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Contributed by LeBron Rankins on 01/10/2013
Faculty members play an important role in the lives of students that extends beyond the teaching of course material. The staff of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) recognize the potential ability of faculty to influence students attitudes about mental health care. We know the stigma about accessing mental health services causes some students to suffer needlessly. Therefore, we invite you to partner with us to identify students at risk, reach out to them, or to report your concerns via the Students at Risk Initiative (Ithaca.edu/sacl/…).
In an effort to prevent potential negative outcome of students in distress, the enclosed statement was generated as a guide for faculty to consider including in their syllabi.
Diminished mental health, including significant stress, mood changes, excessive worry, or problems with eating and/or sleeping can interfere with optimal academic performance. The source of symptoms might be related to your course work; if so, please speak with me. However, problems with relationships, family worries, loss, or a personal struggle or crisis can also contribute to decreased academic performance.
Ithaca College provides cost-free mental health services through the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) to help you manage personal challenges that threaten your personal or academic well-being.
In the event I suspect you need additional support, expect that I will express to you my concerns and the reasons for them. It is not my intent to know the details of what might be troubling you, but simply to let you know I am concerned and that help (e.g., CAPS, Health Center, Chaplains, etc.), if needed, is available.
Remember, getting help is a smart and healthy thing to do -- for yourself and for your loved ones.
Imagine the spontaneous dialogue that ensues the first day of class following the open-ended question: “what keeps people from seeking counseling when its benefits have been proven?” or, “what are some of the things you‘ve heard from others that reinforce the stigma about accessing mental health care?”
Reducing the stigma about accessing mental health care can lead to a culture on the IC campus where students seek professional help when it is needed. We invite you to work with us toward reducing the stigma about accessing mental health care so that students are not afraid to seek professional help by adding a statement (draft attached) to your syllabus about mental health care.
CAPS is located on the lower level of the Hammond Health Center and is accessible through the parking lot side of the building, stairs off the waiting room of the Health Center or by elevator (ask for elevator access in Health Center Business Office, located on the west side of the waiting room). CAPS can be reached by calling 607-274-3136.