Heart in Mind

HeartInMind logo


HeartInMind is a mental health wellness project open to all students with disabilities who attend one of the colleges of the San Diego Community College District. A partnership between Disability Support Programs and Services (DSPS) districtwide, HeartInMind 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 (City, Mesa, Miramar and CE) 
  • Program training for DSPS & Mental Health Counselors 


A weekly support group supporting the mental health needs and experiences of students with disabilities.

Spring 2024 Meetings will be held on Wednesday's at 2 PM on Zoom. There will be no meeting on March 27th.

Meeting Date Topic Discussion Prompt
Jan 31 Intro/Welcome Welcome to the semester! This meeting is an opportunity to introduce ourselves into this space and collaborate on how we can utilize Heart Chats to express ourselves in a loving, compassionate, and genuine way.
Feb 7 Self Discovery What have you learned about yourself over time? 
Feb 14 A Disability Lens

How does your disability affect the way you think about people? 
Feb 21 Comfortable Conversations

When or with whom do you feel most comfortable discussing your disability? 
Feb 28 Future in Focus What are some of your goals for this year? 
Mar 6: Embracing My Disability What are some of your goals for this year? 
Mar 13 Care Culture Critique What are your thoughts on the concept of "fixing" or "treating" disabilities? 
Mar 20 Beyond Limitations What does your disability enhance? 
Apr 3 Words to Live By What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Apr 10 DIsability Icons Who are some of your favorite people or characters with disabilities in history and why?
Apr 17 Growing Gains What has improved over the course of living with your disability? 
Apr 24 My Dream Job Envision and describe the ultimate career that aligns with your deepest interests and aspirations.
May 1 Continuing Pandemic Realitites How has the pandemic changed things in your life? 
May 8 Activisim and Identity Where do you fit into the disability justice and/or social justice movements? Do you consider yourself an advocate or an activist? 
May 15 Tuned In What song or lyric best articulates your experiences of living with a disability and why?
May 22 Coping Rituals What do you turn to when you have a rough day? 


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!

Lupita Lance | glance@sdccd.edu