First, let me say thank you for all of your hard work to adjust the way you provide the learning experience to students. This is an unprecedented time that has required more of us in ways we could not have imagined. The same is true for our students. They are experiencing rapid changes to their lives and some students will adjust quickly while others will experience significant anxiety as they try to adjust to a new normal. During times of uncertainty, many of our own personal resources for managing stressful situations are challenged and may be more acute for some of our students with less life experience.
I want to convey that you are not alone in providing support for students. The staff at University Counseling Services (UCS) is always available to consult around student mental and emotional health issues. UCS will continue to provide support for students via phone. Students can contact our office to speak to a counselor by calling 804-828-6200 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. For after-hours emergency assistance, students can still speak with an on-call counselor by calling VCU Police at 804-828-1234 and they will be connected directly with a counselor.
Here are some tips and resources to help support students. The Division of Student Affairs has created a website called Keep on Being Well, which lists resources to support student well-being and will be updated regularly.
Another excellent resource for yourselves and your students is the Keep on Learning page. This has a great list of possible problems students may encounter, as well as helpful contacts and resources. It serves as a mechanism for students to request additional help and for faculty to refer a student for additional support.
We acknowledge that this is also a difficult time for faculty. Human Resources has created a helpful page that includes mental health and other resources.
Jihad N. Aziz, Ph.D.
Interim Executive Director for Health and Wellness
Director, University Counseling Services
Charles Klink, Ph.D.
Senior Vice Provost
Division of Student Affairs