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Implementing Back to Campus
Living in a new environment outside the familiarity of home can create overwhelming and stressful circumstances. College students can greatly benefit from understanding that a certain amount of stress is normal, but that too much stress can be unhealthy and unproductive. Knowing the signs of stress, its causes and how to manage it can be a great tool in promoting and preserving good mental health.
This year's Back to Campus toolkit includes fact sheets for students, a poster/flyer and information for colleges and universities about what types of services should be in place to address the mental health needs of the student body. To maximize your distribution of this information throughout the school year, consider reaching out to the following offices and groups at each community college:
Counseling Services. Counselors make referrals to community mental health resources, educate students on mental health, conduct screenings and support students with disabilities. They are also concerned with campus safety and students in crisis. Ask how you can support their work with the fact sheets, information and referral, education and campus presentations.
Dean of Students or Office of Student Life or Student Activities. Discuss the importance of communicating to students about mental health and stress reduction. Ask staff in this office to post the poster/flyer in buildings across campus. Request that they make the fact sheets available to student clubs on campus, including sororities and fraternities.
New Student Orientation. Every university has some form of an orientation that is typically mandatory for all incoming students. Orientation may occur at the beginning of each semester to accommodate new students arriving in the fall and spring. These are great times to reach freshmen!
Religious Groups. Many students regularly take part in religious groups on campus. Reach out to the college Chaplain or Office of Religious and Spiritual Life to share the fact sheets and other mental health resources you may have.
Student Athletics Association. Student athletes experience a lot of stress as they are expected by universities to balance a demanding athletics schedule, all the while maintaining a high grade point average. Student Athletics Associations make sure students involved in intercollegiate sports are doing well and staying on track. Ask if they'll share the fact sheets with their athletes.
Residence Life Office. If a college has on-campus housing, Dorm Resident Advisors are key contacts that students may go to for questions, concerns or help. Ask the Residence Life office to make the fact sheets available to Resident Advisors in all dormitories.
We hope that you find this information helpful in your outreach efforts. If you have questions or concerns about the items in this toolkit, you may contact Mental Health America at 1-800-969-6642 or email@example.com.