UVM mental health professionals: we care about you

Letter to the Editor

We who work to support UVM students’ health and well-being continually seek ways to improve the services we provide that support students’ mental health needs.

Like colleges across the country, UVM is experiencing an increase in student need for mental health and disability-related support.

Our Center for Health and Wellbeing and Student Accessibility Services often serve as points of entry for students seeking assistance and are working hard to provide this support.

UVM, like many other universities, prioritizes urgent interventions, stabilization and short-term care.

We recognize our responsibility to provide a plan of care for those needing long-term mental health services.

However, we are not structured to, nor do we assume we would be able to meet the mental health needs of all students.

At times, this means that students are referred for off-campus care when their needs require more support than our system allows.

This is UVM’s approach for both our mental health and medical services for students who need specialty care or additional support.

We also recognize that health and well-being means more than treatment sessions with a mental health professional.

UVM is a recognized leader in offering a range of resources that we know benefit the growing number of students who take advantage of them.

These include yoga, meditation, mindfulness, group support and educational and skill building programs that are available to students.

As we approach Thanksgiving break and then move quickly into the final exam period, we encourage all students to engage in healthy behaviors that are known to reduce stress and anxiety, prevent illness and promote overall well-being.

Know that at a systems level and in collaboration with students, faculty and senior leaders, we are committed to continuing to engage in conversations to address current student health concerns.

We will continue to work and develop ways that can better meet student needs.

Harry Chen, Executive Director, UVM Center for Health and Well-Being. Chief Public Health Officer

Dani Comey, Director, UVM Center for Academic Success