Self Help Guides

Alcohol and Other Drug Related Topics

How do you know if you drink too much? Answer the following questions:

  • Do you drink alone when you feel angry or sad?
  • Does drinking make you late to work or school?
  • Does your drinking worry your friends or family?
  • Do you ever forget what you did when drinking?
  • Do you get headaches or hangovers after drinking?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may need to cut back on your drinking or stop drinking altogether. You may be heading towards developing a serious illness: Alcoholism. Please call Student Health and Counseling services at 715-394-8236 .

These steps can be helpful in decreasing your alcohol consumption:

  • Write down your reasons for cutting back on drinking. Reasons may include improving your health, improving sleep or getting along better with family or friends.
  • Choose a limit for how much you will drink.
  • Keep a diary of your drinking for three to four weeks. You may be surprised at how much you are drinking.
  • Drink slowly when you drink. Drink soda or water after a beverage containing alcohol.
  • Learn how to say no. You don't have to drink when other people are drinking.
  • Watch out for temptation. Avoid bars and people who drink heavily.
  • You can find support for your behavior change from the SHCS, your family or friends and 12 Step programs such as A.A.

For UW-Superior Standards of Conduct and University Sanctions Concerning Illicit use of Drugs and Alcohol 

For Conduct on University Lands (UW System Chapter 18)

Mental Health Awareness

Here are 10 ways to improve your mental health:


Build Connections

  • Join a group of people that are involved in something you are interested in, such as a sport club.
  • Take a class in an area that interests you.
  • Make special time with your family or friends each week.

Stay Positive

  • Don't assume the worst in a situation.
  • Jot down anything good in your life. Keep a journal.
  • Remember your gifts and achievements.
  • Write down the highlights of the day.

Get Plenty of Rest and Sleep

  • Don't drink any caffeinated beverages five to six hours before bed.
  • To alleviate the next day's stress, prepare in advance sometime before bed.
  • Sleep when you feel tired.

Be Physically Active

  • Stick to a schedule of exercise.
  • Work out with a friend.
  • Step up the pace when running your errands.

Eat a Healthy Diet

  • Don't skip meals.
  • Chose healthy snacks instead of junk food.
  • Pack your own health snacks, so you won't be tempted by the vending machine.
  • Watch your portions and top eating when you are full.

Help Other People

  • Give a compliment to a person you admire.
  • Volunteer your time with an organization.
  • Do good things and you will feel good about yourself.

Feed Your Soul

  • Surround yourself with the things that give you joy, be it nature, art, music etc.
  • Read inspiring material for insights that can enrich your life.
  • Connect with others who share similar interests or beliefs.

Dealing with Difficult Times

  • Make a list of solutions to the problem instead of worrying about it.
  • Pick one solution and break it down into manageable bits.
  • Seek support from others who have done through a similar situation.
  • Write about your experience, it can help organize your thoughts and help file it way.

Get Professional Help if You Need It

If situations in your life are stopping you from enjoying life or from functioning on a daily basis, professional help can make a difference. Please call Student Health and Counseling Services at 715-394-8236

Sexual Health

If you suspect you have a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI):

  • Contact the Health Care Clinic, located on the 1st floor in Hawkes Hall.
  • To make an appointment, call 715-394-4117 .

If you suspect you are pregnant:

  • Contact the Health Care Clinic, located on the 1st floor in Hawkes Hall.
  • To make an appointment, call 715-394-4117 .

Before having sex with someone, ask yourself the following questions to be sure you're making the right choices for you:

  • Am I following my personal beliefs and values?
  • Do we both want the same thing - casual sex, relationship, etc.?
  • How will I feel about this tomorrow?
  • Am I letting alcohol, drug use, self-esteem or peer pressure affect my decision?
  • Have my partner and I talked about possible consequences, such as STIs and pregnancy?
  • Do I know how to use condoms or other STI protection?
  • Is this consensual sex?

Sexual Assault

If you have been sexually assaulted and choose to report the assault to the police, call 911. The following are options you can consider:

  • Female survivors may request a women police officer.
  • You have the right to stop the legal process at any time. Campus Safety is available at 715-394-8114 .
  • Do not shower, douche or change clothes.
  • Have a medical examination at a hospital emergency room.
  • Bring a change of clothes along. Police may want the original clothing as evidence.
  • Write down all the details about the attack that you can recall as soon as possible.
  • Inform the officer of all the details of the attack however intimate and of anything unusual my may have noticed about the attacker.
  • An advocate from a local sexual assault program, CASDA, can be called  at 715-392-3136 for support and assistance.

If you choose not to report to the police, there are a few things you should do to insure good physical and mental health:

  • Get a thorough medical exam. There is a need to check for lacerations, the possibility of pregnancy and the possibility of sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Get a check-up at least six weeks after the assault to check for pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Get personal support from friends, on campus resources, counseling services or a community rape crisis center.

