Well-being resources for students affected by violence in Israel and Gaza

| October 13, 2023

As President Daniels shared with the community, we know members of our community are affected by the horrific recent violence and now war in Israel and Gaza.

While our university works to support students on an institutional scale, we hope that at a personal level, you are taking good care of yourself and making use of every resource available to you to navigate these difficult and uncertain times.

In this post we’ve assembled a list of Hopkins-sponsored resources for mental health and student services and coping strategies adapted from Psychology Tools.


Mental Well-Being

  • Calm. Free premium access to this award-winning meditation and sleep app is available to all Hopkins affiliates. Sleep is critical to mental health, especially during periods of uncertainty and trauma. Go to calm.com/jhu to register for free access; do not download directly from the App Store or Google Play.
  • Free access to Mental Telehealth, powered by TimelyMD, for degree-seeking students and trainees. Mental Telehealth offers a 24/7 phone line, as well as providers licensed in all 50 states for virtual therapy appointments. Note: telehealth therapy appointments are only available to people physically located in the United States. Your citizenship doesn’t matter, but your physical location does. Students in the U.S. and in countries that permit web access can use the 24/7 TalkNow service. If neither of these options is available to you, please contact your Hopkins mental health office (see below) for support.
  • Free access to the SilverCloud platform, for all full-time students over the age of 18. SilverCloud is a self-directed online learning program that teaches cognitive behavioral therapy skills, which can help to relieve mild-to-moderate anxiety and depression. Learning about the thought-feeling-behavior cycle and how to break it can be helpful if you’re feeling overwhelmed. The “Challenging Times” module has advice on how to create or maintain a sense of equilibrium during chaotic periods.
  • Mental Health Services at the Homewood Counseling Center (410-516-8278). Serves all in-person undergraduate and graduate students and trainees from Krieger, Whiting, and the Peabody Institute, as well as in-person students in-person students the School of Education, Carey Business School (Baltimore campus), and in-person Engineering for Professionals students.
  • Mental Health Services-East Baltimore (410-955-1892). Serves graduate, medical, and professional students and trainees in the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Public health.
  • Mental Health Services-Washington, DC (443-287-7000). Serves students in taking in-person classes in DC, including SAIS, Carey DC, AAP, and Engineering for Professionals.

Student Services


The following strategies are adapted from the “Free Guide to Living with Worry and Anxiety Amidst Global Uncertainty,” a resource created by Psychology Tools and available in 40 different languages including Arabic, Chinese (simplified and traditional), French, Hindi, Russian, and Spanish. The guides, available as PDFs, also include exercises and worksheets that may be helpful to students experiencing anxiety and worry.

  • Offer care and compassion to yourself and to those around you. It is natural to struggle when times are uncertain. Worry and anxiety are completely natural reactions to ambiguous and unpredictable situations.
  • Establish a routine that creates balance in your life. Routine gives your day structure. Have set times for waking up, getting dressed, eating, working, relaxing, and going to bed. Continue (or start) to do activities that give you feelings of pleasure, achievement, and closeness with others.
  • Stay physically active. Exercise promotes health, boosts mood, and provides a break from stress. If you’re in Baltimore, explore the options at O’Connor Rec Center (Homewood), the Cooley Center (East Baltimore), or the new fitness center at JHU Bloomberg Center at 555 Pennsylvania Avenue. Additionally, both the Calm app and the TimelyMD platform offer a wide variety of movement and exercise classes.
  • Stay mentally active. Trying something new can keep you mentally stimulated and reduce boredom, fatigue, and restlessness. Give your brain something to do besides worrying.
  • Notice and limit things that provoke worry. If the news or social media heightens your anxiety, try to limit your intake to no more than 30 minutes per day and stick to reliable news sources. This blog post about handling a stressful news cycle has strategies and tips for staying informed without becoming too stressed or traumatized. If there are other activities that make you anxious, try to limit or avoid them, too.
  • Practice postponing your worry. Worry is insistent. It can make you feel as though you have to engage with it right now. But you can experiment with postponing hypothetical worry, and many people find that this allows them to have a different relationship with their concerns. Deliberately set aside time each day to let yourself worry (e.g. 30 minutes at the end of each day). It can feel odd to do at first, but it means that for the other 23.5 hours in the day you try to let go of the worry until you get to your “worry time.” This practice can help you to focus on things you enjoy, like work and hobbies. It also promotes restful, restorative sleep.
  • Practice mindfulness. Learning and practicing mindfulness can help to let go of worries and bring ourselves back to the present moment. You can try the Calm app or one of two mindful yoga videos created by Health Promotion & Well-Being. The 15-minute session is good for beginners and a quick reset; the 40-minute vinyasa flow is more of a workout.
  • Practice gratitude. This idea can seem counterintuitive at such a tough time, but at the end of each day, make a short list of things for which you are thankful. You can write it down in a journal, or use the gratitude journal function on your Calm app Be specific, and try to find new ones each day. This practice will help you connect better with your moments of joy and pleasure, even during periods of uncertainty.


International Association for Suicide Prevention. Find crisis centers in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Oceania, and Africa.


If you are in an acute state of crisis, call 911 or 988. To speak to someone at Johns Hopkins urgently please go to this list of contacts.

If you have difficulty accessing Hopkins-sponsored resources, please email [email protected].

To explore all the mental well-being resources available to Hopkins students, visit this page of our website.