Center for Health and Wellness Innovation

Center for Health and Wellness Innovation

  • 39 percent of students have been diagnosed with a mental health condition at some point in their lives.
  • 37 percent of students say they're unable to manage stress.
  • Community connections are a protection factor against suicide.
  • Need more help than a conversation? Contact Counseling and Psychological Services

Hey, You Okay?

Start a conversation

We want Huskies in our campus community to form deeper connections and we believe you can do that through holding conversations with one another.

When we’re connected, we look out for one another. We’re able to check in on friends, classmates, and colleagues who may be struggling.

Start a conversation today! Ask someone “Hey, you okay?”

Hey, You Okay? during COVID-19

When we're all doing our best to limit our travel and distance ourselves physically from others, it's easy to feel disconnected emotionally from others, too. We've compiled some ways to continue to build a strong community, take care of ourselves and reach out to others even if you can't be in the same room. 

Top 5 ways to stay connected while physical distancing

  1. Virtual Group Hangouts: Facetime, group gaming parties, group exercise and book club can all be done with a smart phone. 
  2. Meaningful conversation: Avoid non-stop scrolling and reach out to individual people. Call a family member that doesn't use social media and send personal messages to check in. 
  3. Show Kindness: Express gratitude, Commit random acts of kindness, Pay it forward. During uncertain times, show patience with one another and spread kindness. Bounce-Back Project
  4. Take care of yourself: Maintain a reasonable sleep routine, move your body, eat healthy foods, and limit not so good coping strategies (excessive alcohol or drug use, unprotected sex, self-harm)
  5. Be real: If you're struggling, reach out to someone and let them know. There is help available. 


How to start a conversation

Start a conversation with someone who's struggling and make a difference in just four steps. 

Step 1: Hey, You Okay?

Two women sitting and talkingStart the conversation by asking “Hey, you okay?”

  • Find a private and comfortable place to talk.
  • Make sure you have enough time to genuinely listen to the response.
  • Point out specific reasons why you are concerned.
Example: “You’ve been spending a lot more time in your room lately. Is everything okay? I’m concerned about you.

Step 2: Be There

Two people sitting in front of a fireplace talkingBe present during the conversation and listen without judgement.

  • Don’t rush the conversation.
  • Recognize that times are tough for the speaker and let them know you’re concerned.
  • Use open ended questions to keep the conversation moving.
  • Show you are listening by paraphrasing what they said and asking if you understood correctly.

Step 3: Lend a hand

Three women sitting in a residential hall room talkingLend a hand by encouraging action.

  • Ask follow-up questions:
    • Example: “I want to support you. How can I help? How can you take care of yourself right now?"
  • Encourage them to talk with a professional. On campus, these resources include:
  • Don’t feel like you need to fix the problem or have all the answers. Your job is to encourage and support them while they find solutions.

Step 4: Keep in Touch

Three people walking in the skywalk talkingCheck back in with them and keep in touch.
  • Show you truly care by checking back in a few days after your conversation. This can be a:
    • Call
    • Text
    • Visit
  • Continue to check in regularly. Sometimes all someone needs is a friendly ear as they process their situation.

Step 5: Be Real

It's okay to not be okay all the time.

  • Every person will experience challenges and feel down at some point in their life.
    • Its okay to feel these things and it's important to be honest about them.
    • When asked "Hey You Okay?", Be real. 
    • You don’t have to wait for someone to ask you. You can reach out and get the help you need.
  • Being real is a step toward getting better.


Resources that you can help point someone to for assistance if they are struggling include:

Counseling & Psychological Services
Stewart Hall 103

Medical Clinic
Eastman Hall

Peer Wellness Coaching

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Text “START” to 741-741

4 County Crisis Hotline

Get involved

You can be part of the Hey, You Okay? movement by scheduling a Hey, You Okay? Presentation for your organization, campus department or class or by becoming a trainer.

Hey, You Okay? Presentation

The Hey, You Okay? Presentation is a 15-minute presentation by a trained presenter. The presentation covers the Hey, You Okay? steps, resources available in the community and a practice conversation.

Schedule a presenter for your organization by contacting Healthy Huskies at 320-308-4850 or

Train the Trainer

Become a Hey, You Okay? Presenter and help spread the message to groups and organizations across campus.

Request information about the next Train the Trainer session  by contacting Healthy Huskies at 320-308-4850 or

JED Campus

Hey, You Okay? Is a project as part of St. Cloud State University’s JED Campus commitment. JED Campus is an initiative of The Jed Foundation designed to empower schools with a framework and customized support to enhance student well-being and substance abuse and prevention efforts to create positive, lasting, systemic change in the campus community.