Coping With Stress

Stress is a normal part of life. It can be both helpful and harmful. Stress is what you feel when you encounter a new challenge or an unpleasant situation.

Simple Stress Relief Tips:

  • Try relaxation techniques like deep breathing, yoga or meditation.
  • Focus on the good in a situation instead of the bad.
  • Prioritize your time by doing the important tasks first. Making a list will help.
  • Get enough sleep, exercise regularly and eat healthy.
  • Each day set aside some time just for yourself. Do something you enjoy.
  • Communicate with a good friend.
  • Take regular breaks during the day.
  • Ask for help if you feel overwhelmed.
  • Laughing and smiling can help ease tension and help brighten your mood.


 Here are some steps you can take towards achieving a more rest-filled night:

  • Develop a regular sleeping schedule. Go to sleep and get up at the same time each day and avoid daytime naps.  
  • Refrain from stimulating activities and drugs, such as caffeine or nicotine, just before bedtime. 
  • Exercise at regular times each day, avoiding the very late evening. Moderate physical activity two to four hours before bedtime may improve your sleep. 
  • Refrain from drinking alcohol close to bedtime.
  • Only go to bed when you are actually tired.
  • Do something pleasurable before bedtime to help you unwind.
  • Minimize light and noise when trying to sleep and avoid heavy meals before bedtime.

Time Management Skills

You can better your time management skills by using the following advice.

Plan your study blocks each day:

  • Study blocks of time are usually 60 minutes.
  • Keep a study calendar to help you schedule your time.
  • Take occasional breaks to relax, stretch or re-energize yourself.
  • Find blocks of time when you are most productive.

Find a quiet study spot:

  • Find a space where you can concentrate. A place free from distractions both visually and verbally.
  • Don't text message or use your cell phone. 
  • Find a back-up space you can go to, such as the library.

Review and update weekly:                     

  • Pick a day on a weekend to review your class assignments, notes and your calendar.
  • As exams and deadlines approach, your study block times may need to change.

Prioritize class assignments:

  • When studying, start with the most difficult subject or assignment. You'll start out fresh and have more energy to tackle the hardest first.
  • For your more challenging courses, allow yourself extra time if you get stuck or need extra help before the assignment is due.

Getting started:

  • Details of projects are not always evident until you start the assignment.
  • Don't let this prevent you from starting.
  • Roughly draft your idea and then get started. You can develop and edit later on.

Postpone other activities until your work is finished:

  • This can be the most challenging part of time management.
  • Distracting activities will be more appealing later without the pressure of the assignment looming over your head.
  • Instead of saying "no" to the distraction learn to say "later" instead.
  • Think of how good you will feel after accomplishing your tasks.

Find resources to help you:

  • Find tutors on campus.
  • Perhaps a friend is an expert in your area of study.
  • A Library Specialist can point you to the right resources. 
  • Try searching on the internet to get detail explanations.
  • Use organizations and professionals in your community.

Use your free time wisely:

  • Use the time when driving, walking or riding the bus, to mentally review your notes or memorize data.

 Review lecture notes just after class:

  • The first 24 hours are critical. Forgetting is greatest within 24 hours without review!


If you suspect symptoms of anxiety are interfering with your schoolwork or your personal life, please call Student Health and Counseling Services at 715-394-8236.

Emotional Symptoms:

  • Trouble concentrating
  • Feeling jumpy or tense
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Feelings of dread
  • Anticipating the worst

Physical Symptoms:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Feeling tired
  • Pounding heart
  • Upset stomach
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Headaches
  • Tense Muscles

Here is additional, helpful information on identifying and coping with anxiety.

Symptoms of Depression

We strongly encourage you to take action if you or someone you know has thought of suicide.

Suicide Prevention: What if I feel Suicidal?

  • Call 911
  • Call Campus Safety, 715-394-8114
  • Call Student Health and Counseling Services, 715-394-8236

Remember: Suicidal thoughts are temporary. Suicide is permanent.  Don't give in to suicidal thoughts, you can overcome them. Remind yourself that suicidal thoughts are not reality: 

  • Exercise - it will shift your mood and break the cycle of suicidal thought. 
  • Tell your therapist about your ERA (Early Retirement Plan). Do you have weapons or pills stashed somewhere?
  • Call your supports - friends, family, your resident assistant or director.
  • If no one is around, try an AA/NA meeting.  

Remember your life three years ago. At that time, did you think you would be where you are right now?  Isn't it just as likely you will feel differently three years from now? You can't see it, but the future will be different than the present. Things will change. This is the only guarantee in life.

