|Dear Vanderbilt Faculty and Staff,
Maintaining and nurturing a supportive, safe, and healthy environment for all students, faculty, and staff is a vital part of the university’s mission, and a responsibility that we take to heart. Research demonstrates that college and graduate school students are at significant risk for mental health problems, and the average age of onset of many psychiatric disorders, including depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders, occurs in young adulthood. A recent national study showed that more than 60 percent of students with mental health issues leave college for that reason. Suicide and alcohol abuse are among the leading causes of death among college students. Therefore, it is critical that we as faculty and staff recognize the risk factors for Vanderbilt students with a special focus on the unique aspects of the university setting that can contribute to students’ emotional struggles.
Vanderbilt is fortunate to have highly trained professionals committed to helping and caring for our students. Yet to be successful in meeting our students’ needs, we need everyone’s active participation and engagement. Assisting students in need is a critical aspect of our work as faculty and staff members. By attending to the emotional well-being of our students, we can facilitate their success academically and socially.
I ask that you join in this effort by reviewing an online module that contains important information on how to recognize and approach students who may have needs that require intervention. The program by Kognito, entitled At-Risk, is designed to provide you with the basic tools and information to assist students in various forms of distress. The course incorporates many of the principles of Motivational Interviewing that can lead to positive changes in behavior.
The At-Risk information and training module is available 24/7 and takes only about 45 minutes to complete. It contains the names and contact information for the various campus mental health resources that are available to all students. This vital information will inform you on mental health issues, related laws, and policies, and empower you to share concerns and utilize key campus resources.
To access this module, go to www.kognitocampus.com/faculty. Click on Access Training, register as a new user, and indicate Vanderbilt70 as your enrollment key. After launching the program, you can learn more about common issues that affect young people.
Please contact the Office of Student Health and Wellness at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need additional information.
Thank you for your engagement in this program and for your support of the well-being of the young people who make Vanderbilt so special.
Nicholas S. Zeppos