My College:

Safety, Health, and Wellness

Chico State

The University Police Department (UPD)

The University Police Department (UPD) at Chico State is committed to students’ safety and success. UPD officers patrol on and off campus, and comply with the Jeanne Clery Act, a federal law requiring colleges and universities to publish crime statistics for specified offenses. To view crime statistics or for more information on UPD’s safety programs, please visit our website at

UPD’s Community Service Unit offers the following safety programs to the campus community, at no cost:

R.A.D. (Rape Aggression Defense) is a free self-defense program for women, offered each semester to students, faculty, and staff.

Campus Connection – Safety Shuttle. UPD offers a safe method of transportation from 6 p.m. until midnight every day when classes are in session. Transportation is provided to and from University buildings, parking lots, and residence halls, including the University Village Apartments on Nord Avenue. Community Service Officers follow an established route and arrive at each designated Campus Connection location approximately every 30 minutes.

Blue Light Phones. More than 40 Blue Light Phones are stationed across campus. Once the phone is activated, a two-way open line is established between the caller and a UPD Dispatcher. Blue Light Phone calls have priority over routine business calls. Blue Light Phones can be used to report a crime, emergency, or suspicious situation.

WellCat Health Center

Chico State’s WellCat Health Center is an AAAHC-accredited outpatient health center staffed by physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, registered nurses, and other licensed healthcare personnel. The scope of service includes physical examinations, reproductive health, health promotion and education, and treatment of acute injuries and illnesses. WellCat Health Center has a full-service pharmacy, an X-ray department, and a federally certified high-complexity laboratory.

The closest Kaiser facility to Chico is approximately 90 miles away; therefore, please make sure your student has the appropriate health insurance plan and coverage. Please contact your insurance company to verify that your health care coverage extends to Chico. Remind your student to always carry their health insurance card with them to avoid having to pay out-of-pocket.

Enrolled students pay a mandatory health fee that is included in the University fees. This fee provides your student with no-cost or low-cost access to healthcare.

The student health fee is not health insurance and does not meet the Affordable Care Act requirements for health insurance coverage. Instead the WellCat Health Center provides access to urgent care type healthcare during designated clinic hours:

Mon., Tue., Thur., and Fri. 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
Wednesday 9:20 a.m.–5 p.m.

To learn more about the services provided by the WellCat Health Center, including timely and seasonal local health updates, please visit or call (530) 898-5241.

WellCat Counseling Center, the Zen Den, and UMatter

Sometimes students feel overwhelmed by the demands of their academic and personal lives. The WellCat Counseling Center is committed to helping students build the resiliency they need to cope with these challenges.

The WellCat Counseling Center offers free individual, group, and crisis counseling services to all registered students. We follow a brief, solution-focused counseling model. This means we work with students to identify psychological obstacles that might be interfering with their ability to achieve their academic goals, and then identify how they might make changes that support their success. We also work closely with clinicians at the WellCat Health Center to discuss the pros and cons of including medication in the student’s treatment plan.

If a student is struggling with thoughts of suicide, has been the victim of a crime, or has suffered a recent significant loss, we offer crisis appointments from 9 a.m.–4 p.m. We also welcome calls from parents, staff, and faculty who have questions about how to help a student. Robust self-help resources are also available on the center’s website,, and may be a good starting point.

Some of the reasons students come to counseling:

  • I’m worried that I can’t do the work.
  • I’m worried about my future.
  • I’m afraid people will reject me.
  • I don’t know why I’m here (in college).
  • Nothing sounds fun anymore.
  • I feel lonely.
  • I’m using drugs and alcohol more than I’d like to cope with stress.
  • I think about hurting myself or others.

When a student comes to the counseling center, they receive:

  • An oasis of time to talk about their concerns
  • Information about what they might change to feel better
  • A counselor who will listen and provide support without judging (in individual therapy)
  • Support from peers to practice new ways of behaving (in group therapy)

Our primary goal is to help students get back on track so they can focus on school. We know that some issues may take time to process before a student can truly heal. In these cases, we may work with students to find a therapist in the community who can meet with them more frequently and/or for a longer period of time.

The Zen Den and Zen Den II provide students a quiet place to escape the busy-ness of college. Students do not need an appointment to utilize these spaces, and for many it is a place where they can practice some of the self-soothing skills they learn in therapy. The original Zen Den is adjacent to the WellCat Counseling Center in the Student Services Center, Room 430. The Zen Den II is located on the third floor of the Bell Memorial Union (BMU).

UMatter is the outreach arm and peer education component of the WellCat Counseling Center. Our peer educators come from all grade levels and various majors and are supervised by WellCat Counseling Center staff.

Through classroom presentations, larger-scale events, online resources, and smaller tabling activities, UMatter aims to:

  • Increase awareness about how mental health and mental illness impact our students
  • Decrease the stigma that prevents students from accessing help
  • Increase bystander intervention if students, staff, or faculty see a student in distress

Our internship program recruits twice a year. It is a great opportunity for students interested in pursuing a career in the mental health field or those who are just committed to teaching others about positive mental health.

For more information or to make an appointment for counseling, call (530) 898-6345 or visit

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