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The UCLA Health People-Animal Connection (PAC) program is UCLA’s animal-assisted therapy program. Volunteer teams, comprising a dog and its human handler, offer companionship and warmth to critically ill children and adults. PAC teams enhance physical and emotional healing by providing a positive bonding opportunity between canines and patients of all ages, cultures, and socioeconomic levels. PAC teams meet UCLA’s strict eligibility criteria and successfully complete a nationally standardized behavioral exam, along with extensive training before engaging in bedside visits. Since its inception in 1994, PAC teams have recorded more than 250,000 inpatient visits, as well as hundreds of thousands of unrecorded visits to families and guests at UCLA medical centers and community events.
The mission of the Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC) is to foster mindful awareness across the lifespan through education and research to promote well-being and a more compassionate society. Mindful awareness (mindfulness) can be defined as paying attention to present-moment experiences with openness, curiosity, and a willingness to be with what is. Mindfulness can be trained systematically, and it can be implemented more fully in daily life by people of any age, profession, or background. MARC offers classes, programs, trainings, and events to UCLA, the Los Angeles community, and to a wider global community through virtual and in-person learning, web resources, and our free app with guided meditations, "UCLA Mindful".
The UCLA Family STAR (Stress, Trauma And Resilience) Clinic provides evaluation, consultation, prevention, and treatment services for children and family members affected by trauma and other challenging events, including medical illness, traumatic loss, community violence, disasters, and combat deployment stress. Comprised of a team of psychiatrists and psychologists specializing in children and adolescents, the clinic provides expertise in child and family traumatic stress care for children of all ages and their family members, as well as educational resources and training for UCLA Child Psychiatry Fellows and Psychology Interns.
The RISE (Resilience In Your Student Experience) Center is an affiliate program and physical extension of UCLA’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). The RISE Center is a holistic wellness hub that provides an array of programs, classes, trainings, and self-directed resources to foster and support resilience, connection, and well-being for our UCLA community. Services are free of cost to students and are led by a team of healing practitioners, mental health experts, prevention educators, wellness advisors, and student ambassadors. We champion best practices around equipping students with social-emotional skills, embracing difference and diversity, and elevating the concept of "mental health" as an every-day habit so that students can meet their full capacity for personal success.
UCLA Health offers yoga therapy classes free of charge to the community. Yoga therapy is the practice and implementation of the teachings and philosophy of Yoga, which empowers the participant to return to an inherent state of balance and well-being. The practice takes a whole-person breath-centered approach, comprised of gentle postures, breathing techniques, positive imagery, and meditation.
UCLA Health Sound Body Sound Mind has been a leading provider of youth health and wellness resources throughout Los Angeles for over 20 years. Our program helps transform the lives of nearly 200,000 students annually. SBSM targets its efforts to provide equitable access to physical education and wellness programs at middle schools and high schools.
We enrich the school community by providing a state-of-the-art fitness center, fitness and nutrition curriculums, and professional development for teachers.
Under the direction of Dr. Dawn Upchurch and Dr. Michael Prelip in the Department of Community Health Sciences at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, the project will build a robust community-focused Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) research program to promote health, wellness, and resilience in underserved communities, through the lens of prevention. Historically, research and practice in CAM has assumed a medical, treatment-centered orientation. An integrative health initiative that uses a health-and wellness-centered approach holds great potential to empower communities to take control of their well-being in ways that are culturally appropriate and meaningful as well as cost effective and sustainable.