If you suspect these symptoms are interfering with your school work or your personal life, please call Student Health and Counseling Services at 715-394-8236 :

  • Sad or irritable mood
  • Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
  • Large changes in appetite or weight
  • Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
  • Loss of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Frequent thoughts of death or suicide
  • Violent behavior

Depression isn't just a bad case of the blues. It is an illness that affects the brain and the whole body. Depression is treatable. Here is more information for self-help guides on depression.

Tips to help you get through the week:  

  • Sleep - this will increase your energy and help you feel better.  
  • Exercise - exercise has been shown to lift the mood.  
  • Be social - make the effort to hang out with friends and family. 
  • Keep a journal - sometimes writing down your thoughts and feelings can be a huge relief.  
  • Write assignments down - be sure to check your to-do list or calendar everyday.  
  • Be patient with yourself - you did not become depressed overnight. It will take some time to feel better.  
  • Follow through - be sure to follow the recommendations of your therapist and your physicians. 

Body Image

You can help improve your body image by following these simple do's and don'ts. 



  • Do exercise and stay active.
  • Do nice things for your body and pamper your self.
  • Do wear comfortable clothing that fits your body now.
  • Do make a list of positive qualities, both physical and non-physical.
  • Do break the habit of comparing yourself to others.
  • Do pay attention to the way media influences your self-image.
  • Do stay away from media that causes you to feel bad about your body.
  • Do compliment others for things besides their physical appearance.


  • Don't buy clothes in the size you want to be in the future.
  • Don't be a slave to your scale. Peoples' weight fluctuate daily.
  • Don't criticize other peoples' weight or appearance.
  • Don't generalize dislike of one or two body parts to your whole body.
  • Don't compare yourself to others. We are all unique and have different genes.
  • Don't set unrealistic goals. No one is perfect.
  • Don't constantly look in the mirror.

Student Health and Counseling Services is available to assist students struggling with eating disorder symptoms and body image issues. We offer counseling and referrals.

Self Esteem

Self Esteem: How we think about ourselves and the value that we place on ourselves as a person.

Low Self Esteem: Having a negative overall opinion of oneself.

Simple ways to raise your self esteem:

  • Pay attention to your won needs and wants. Listen to what your mind, body and heart are telling you.
  • Take good care of yourself. Eat healthy, exercise and pursue your interests.
  • Get something done that you've been putting off.
  • Do things that make use of your own special talents and abilities.
  • Give yourself rewards.
  • Spend time with people who make you feel good about yourself.
  • Avoid people who treat you badly.
  • Make your living space a place that honors the person you are.
  • Take advantage of opportunities to learn something new or improve your skills.
  • Do something nice for another person.

Eating Disorders


According to the DSM-IV-TR, a person with anorexia refuses to maintain a normal body weight, is intensely afraid of gaining weight and exhibits a significant disturbance in the perception of the shape or weight of his or her body.

Behaviors associated with anorexia:

  • Excessive dieting, fasting or exercise
  • Purging through self-induced vomiting
  • Misuse of laxatives, diuretics or enemas
  • Obsessive-compulsive thoughts about food
  • Concerns about eating in public
  • Abuse alcohol or drugs
  • Extreme worry about body shape and size
  • Social withdrawal
  • Reduced energy

 Dangers and complications:

  • Dehydration and malnutrition
  • Hypokalemia - too much water in the body
  • Electrolyte imbalances
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Constipation
  • Heart damage
  • Kidney problems
  • Vitamin, mineral deficiencies
  • Menstrual disturbances
  • Skin conditions
  • Tooth enamel erosion
  • Osteoporosis

If you or a friend are engaging in any of the behaviors associated with anorexia, seek help immediately. These are life threatening conditions.


Please contact:


According to the DSM-IV-TR, a person with bulimia is excessively influenced by body shape and weight. Individuals often engage in binge eating and most commonly use inappropriate purging methods to prevent weight gain. 

Behaviors associated with bulimia:

  • Binge eating - excessive over eating
  • Purging through self-induced vomiting
  • Misuse of laxatives
  • Excessive exercise, dieting or fasting
  • Extreme worry about body shape and size
  • Abuse of alcohol or stimulants
  • Reduced energy
  • Low self-esteem
  • Feeling out of control

 Dangers and complications:

  • Dehydration and malnutrition
  • Inflammation of stomach lining
  • Ulcers, blood in stools
  • Heart and kidney damage
  • Skin conditions
  • Tooth enamel erosion
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Tears and bleeding of the esophagus
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Scars or calluses on the hand
  • Cardiac problems
  • Menstrual irregularity
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Laxative dependencies
  • Electrolyte abnormalities

If you or a friend are engaging in any of the behaviors associated with Bulimia, seek help immediately. These are life threatening conditions.


Please contact: