Office of the Superintendent of Chapel: Caring for Our Community Caregivers

Office of the Superintendent of Chapel: Caring for Our Community Caregivers
Office of the Superintendent of Chapel: Caring for Our Community Caregivers

As our social environment recognizes the stressors of COVID-19, coupled with the typical stress and stress of maintaining a work-life balance, mental health and wellness is a priority. Those working in the mental health field will hopefully figure it all out.

However, like everyone else, practitioners face emotional difficulties themselves, making self-care solutions in the medical field a necessary aspect of training.

The Howard University Chapel Dean’s Office (ODC) has developed self-care strategies for the campus community, starting with residents of the Howard University Hospital’s Department of Psychiatry.

Chapel President Dr. Bernard L. Richardson works with residents in the Department of Psychiatry at Howard University Hospital.

“These exercises helped improve their clinical performance,” said Danielle Hairston, MD, chief resident in psychiatry at Howard University Hospital. “The sessions gave them skills that they could use for themselves and help their patients. It taught them how to be good active listeners. Give examples when dealing with patients.”

ODC offers a variety of support services in the areas of self-care and wellness, both virtually and in-person. What started as a group project on mindfulness and meditation to improve clinician performance for residents evolved into developing techniques to combat burnout and manage workload during the pandemic. Throughout the session, many emphasized the importance of practitioners strengthening their own health practices to provide quality care for patients.

In addition to serving residents in the hospital’s psychiatric department, ODC serves students and faculty in the School of Business, School of Engineering and Architecture, and School of Social Work.

ODC offers unique programs and services to support the campus community in quieting the anxious chatter to effectively manage stress and maintain inner peace.

Diverting one’s attention is a key element in supporting one’s mental health. ODC has been an important force in bringing the practice of mindfulness and meditation to the Howard community.

ODC is a certified mindfulness and meditation skills training center offering unique mindfulness, meditation and stress management classes. With the sponsorship of President Wayne AI Frederick, MD, MBA, faculty and staff formed the first healthy cohort for the fall 2020 semester. “Howard as an institution is forever strengthened when people are healthy, healthy and strong,” said Dr. Frederick.

To learn more about health programs coordinated through ODC, download the brochure here. To schedule a training or workshop, please contact the ODC Wellness Team at


The Office of the Chapel Dean (ODC) is a resource for the University community, dedicated to delivering programs that foster leadership development, engagement with the global community, and strengthen Howard University’s legacy of truth and service. As a center for religious/spiritual life, the Howard community can participate in volunteer opportunities, learn about ethical leadership development and participate in social and service learning programs. ODC is a place where students, staff, and alumni grow in the fields of faith, service, justice, and health.

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