To:  The Stevens Community
From:  Marybeth Murphy, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs
Date:   August 12, 2020 
Subject:   Update on Mental Health Initiatives at Stevens 

Since my last email to you in November 2019, Stevens has continued to undertake new initiatives as described in our mental health/suicide prevention plan. In addition, in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Stevens transitioned its counseling services and all outreach to a virtual format, including teletherapy and workshops. 

Another important activity that has continued virtually, has been the work of the President’s Task Force on Mental Health.  The work of the Task Force is in its final stages and a report will be provided to President Farvardin by October 1. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, this group has worked tirelessly and creatively to develop well-considered, evidence-based  recommendations for ways that Stevens can build awareness of mental health resources and reduce the stigma of asking for help.

And finally, Stevens will be launching mandatory mental health and suicide prevention training for all faculty and staff in the next few weeks.  After consultation with students, faculty and staff, including the Student Government Association (SGA), the Faculty Senate, and members of the President’s Cabinet, among others, Stevens has selected Kognito and contracted to use their interactive training module.  We believe that this best-in-class training module will assist our faculty and staff in providing useful information to those in need, educate our community about Stevens’ resources and reduce the stigma of getting help for mental health issues.  More information about how to access the training module will be available through the Office of Human Resources shortly.

Stevens continues to work closely with the JED Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting emotional health and preventing suicide, and we continue to make use of new research and emerging best practices to improve our offerings and programs. 

Please visit our Mental Health and Suicide Prevention website with information about our plans, available resources and a link to our July 15, 2020 progress report.  We will continue to add more information to the website so please check in regularly.

Please always be aware of Stevens’ contacts for students in distress:

  • For urgent concerns about your own or a student’s well-being, please contact Campus Police at 201-216-5105 or 201-216-3911.
  • For non-urgent concerns, please contact the Office of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) located in the Student Wellness Center at 201-216-5177 or email the CARE Team at [email protected].

Thank you for working with us to build an even stronger and more supportive Stevens community.

 

 
 
 
 
 
To:  The Stevens Community
From:  Marybeth Murphy, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs
Date:   November 19, 2019 
Subject:   Update on Mental Health Initiatives at Stevens 

Since my last email to you on April 10, 2019, Stevens has continued to undertake new initiatives as described in our mental health/suicide prevention plan that was presented to the Stevens’ Board of Trustees in September 2018. These initiatives are part of our ongoing commitment to supporting students’ mental health and well-being.

As you may recall, our plan has seven objectives: 
(1) Promote Social Connectedness - No Duck Left Behind
(2) Identify Students at Risk - Weave a Tighter Safety Net
(3) Increase Help-Seeking Behavior - Make Seeking Help Our Strength
(4) Provide Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services – Extend More Helping Hands
(5) Follow Crisis Management Procedures
(6) Restrict Access to Potentially Lethal Means – Install Impulsivity Speed Bumps
(7) Develop Life Skills – Teach Our Ducks to Swim

One important initiative that is underway is the President’s Task Force on Mental Health.  The Task Force, composed of faculty, administrators, students, alumni and a parent, met in September 2019 to discuss ways to build awareness of mental health resources and reduce the stigma of asking for help. A second meeting is scheduled for December.  We are confident that this dedicated and creative group will provide actionable recommendations by the end of the academic year.

We continue to work closely with the JED Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting emotional health and preventing suicide and we continue to make use of new research and emerging best practices to improve our offerings and programs. 

We also have launched a Mental Health and Suicide Prevention website with information about our plan, available resources and a link to our November 19, 2019 progress report on the seven objectives listed above.  We will continue to add more information to the website so please check in regularly.

I want to thank those of you who braved the wind and rain to join us at the Out of Darkness Walk on October 27, 2019.  It was so wonderful to see so many from the Stevens community and our Hoboken neighbors come together for such an important cause. 

Please do all you can to learn as much as possible about mental health issues by attending trainings and workshops offered on campus. 

Please always be aware of Stevens’ contacts for students in distress:

  • For urgent concerns about your own or a student’s well-being, please contact Campus Police at 201-216-5105 or 3911.
  • For non-urgent concerns, please contact the Office of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), located in the Student Wellness Center at 201-216-5177 or email the CARE Team at [email protected].

I will provide another update during the Spring 2020 semester.  However, please feel free to contact me if you have questions. Thank you for working with us to build an even stronger and more supportive Stevens community.

 
 
 
 
 
 
To:  The Stevens Community
From:  Marybeth Murphy, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs
Date:   April 10, 2019 
Subject:   Mental Health Initiatives at Stevens 

This memorandum provides an update to the Stevens community on the University’s plans, programs and progress to support students’ mental health and well-being.  Many students, parents and others have requested more information given recent news stories on the alarming  national trend of suicide among young people.  We know that Stevens is not immune to this phenomenon, and we have been taking proactive steps to address the mental health challenges of our students.  I would like to bring you up to date on some of the initiatives we have undertaken during the past year to support our students and enhance their well-being, as well as plans for the near future.  

Stevens was among the nation’s first cohort of universities to be recognized with the JED Seal in 2013.  This is a credential conferred by the JED Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting emotional health and preventing suicide.  Since then, Stevens’ efforts and programs have expanded significantly.  We continue to work closely with the JED Foundation and make use of new research and emerging best practices to improve our offerings and programs. 

A mental health/suicide prevention plan was presented to the Stevens’ Board of Trustees at its annual off-site strategic planning summit in September 2018 and a progress report on the objectives of the plan was presented to the Board at its March 2019 meeting.  This plan is based on best practices and guidance from the JED Foundation.

Our plan has seven objectives: 

(1) Promote Social Connectedness - No Duck Left Behind
(2) Identify Students at Risk - Weave a Tighter Safety Net
(3) Increase Help-Seeking Behavior - Make Seeking Help Our Strength
(4) Provide Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services – Extend More Helping Hands
(5) Follow Crisis Management Procedures
(6) Restrict Access to Potentially Lethal Means – Install Impulsivity Speed Bumps
(7) Develop Life Skills – Teach Our Ducks to Swim

We have developed action items for each objective and have made progress, but we have more work to do.  Stevens has hired additional staff, and new programs and initiatives have been implemented.  Stevens also opened its new Student Wellness Center in March 2019 to provide students with an enhanced facility in which to receive a range of health and wellness services focused on holistic care.

One important initiative that is underway is the creation of the President’s Task Force on Mental Health.  Invitations from President Farvardin will be sent to selected faculty, staff and students from a range of schools, departments and groups shortly.   The Task Force will engage the Stevens community in a conversation about how to build awareness around mental health and suicide prevention. 

Please always be aware of Stevens’ contacts for students in distress:

For urgent concerns about your own or a student’s well-being, please contact Campus Police at 201-216-5105 or 3911.

For non-urgent concerns, please contact the Office of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), located in the Student Wellness Center at 201-216-5177 or the CARE Team [email protected].

We are a close-knit community and we care deeply about the health and well-being of each and every member.  We take our commitment to student-centricity seriously, and we encourage all members of the Stevens community to learn as much as possible about mental health issues by attending trainings and workshops offered on campus.    

I will continue to update you on our initiatives throughout the year.  However, please feel free to contact me if you have questions.