Students, like people from all walks of life, face pressure and stress as they go about their daily business. Often, they are trying to find ways to juggle school, work and family responsibilities.
Sometimes, those stressors can precipitate into a mental-health crisis. The Cal State University system wants to ensure that its employees are prepared for such crises. A grant made possible through the State Mental Health Services Act, or Cal MHSA, is providing funding for initiatives that advance that cause.
This week, Cal Poly Pomona staff and faculty will begin receiving in their interoffice mail copies of the “Red Folder,” an informational guide on assisting students in distress.
“The Red Folder was developed as a means to provide resources in an easily referenced form that will allow faculty and staff to identify when a student might be struggling and then direct them to an appropriate resource on campus,” says Catherine Schmitt Whitaker, executive director of Student Health and Counseling Services.
The Red Folder contains basic information about academic, psychological and physical indicators of a mental health crisis, ways to address the concern, and resources available on campus to assist faculty and staff, Schmitt Whitaker says.
Electronic versions of the Red Folder also will be available by clicking on a desktop icon that will appear on university-connected computers and through a mobile app available for Apple and Android devices.
Faculty, staff and students with an additional interest in mental health-related training can sign up for workshops offered by Student Health and Counseling Services. Notice and Respond provides hands-on strategies for how to notice, respond and refer a student to appropriate resources. Mental Health First Aid is an eight-hour training for faculty, staff and students.
For more information about mental-health resources, visit Student Health and Counseling services at https://www.cpp.edu/~healthcounseling/what-we-do/mental-health-services/index.shtml.