What are the two pillars of wellness at Upenn?

The University of Pennsylvania is committed to promoting the wellbeing of its students through a holistic approach focused on two key pillars: mind and body. Penn recognizes that students need support for both their mental health and physical health in order to thrive during their time at Penn and beyond.

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The first pillar that Penn focuses on is mental and emotional wellbeing. Penn provides numerous resources to support students’ psychological health including:

  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) – This counseling center provides individual and group therapy, crisis services, workshops, and referrals. CAPS helps students manage issues like anxiety, depression, stress, family concerns, grief, identity development, and more.
  • Peer counseling groups – Penn has over 15 peer counseling groups where students can talk with trained student leaders about mental health concerns.
  • Resilience initiatives – Programs like RESILIENCE born@PENN teach students skills like mindfulness, bounce back strategies, and positive psychology.
  • Inclusion and diversity training – Penn strives to create an inclusive campus and offers training on topics like microaggressions, understanding privilege, cross-cultural communication, and more.

In addition to counseling services, Penn promotes mental wellbeing by encouraging work-life balance through policies like discouraging work past midnight, weekend work policies, and encouraging students to take time off.


The second pillar Penn focuses on is physical health and wellness. Penn provides many resources to support students’ physical fitness, nutrition, sleep, and overall wellbeing including:

  • Fitness centers – Penn has 4 fitness facilities for activities like swimming, basketball, strength training, yoga, pilates, and more.
  • Intramural sports – Penn Rec offers over 25 intramural sports leagues.
  • Nutrition services – Penn Dining offers healthy meal plans, nutritional counseling, allergy support, and resources for conditions like eating disorders.
  • Sleep initiatives – Penn educates students on sleep hygiene and encourages professors not to schedule classes too early.
  • Health services – Penn’s Student Health Service provides medical care, sexual health services, physical therapy, travel medicine, flu shots, and other healthcare.

Penn also promotes an environment of physical wellness by having smoke-free campuses, offering free yoga classes, organizing fitness challenges, and more.


In summary, the two main pillars of Penn’s approach to student wellness are mind and body. Penn provides a wealth of resources to support both the mental health and physical health of students. By taking a holistic approach focused on mind and body wellbeing, Penn strives to help students thrive in all aspects of their lives during their time at Penn and beyond as alumni. The university recognizes that student success requires more than just academic support, which is why Penn is committed to providing comprehensive wellness resources focused on both the mind and the body.