Dear Vanderbilt Faculty,
The mental health and emotional wellbeing of college students is receiving significant attention from the media, scholars, and practitioners. A review of recent studies and trends indicates that today’s undergraduate and graduate students are experiencing more distress, both before and during college, than ever before. It is important to recognize that Vanderbilt University is not immune from this trend.
Emotional health is an essential component to academic and personal success. As you know, Vanderbilt University has long provided treatment resources and valuable support for students who are experiencing distress, either due to a preexisting or emerging mental or physical illness, or due to a critical incident in the student’s life.
To ensure that faculty members are well apprised of these resources, I have compiled a list of campus experts, networks, and tools that I hope will allow faculty across campus to best support our students. While not all mental illnesses and suicides are preventable, it is my goal to provide faculty with the guidance and training to help identify, support, and refer students suffering from mental and emotional distress to the array of support services on campus. Please also remember that wellness support is not limited to students; this list of resources also includes support services for faculty in times of distress.
For further information or to seek answers to specific questions, please contact your school’s associate dean(s), or Associate Dean G. L. Black at email@example.com or 615-322-6400, who oversees the Office of Wellness Programs & Alcohol Education.
The below information is also available online: please click here:
For distress intervention involving the imminent threat of harm or a life endangering situation, please refer to the following resources:
Vanderbilt University Police Department (VUPD)
Call (615) 421-1911 or 911 for emergencies and (615) 322-2745 for non-emergencies.
For distress intervention involving an urgent situation without the imminent threat of harm, please refer to the following resources:
Psychological and Counseling Center (PCC)
The Psychological and Counseling Center (PCC), located at 2015 Terrace Place (across the street from the Baker Building), offers numerous services to all Vanderbilt students (undergraduate, graduate, and professional), including individual and group psychotherapy, crisis management, psychiatric services, LD/ADHD assessment, reading and study skills counseling, alcohol and drug evaluations/counseling, and community outreach. Faculty members may call the PCC at 615-322-2571 to learn more about the services offered or for a consultation about a student of concern. Please visit the PCC website for general information.
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
Vanderbilt also provides resources to support the wellbeing of faculty members. The Employee Assistance Program of Work/Life Connections provides support to faculty members in dealing with stress, emotional health, relationships, family, finances, alcohol, drugs, and other personal issues. Call Work/Life Connections-EAP at 615-936-1327 for a confidential appointment.
For distress intervention involving a non-urgent situation or minimally disruptive behavior, please refer to the following resources:
Office of the University Chaplain and Religious Life (OUCRL)
The Office of the University Chaplain and Religious Life (OUCRL) offers many resources to support and care for students of all faiths and religious backgrounds who are grieving or experiencing other types of distress, including questions of meaning and purpose, or spiritual/faith crises. Chaplains are available to meet with students individually or in group settings. OUCRL also offers GriefNet, a program that provides a safe, non-judgmental environment for grieving, receiving care, and for exploring how one may integrate loss into living. OUCRL neither assumes participants are a part of any faith tradition nor will it advocate for any particular beliefs or practices as it works with and cares for students. Students or faculty may call 615-322-2457 during business hours to learn more about OUCRL’s services.
Office of Wellness Programs & Alcohol Education
The mission of the Office of Wellness Programs & Alcohol Education is to promote a community of care at Vanderbilt University by fostering student wellness through an integrative and holistic framework. Through various outreach programs and support services, the office focuses on teaching coping skills in order to enhance resiliency, as well as alcohol and drug prevention programming and recovery support. Faculty members may call this office at 615-322-0480 during business hours for advice on student referrals.
Students in Distress: A Guide for Faculty and Staff
The Office of Wellness Programs & Alcohol Education manages an online resource outlining how to approach students who may be in distress, make referrals, and receive further training, which is available here.
The Center for Teaching has developed a resource guide for addressing teaching in a time of crisis.
For mental health educational resources and trainings, please visit:
This online course, first introduced to the campus through Chancellor Zeppos’ email of November 2012, demonstrates how to identify signs of psychological distress and refer students to support services through practiced interactions with virtual students. To take this course, follow the instructions below:
- Go to: http://www.kognitocampus.com/faculty
- Create a New Account
- Use enrollment key: Vanderbilt70
- Follow the on-screen instructions
- Choose your course and click “LAUNCH”
- If you experience any technical difficulties, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each of the six online modules takes approximately 45 minutes to complete.
Mental Health Awareness & Prevention of Suicide (MAPS)
Mental Health Awareness & Prevention of Suicide (MAPS) is a joint initiative between Vanderbilt’s Psychological and Counseling Center (PCC) and Office of Wellness Programs & Alcohol Education designed to prevent suicide in the campus community while promoting mental health awareness.
Any interested faculty member is encouraged to sign up for MAPS training here. This training is in-person and takes about two hours.
The Center for Teaching (CFT) has developed a resource guide for managing student stress through effective course design which is available here.
If you are concerned about an individual student, the designated point of contact in your college or school (click here for the list) is also a valuable resource.
Thank you for your extraordinary work to support the academic and personal success of our students. I remain humbled by your dedication to the Vanderbilt community, care for our students, and pursuit of Vanderbilt’s teaching and educational mission.
Susan R. Wente, Ph.D.
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs