help students address how to manage and cope with the stress associated with school and life. Finally, the counseling portion provides health promotion services in the areas of alcohol abuse and misuse prevention, sexual health promotion and sexual assault prevention.

“The new building provides an oasis for those who are not feeling physically or psychologically well,” said Rachel Haarala, a graduate student studying counseling services.

At 16,144 square feet, the new building is more spacious, with better facilities designed to help students handle mental and physical strain.

“It really shows those who are coming on campus that the facility is the outside representation of the quality of services inside,” said Harrell. “We’ve always had top-notch services, and now the structure showcases that. We prioritize health and wellness as an influence of academic success.”

“This facility meets students’ needs in a comprehensive way,” said President Judith Bense. “It is a kinder, gentler environment where caring staff welcome you. Combining all three services is smart, and it says that we put a high priority on keeping students well.”

The Health, Wellness and Counseling Services building is also a LEED Silver building, which uses environmentally-friendly construction and energy resources.

For more information visit To view pictures of the facility,