Resources for Students with Chronic Health Conditions

You are not alone:

If you are managing a chronic health condition or disability otherwise, you are not alone.

According to the 2018 U-M National College Health Assessment, 22% of U-M students manage some form of disability, including 5% of U-M students who have a chronic health condition. 

U-M students with chronic health conditions can succeed -- one student's story:

For me, getting sick during my first year of graduate school and learning to adapt to life with illness was a real challenge. But more than that was being willing to let go of my own expectations and others' expectations of me, and acknowledging that my graduate school experience was going to be vastly different from that of my 'healthy' counterparts.  I dealt with this challenge by learning to forgive myself for my limitations caused by lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. More importantly though, I dealt with it by finding others like me, who understood what I was going through, to help support and encourage me. -- Leslie Rott, PhD

Campus resources to help you succeed:

U-M offers many resources to help you accomplish your academic and personal goals.

Created to support U-M students who have been diagnosed with an ongoing mental health disorder, this site provides information and resources to help students manage their illness and get the most out of their college experience.

Collegiate Recovery Program
Support for students in recovery from alcohol or other drug addiction.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
Call (734) 764-8312
CAPS offers a range of services including individual counseling, support groups, workshops and community referrals. Free and confidential for U-M students.

Dean of Students Office
Email or call (734) 764-7420
The Dean of Students Office can provide assistance with personal (i.e. non-academic) matters such as illness, injury, family or emotional issues, etc. The office can also help coordinate notification of student emergencies to the proper academic programs, etc.

MiTalk: Living with Chronic Health Conditions
MiTalk is a website on mental health for U-M students.

Office of the Ombuds
Email or call (734) 763-3545
A place where students' questions, complaints and concerns about the functioning of the University can be discussed confidentially in a safe environment. Offers confidential, informal dispute resolution services, provides resources and referrals, and helps students consider options.

Rackham Graduate School Graduate Student Affairs (GSA)
Email or call (734) 647-7548
Strives to enhance the quality of graduate student life for Rackham students. Staff can assist graduate students with personal and/or academic issues and can connect students to other University resources.

Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD)
Email or call 734-763-3000
SSD can help you register to receive University acknowledgement of your illness and/or disability, which can support your request for accommodations. Complete the How to Get Connect with SSD process. If you do not want to register with SSD, you can still meet with someone from the office to talk about available resources and potential challenges.

University Housing for Students With Disabilities or Chronic Health Conditions
How to apply to receive accommodations in University Housing.

University Health Service
Email or call (734)764-8320
A health clinic and wellness resource for students and other members of the campus community (see Who can use UHS?). Offers a wide variety of services, including Mental Health Services and Wolverine Wellness

Michigan Medicine Crohn's and Colitis Program for Patients With Inflammatory Bowel Disease provides services for college students, including a dedicated clinic twice per month, online information and a support group.

Other related resources:

For incoming students:

Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living (AACIL)
An off-campus community resource dedicated to helping people of all ages with disabilities. This nonprofit organization was established in 1976. AACIL provides a variety of services, including counseling and support groups, sports and recreation activities, coordination of long-term care and youth programming.

The Invisible Disabilities Association strives to help friends and family better understand chronic illness and pain, as well as learn how to be a source of encouragement and support.

Recommended books:

  • The Autoimmune Epidemic by Donna Jackson Nakazawa
  • Everything Changes by Kairol Rosenthal
  • Life Disrupted by Laurie Edwards
  • The Etiquette of Illness by Susan Halpern
  • Women, Work and Autoimmune Disease by Rosalind Joffe
  • You Are Stronger than You Think: Tapping into the Secrets of Emotionally Resilient People by Peter Ubel