Heart in Mind

HeartInMind logo

HeartInMind is a mental health initiative open to all students with disabilities who attend one of the colleges of the San Diego Community College District. A partnership between Mental Health and Disability Support Programs and Services districtwide, the project aims to increase awareness and support around the unique mental health needs and experiences of students with disabilities. Rooted in Sentipensante (sensing/thinking) pedagogy, this effort will introduce contemplative practices and draw on the inherent strengths of the individual to support the mental health needs and academic success of participants.


HeartInMind includes:

  • A mental health & disability resource hub 
  • Weekly student support group open to students districtwide 
  • Program training for DSPS & Mental Health Counselors 


HeartChats flyer

Topics Include: 

10/7: Disability Awareness Month (Week 1) 

10/14: Disability Awareness Month (week 2) 

10/21: The Working World 101

10/28: Distress Tolerance Skills!

11/5: Building Healthy Relationships

11/11: No Meeting/Campus Closed

11/18: Taking Care of ourselves: The Eight Dimensions of Wellness

11/25: No Meeting/Campus Closed 

12/2: Coping with the Winter Break

12/9: End of Semester Virtual Potluck


Students who are interested in participating can attend our weekly support group, open to anyone who identifies with having a disability and wanting to support their mental health. Participants are not required to be enrolled in DSPS services to join.

Thursdays at 2pm on Zoom (meeting ID 968 2193 9236)


Sentipensante (Sensing/Thinking) Pedagogy: Educating for Wholeness, Social Justice, and Liberation (Stylus Publishing 2014)

Our Philosophy

The philosophy and approach of HeartInMind is informed by Professor Laura Rendón’s book, Sentipensante (Sensing/Thinking) Pedagogy: Educating for Wholeness, Social Justice, and Liberation (Stylus Publishing 2014). Sentipensante pedagogy provides powerful insights on how to incorporate thoughtful and social justice-oriented practices into our academic spaces. Sentipensante pedagogy, according to Dr. Rendón, works with three goals:

  • “Disrupt and transform entrenched beliefs…about teaching and wholeness…that act against wholeness and appreciation of truth in all forms” (135).
  • Cultivate “personas educadas, well-rounded individuals who possess knowledge and wisdom” (136).
  • “Instill learners with a commitment to sustain life” (136).

Our project will incorporate Rendon’s goals to empower students with disabilities to honor their intersecting identities and support their mental health needs. 



“Why were we able to make the world virtually accessible only when it mattered for non-disabled people?”
- Emily Ladau, Disability Rights Activist

In this powerful video on why “'Normal' Was Not Working For Everyone,” three individuals describe their re-entry anxiety following the lifting of Covid-19 protocols all around the U.S. From racial discrimination to grappling with an inaccessible world, these stories reflect the important intersections the pandemic has brought to light and motivates us to think of a return to better instead of “normal.”


Please connect with us if you would like to collaborate or want more information!

Lucy Plascencia | jplascencia@sdccd.edu