The pressures of balancing academics, work, social activities and other responsibilities can be daunting even in normal times, but the ongoing pandemic has added another layer of stress for many students.
Campus leaders at The University of Toledo want anyone who is currently struggling to know they are not alone and that the University has a robust support system in place to help them.
“Now more than ever, we want our students to know it’s OK to not be OK. This is an unprecedented time and we are all still trying to adapt,” UToledo President Gregory Postel said. “We recognize that some members of our community are having a difficult time right now. The University of Toledo is fully committed to creating an environment where it’s not only OK to ask for help — it’s encouraged. We are here to provide our students the support they need.”
Students can access free and confidential mental health services through the University Counseling Center in person or virtually. Appointments can be made by completing a form on the Counseling Center website or by calling 419.530.2426 Monday through Friday from 8:15 a.m. to 5 p.m.
In addition to one-on-one services, the center’s website offers many online resources, including self-help toolkits on depression and anxiety, smartphone applications, confidential mental health screenings and resources specifically for underrepresented students. Students also can search Invonet for additional mental health programming across campus.
To further its commitment to supporting the health and well-being of students, UToledo is partnering with the Jed Foundation, a nonprofit that aims to protect emotional health and prevent suicide for teens and young adults.
The JED Campus program helps universities evaluate and build on the work they are already doing to strengthen their mental health, substance misuse and suicide prevention programs to ensure that they have multiple layers of mental health resources.
The JED Campus effort is being led by Dr. Linda Lewandowski, dean of the College of Nursing, interim executive director for University Campus Health Services, along with Dr. LaTasha Sullivan, director of the Counseling Center and Andrea Masters, employee wellness consultant.
The University also launched earlier this year the Campus Advocacy, Response, Evaluation and Service (CARES) Team to assist students who may be experiencing a crisis or other situation that could disrupt their access to and success in the educational experience.
“We know that mental health issues are common among college students and one of the leading barriers to academic success,” Lewandowski said. “We all need to pull together, focus on our own mental well-being and look for others around us who may be struggling.”
UToledo continues to offer free Mental Health First Aid Training that helps teach individuals how to recognize mental health issues, how to respond to them and what resources are available to help those in crisis.
Faculty, staff, students and community members are encouraged to sign up for one of the training sessions through the mental health first aid webpage.
If you or someone you know is thinking or talking about suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800.273.8255 or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org for additional resources.