(Photo by Chris Shinn)

Post pandemic, re-building communities across USC has been recognized as an important priority for the Keck School of Medicine, which has launched an Office of Well-being.

As part of these efforts, the Department of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine has introduced the Well-being Initiative “Collaborate, Celebrate, Regenerate,” which aims to foster collaborations, build community, strengthen belonging, celebrate successes, and enhance professional and educational fulfillment.

During regular meetings with the Well-being Director, committee delegates will identify and reduce barriers to the community’s well-being and help department members find greater shared purpose and joy in their work.

Well-being Committee

Well-being Director: Francesca Mariani, PhD

Junior faculty delegates: Giorgia Quadrato, PhD; Leonardo Morsut, PhD

Administrative staff delegate: Ricky Cortez

Administrative/technical staff delegate: Gregory Alvarado

Technical staff delegate: Megan Matsutani

Postdoc delegates: Marcella Birtele, PhD; Matthew Lowe, PhD

Student delegates: Connor Fausto; Michelle Liu

If you are interested in participating in these efforts, please reach out to Dr. Mariani at or to your delegate.

Well-being Resources


Food Insecurity

National surveys suggest that up to 37% of graduate students struggle with food insecurity? You are not alone! The cost of living in Los Angeles coupled by the other expenses you incur make this a reality for many of us, and the YMCA in Boyle Heights continues to offer meal support to students with food insecurity. They are available for on-site breakfast and lunches M–F from 10 a.m.–1 p.m. and provide food based on how many are in a family. They provide 3-day prepackaged meals per family member including veggie and fruit boxes. They recommend arriving early, as they will sometimes run out of food by 12:30 p.m. All you need to do is show up. The address is: 2900 Whitter Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90033.

Health Leave

The USC Campus Support & Intervention team provides guidance on Health Leaves of Absence for students who have a challenge related to their health status. The team has expertise in providing sound medical and mental health guidance for resources while navigating the complexities of university policies and processes for courses and the Registrar’s office. Learn more at

Mental Health and Wellness

Quick list of resources for urgent mental health help

  • 24/7 phone line for students: 213-740-9355 (WELL); calling can connect students to a counselor after hours or on weekends.
  • Text “TROJAN” to 741741 to connect to a trained volunteer in the Crisis Text Line. Services are available 24/7.
  • Call 988 to reach the national lifeline, 24/7, anywhere in the U.S.

Therapy Plus: This suite of extension services and psychology education from Counseling & Mental Health Services of USC Student Health, called “Therapy Plus,” includes helpful apps, teletherapy, progress planning for overcoming the anxiety of starting in a new environment, and much more. Connecting with your sense of self, and with others, can provide a wellspring of resilience. Starting in a new college environment can be intimidating, but the right framework and tools can be really helpful.

Know What to Do: The mascot dogs for wellness, Rumi and Friends, summarize helpful information for students in the “What Should I Do” poster; (an HSC grad student edition is also available) with contact information to campus offices. Download the guide or pick one up from Student Health.

Screening Program for New Students: The Department of Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences is continuing its mental health screening program for all new incoming students, the My Mental Health Assessment, which invites cohorts of first-year USC students to take an assessment for conditions such as depression, anxiety, substance use disorder and suicidality. This tool will help connect students who have higher acuity to clinical services that can help them. New students should look for the email invite in their USC inboxes; second-year students who have not yet completed the screening tool are invited to complete it this year.

Student Health

Student health services offers:

  • Counseling and Mental Health Services (CMH)
  • Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention (RSVP)
  • Medical Services

Confidential Advocates in RSVP are available 24/7.

Engemann is typically open until 7 p.m. (Mondays–Thursdays), until 5 p.m. (Fridays), and from 9 a.m.–1 p.m. (Saturdays) during the academic year.

Eric Cohen is typically open until 5 p.m. (Mondays–Fridays), and until 7 p.m. (Thursdays).

213-740-9355 (WELL) — Available 24/7

Students, Staff, and Faculty

Inclusion Resource Groups

The Keck School is proud to launch an Inclusion Resource Groups (IRG) Program, sponsored by
the JEDI-WeST (Justice through Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Well-being and Social
Transformation) Committee and the Center for GEMS. The mission of the IRG Program is to
foster and advocate for an inclusive campus community that celebrates our diversity and
intentionally contributes to a sense of belonging and being valued.

If interested in joining an IRG, sign up here, and read the FAQs to learn more.

Questions? Email Elizabeth O’Toole at

Mindful USC

Keck Mindfulness Drop-ins (Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 12 p.m.):
Additional Mindfulness Classes:

Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention

The RSVP team at USC Student Health is staffed 24 hours a day/7 days each week with on-call
counselors who may aid in discussing medical options, reporting options and provide crisis
support and advocacy for students who experience sexual trauma or harassment. Please call
(213) 740-9355 (WELL). This service is confidential and trauma-informed. Learn more at RSVP.

Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX

The Office for Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX (EEO-TIX) centralizes resources for civil
rights education, reporting, and resolution procedures. This office was created in August 2020 as part of the University’s enhanced efforts to timely and appropriately respond to all reports of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. Find more details at

Trojans Care 4 Trojans

USC Trojans Care for Trojans (TC4T) is an initiative within the Office of Campus Wellbeing and
Crisis Intervention that empowers USC students, faculty and staff to take action when they are
concerned about a fellow Trojan challenged with personal difficulties. This private and
anonymous request form provides an opportunity for Trojans to help a member of our Trojan
Family. Learn more at Trojans Care 4 Trojans.

Faculty and Staff

USC  Workwell Center  is an excellent resource for faculty and staff well-being, and includes programs for managing work-life balance, coaching teams, and more.

In addition, LifeWorks for USC is a digital resource and counseling platform available for no cost to benefits-eligible employees.

Through the USC PPO, USC EPO Plus, and USC Trojan Care EPO employee health insurance plans, USC employees in these plans have access to behavioral health benefits with Lyra Health. Lyra provides care for mental/emotional health at no cost to you. Whether you’re feeling stressed, anxious, or depressed, short-term support from Lyra’s top therapists and coaches can get you “unstuck” with research-backed therapeutic methods as well as a suite of online tools.

The USC Gold Folder reference sheet for faculty and staff is available for working with students who may be experiencing challenges; and the Kognito online learning module (“At-Risk Mental Health,” available through can be an invaluable resource for self-guided learning about having supportive, trauma-informed interactions with students.