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Dr. Kaelyn Lu helps students address mental health issues through her new role at UHS.
Dr. Kaelyn Lu helps students address mental health issues through her new role at UHS.

Psychiatrist joins UHS to treat student mental health and addiction issues

Friday, April 5, 2024

Media Contact: Sydney Trainor | Communications and Media Relations Specialist | 405-744-9782 |

Starting college, moving away from home, and feeling alone are common stressors for students. Regardless of pre-existing diagnoses, these factors can trigger mental health crises or substance abuse problems among students.

Dr. Kaelyn Lu
Dr. Kaelyn Lu

Oklahoma State University recently welcomed Dr. Kaelyn Lu, the campus's first psychiatrist specializing in mental health and addiction issues, to assist students. 

“Dr. Lu has experience working with children, adolescent and adult populations,” said Dr. Sara Coffey, OSU Center for Health Sciences Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences interim chair. “She has worked with several students on the Stillwater campus through our virtual service with OSU and she looks forward to seeing patients in person on campus at the University Health Services Center.” 

During her residency, Lu worked with the National Center for Wellness & Recovery, obtaining addiction psychiatry and medicine training, which enhanced her expertise and provided valuable guidance. 

“In addition to her work alongside the amazing clinical teams at the University Health Services Center; Dr. Lu will be working alongside the athletics department to support the behavioral health needs of our amazing student-athletes,” Coffey said. 

Lu offers mental health services to students three days a week in person at UHS and Gallagher-Iba Arena, and two days a week virtually. 

“While there is less stigma surrounding seeking mental health help with this current generation of students, college is such a high paced and high-pressured environment that can be stressful and triggering,” Lu said. “Mental health and self-care are usually the first things that take a hit. It’s great that students are a lot more open to seeking help for either existing issues or maybe things that are coming up for the first time. There are a tons of ways people can get connected to mental health resources on campus and especially at UHS.” 

Lu is currently only seeing students but hopes to expand to faculty in the future. Drawing from her own college experience, she knows the stress and excitement that comes with college and wants to leverage this understanding to support students.  

“Setting the grounds for good mental health assistance and laying that groundwork at such a crucial time in their lives is when they're students,” Lu said. "There's so many long-term benefits and pros to that.” 

The OSU-CHS campus fostered a positive, unified, family-oriented atmosphere, which attracted Lu to apply for residency programs, ultimately leading her to the OSU psychiatry program. In her new role, Lu aims to maintain the welcoming atmosphere at UHS. 

“This current class of freshman, sophomore, juniors, etc, unfortunately spent a significant amount of their high school years during COVID,” Lu said. “These are such important developmental years for adolescents and the byproduct of that isolation is emerging right now in the form of substance use issues and uncontrolled depression and anxiety. It’s especially important for these individuals to know they have options for help. 

“What drew me to work for OSU beyond residency is the way that this campus has responded to the current mental health crisis, especially under the leadership of Dr. Shrum, a fellow D.O. graduate. The Department of Wellness and the different counseling and psychology services are just a few examples of places that have worked tirelessly to improve and support campus mental health resources.” 

Lu started her position at UHS in January and aims to assist patients in uncovering the underlying causes of their stress, depression, anxiety, or substance abuse, employing a comprehensive approach to address these issues.  

“I hope to be another positive added resource for students,” Lu said. “Even though psychiatric medications are my specialty, I practice medicine in a very osteopathic way meaning that I consider an individual’s emotional, physical and social health when deciding the best treatment. I’m here to meet students where they are because every student is different. Everyone is going through their own battle, whether that’s just adjusting to the pace of campus life or just being away from home for the first time.”

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