Actions Include New Suicide Prevention Initiative, Increased Training to Recognize and Respond to Needs
Photo by Stephanie S. Cordle
University President Darryll J. Pines and Counseling Center Director Chetan Joshi sent the following email to the campus community this morning:
We are writing with a message of support for our community. Next week, October 1-8, is Mental Health Awareness Week, and we wanted to take this opportunity to invite our entire campus to keep mental wellness and looking out for one another in sharp focus.
Mental health research literature has shown that the frequency and severity of concerns among college students nationwide has increased over the last 10-15 years. One of our campuswide priorities is to build a connected community of care that supports the success and well-being of students, faculty and staff. That means checking on friends and colleagues, being mindful of our own mental wellness, and sharing and seeking campus resources.
Our campus community is already doing important work on mental health awareness and suicide prevention. The Counseling Center is in the process of launching the T.E.R.P.S. for Terps suicide prevention program, which is designed to equip faculty and staff with the knowledge and tools they need to respond to students in distress with care and compassion. The officers in the University of Maryland Police Department are undergoing training to better recognize and respond to mental health issues, and they are actively working in close collaboration with the leadership in the Counseling Center to develop a program that would allow for mental health professionals to respond to mental emergencies on campus along with the police.
We are grateful that many of our students and student groups play a role in demonstrating a united front, reducing stigma, and advocating for resources. Groups like Multi-Ethnic Mental Health Organization (M.E.M.O.), Active Minds at Maryland, Lean on Me College Park, Help Center and SKY at UMD are all available to our students.
On Saturday, October 1, the Maryland and Michigan State football teams will wear green ribbons on their uniforms to raise awareness of mental health issues. We thank everyone seeking to create our community of care.
What We Can Do
Caring for our mental health can take the form of engaging in behaviors and habits that promote wellness, such as getting adequate sleep, being social, exercising and other activities as outlined in the Healthy Mind Platter.
We all struggle. When you or someone you know needs help, it’s important to remember to See Something, Say Something, Do Something.
Available Campus Resources
The Counseling Center offers a wide range of free and confidential mental health services to the campus. These services are available now and can be accessed when you need them. In addition, urgent services can be accessed on a 24/7 basis by walking in to meet with our on-call team during business hours or by calling 301.314.7651 to connect with a mental health clinician after hours.
The Dean of Students Office and the University Health Center also offer important services to help support you. Additionally, the Mental Health Coalition has planned many activities for you throughout Mental Health Awareness Week.
Please know that you are not alone. Every member of our campus community can benefit from taking advantage of these resources. The more we care for ourselves and for those around us, the stronger we become as a community.
Darryll J. Pines
President, University of Maryland
Dr. Chetan Joshi
Director, University Counseling Center
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