From my first day as vice provost, I’ve known that student health and well-being needs to be the No. 1 priority of Student Affairs.
Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, colleges and universities nationwide were in the midst of a mental health crisis. Recent events certainly haven’t helped the situation.
We’re in a very different place now than we were just days ago. But good mental health remains an essential part of your well-being. So, I’m going to continue to emphasize its importance and doing everything I can to help you.
The university is aware that Mizzou students feel underserved. That’s why we’re implementing a three-prong approach to address mental health issues at Mizzou.
The MU Counseling Center offers crisis services 24/7. Just call 573-882-6601 and there will be someone you can talk to. Right now, the Counseling Center is working on ways to provide their services remotely, so you can get help even when you’re not on campus.
Two new licensed mental health professionals will start at the Counseling Center this semester and more are coming.
We’re also working on a new clinical model that will improve access and significantly reduce wait times for initial appointments. We’re planning to launch this new model in fall.
We’re expanding the Student Accountability & Support Care Team to help more students navigate mental health and other areas of concern. The Care Team is able to help students even if they’re not on campus.
Earlier this semester, some of you took part in the National College Health Assessment. This survey will help us a data-informed approach to creating health programs.
The Jed Foundation will spend a full year evaluating our efforts to address mental health at Mizzou. We’re also in conversation with experts in student mental health from Cornell and Notre Dame.
The third prong involves simple, effective tools like Sanvello, an app which can help you manage stress, anxiety and depression from anywhere. Sanvello is free to all students, faculty and staff from our community. Just use your Mizzou email address when logging in.
We also want all members of our community to take part in Ask Listen Refer, a suicide prevention training program created for campuses throughout Missouri. You can go through 20-minute online training anywhere you have an internet connection.
As my friend Jim Spain reminds me, Mizzou has a long history. The institution has faced numerous challenges and difficult times. And each time, the institution has worked to overcome the challenges.
We are all in this together, even when we’re apart.