Returning From a Health Leave of Absence: Your 1st Semester Back

Return from Leave of Absence facilitator

“The BEST THING about this [Return from Leave of Absence] group was finally being able to be open and honest about being on leave. Although everyone’s story was different, we totally benefitted from meeting together, learning from each other and supporting each other.”

Once you return to campus following a Health Leave of Absence, there are people and programs at Cornell available to help you readjust to student life and take care of your health and well-being.

The Health Leaves Coordinator serves as a case manager and support for students who are taking and returning from a leave of absence. 


Students on the Ithaca Campus can reach out to the following resources for information and support related to returning from a Health Leave of Absence.

Click on the menu links below to learn more about these services....


Cornell Health

Cornell Health offers many services to support students' health and wellbeing while on campus.

  • Medical Services: Cornell Health has a multidisciplinary staff of medical providers, nutritionists, physical therapists, and specialized teams that address common student health concerns like alcohol use, disordered eating, and athlete health, and provide support for students with chronic or serious health conditions.
  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) provides a wide range of mental health services such as workshops, group counseling, individual counseling, and medication management for students struggling with mental illness. Students interested in reviewing options for mental health care at CAPS can web-book an access visit to discuss with one of our staff. More information on CAPS services is available here.

Cornell Minds Matter

Cornell Minds Matter is a student organization that holds events and conducts outreach to promote mental and emotional health, reduce the stigma of mental illness, and foster a healthy, balanced lifestyle among Cornell students. Whether your interest stems from personal experience, academic interest, curiosity or desire for social action, CMM welcomes you.

Dean of Students Office

The Office of the Dean of Students includes resource centers, advising units, and affinity groups that focus on student support, advocacy, equity, building a sense of community, and intersectional identity development. You may be interested in consulting one of the following identity resources: 

Learning Strategies Center

The Learning Strategies Center (LSC) is the central academic support unit for undergraduates at Cornell University. Through academic skills workshops and tutoring, the LSC strives to actively engage students in the learning process and support their efforts to become more successful and independent learners.

"Let's Meditate"

Let’s Meditate is a free, guided, mindfulness meditation series sponsored by Cornell Health in collaboration with campus partners. Meditation sessions are held daily Monday-Friday at various campus locations during the fall and spring semesters. No prior experience is needed and all are welcome.

Nature Rx

All students can benefit from exploring the great natural beauty of the Cornell campus. Spending a few hours each week in nature can improve mood, cognitive ability, alertness, ability to concentrate, social connection and overall sense of well-being. Visit the Nature Rx website for information about natural areas located near campus.

Returning Student Orientation Group

An orientation session for students returning from a leave of absence is held at the beginning of each semester. The orientation is a great opportunity to meet other students who are returning from leave. During the orientation, students who returned from leave during a previous semester may share their experiences and advice. In addition, attendees receive guidance and resources about talking with friends and faculty about a leave of absence, reestablishing a social network, managing time to accommodate academic and personal needs, asking for help, and preparing for challenges.

The Returning Students Group meets throughout the semester. Meetings are tailored to meet the needs of the participating students, and may involve group discussion, guest speakers, board games, or other activities determined by the group.

For students at Cornell Tech

Cornell Tech students can reach out to the following resources for information and support related to returning from a Health Leave of Absence:

  • Cornell Tech Health & Wellness provides supportive services to students regarding health matters, including referrals to providers, assistance in navigating immunization requirements and student health insurance, as well as stress reduction, problem solving, and crisis management.
  • Cornell Tech Student & Acadmic Affairs is a one stop shop for: 
    • academic advising and support
    • course registration
    • international student advising
    • student activities
    • student employment on campus
  • The team holds daily office hours for students to ask questions and also hosts a variety of events for students.