Dear University of San Diego faculty and staff:
Consistent with our mission and values, we are concerned about students who might be at risk because of emotional or psychological problems. The Action Guide to Helping Students in Distress was created for the purpose of giving you practical information should you be concerned about a student’s thoughts or actions. You may be surprised to know that data from the latest USD administration of the National College Health Assessment found that at some point over the past academic year,
- 30% of our students identified stress as the chief factor affecting academic performance
- 27% of our students felt so depressed it was difficult to function
- 18% of our students reported having been diagnosed and/or treated for a mental health condition and 3% seriously considered suicide
The units within the Student Wellness Area (Center for Health and Wellness Promotion, Counseling Center, Disability Services and Student Health Center) consistently provide a range of professional services to assist students who may be struggling. We are concerned though, that some of our students experience difficulties in silence because they are afraid to ask for help or do not know where to turn. We believe that by educating people throughout the University community on the signs and symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other common challenges, we can increase the likelihood that students will get the help that they need.
As a faculty and/or staff member, we know you have contact with a great many students, and that you are in a position to identify and assist those who may need help. If you encounter a student whose behavior concerns you, the action guide will provide you with information to assist him or her in accessing the appropriate support services on campus.
We strive to create a community in which students can grow and thrive while meeting the challenges inherent in college life today. If you would like to learn more about the challenges facing our students and the available resources to help them, please consult the on-line USD Guide to Resources for Helping Students in Need.
If you would like to receive additional information about USD resources or how to assist students in need, you can arrange for a presentation to any group of faculty or staff by simply contacting Dr. Melissa Halter at the Center for Health and Wellness Promotion (619-260-4618 or firstname.lastname@example.org) or by filling out a presentation request.
Moisés Barón, PhD
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs