Mental health coordinator supports student success

Oct 19, 2023
An illustration of a woman smiling with flowers coming out of the top of her head.

Anna Waggoner, newly hired mental health project coordinator, is eager to make a positive impact on students’ mental health here at Newman.

This new position is grant-funded and part of the Runway Learning Center.  

“I applied for this role at Newman University because I wanted to reach a larger population of people in supporting their mental health both proactively,” said Waggoner.  She plans to do that through events, training and other supportive initiatives.

Anna Waggoner, mental health project coordinator at Newman University
Anna Waggoner, mental health project coordinator at Newman University

Waggoner is an immigrant from Odesa, Ukraine. She is fluent in Russian and has experienced firsthand the stress that cultural differences and language barriers can cause. 

“I always like to keep cultural competency and language barriers in mind in everything I do,” said Waggoner. 

Waggoner graduated from the Wichita State University graduate counseling program. Before working at Newman, she worked as a counselor for USD 259.

“My passion for mental health developed from my experiences with how much mental health is downplayed. I started to notice a big disconnect. If your mental health is struggling, your physical health will struggle and this will all result in challenges to your daily functioning,” said Waggoner. 

Mental health resources at Newman

All full-time graduate and undergraduate students get 12 free in-person counseling sessions per year and unlimited free virtual counseling sessions. Virtual services are sponsored by the Student Government Association. All counseling and referral meetings are confidential. 

Newman employees can receive three in-person and over-the-phone sessions at no cost. To set up a session, visit

Graphic containing information about counseling services offered at Newman.

Managing mental health

Waggoner shared the following advice for students to manage their mental health throughout the academic year:

  • It is okay to ask for help. You do not have to navigate life alone. Life is like a rollercoaster; we all have ups and downs. There are people who can help. Do not be afraid to use them.
  • Set realistic goals. Sometimes you may need to break up goals into smaller ones.
  • Implement time management. For some students, this is the first time they are in charge of their own schedule. That is where a schedule can help. Fill in class times, study times, work, fun, self-care, sleep and any other priorities you have.
  • Practice self-care. Be sure to make time to take care of yourself. Self-care includes moving your body, getting enough sleep and not skipping meals.
  • Ask for support. If you are feeling overwhelmed and struggling, ask for support. Take advantage of the 12 free in-person counseling sessions available to all full-time students.
  • Stay organized. Write down due dates, tests, assignments, etc. This can help to not forget something important.
  • Keep up social connections. Don’t forget to spend time with friends and/or family. Isolating yourself can affect your mental health.
  • Be flexible. Remember, things do not always go as planned in life. It can be really disappointing and frustrating but try to stay flexible. There are things that are out of our control that we cannot change.

Mental Health Resources

View the counseling guidelines and receive the required referral paperwork at Newman University.