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New Mental Health Resources

1/12/2021

Dear Billiken Companions,

Happy New Year! I hope you have been able to get some meaningful rest over this extended break and to safely reconnect with loved ones. 

As we turn our eyes toward the start of another semester, I want to connect with you on an important topic: your mental health and well-being. Your ability to thrive, not just as a student, but as a person, continues to be a priority for us as we navigate the challenges of our time. 

For SLU students, like many other college students across the country, stress, anxiety, sleep difficulties, and depression are significant factors affecting their academic performance (National College Health Assessment, 2019). The good news is that many students are experiencing positive mental health and meet the criteria for flourishing (Healthy Minds Study, Deiner’s Flourishing Scale). 

Today, I am writing to share information about some new resources to support your mental health and well-being. Below this email, you’ll find a brief description of these resources. You’ll see that the first item on the list is a new optional online module--keep an eye out for the invitation to complete this module. It should appear in your inbox tomorrow. 

These resources are the culmination of many conversations, a lot of hard work, and real collaboration among staff within the Division of Student Development, SLU students, and colleagues in other parts of the University. We are so happy to finally be able to share them with you. 

There are so many staff and faculty actively working to ensure campus is safe and ready for your return. We have been reviewing what worked well in the fall and what adjustments we can safely make to enhance your experience and sense of community this spring. We’ll have more information as we get closer to the start of the term. 

In the meantime, stay healthy and well, and limit your contact with others (as much as possible) to ensure you can safely rejoin us in a few weeks. We’ve missed you!

Sincerely,

Debra Rudder Lohe, Ph.D. (she/her/hers)
Interim Vice President for Student Development
Saint Louis University


Mental Well-being Online Module 

We are excited to launch a new online module focused on Mental Well-being, which you will receive a link to via your SLU email. This course helps learners practice self-care, recognize when they or their peers are in distress, and take action to find additional support. While completion of the Mental Well-Being online module is not required, I hope you will consider completing it. As with physical exercise, investments in your mental well-being can pay big dividends in the near and long term.

Mental Health Resources Webpage

Both students and families have asked for a single landing page on the SLU website that can direct you to a variety of mental health resources, and we’ve heard you. The new page can be found here. It contains links to numerous campus resources, including important information for students in crisis, resources for students from particular identity groups, and resources for maintaining well-being in a variety of ways. The new webpage is the result of collaborative effort of staff and students. It’s a work in progress. We’ll continue to add to and refine the page going forward.

Nurse Triage Line Addressing both Medical and Behavioral/Mental Health 

In October 2020, SLU contracted with Fonemed, a telehealth company, to provide a nurse advice line for students who seek immediate advice for a medical or behavioral health concern. This service is available 24/7/365. There are no insurance charges or copays for a student to speak with a nurse. Students who call this service can expect a nurse will assess a concern and recommend a plan, such as initiate self-care tips, call your doctor for follow up, or proceed directly to an emergency room for urgent care. Nurses can also answer urgent COVID-19 questions about symptoms or isolation housing needs. The nurse triage line can be accessed directly by calling the Student Health Center (314-977-2323) or the University Counseling Center (314-977-8255) and pressing option #9 to be directly connected to a nurse.

Coming Soon! Online Medical and Behavioral Health Telehealth Appointments

This spring, students will have the option to schedule medical and behavioral health appointments with MDLIVE, a contracted telehealth care provider company. Students who are unable to make appointments with the UCC or SHC during business hours will now be able to schedule appointments for full care using this new service. Day, evening, and weekend appointments will be available. To use this service, students will pay a $15 fee at the time of the online appointment (using a personal credit card), and there will be no additional billing to personal insurance. A web page is currently under construction and when complete, the link to it will be publicized for students to schedule and initiate appointments. Be on the lookout for an official announcement when this service is available (hopefully, by February 1). Note: this service will be available to full- and part-time students at all levels, in all programs, with the exception of SPS and Madrid students.

Additional Mental Health Support for Students in Isolation/Quarantine Housing 

Last semester, students required to isolate/quarantine due to COVID-19 infection or exposure found the experience extremely challenging. This was especially true for students living alone or isolating/quarantining alone on campus. Feedback from students who had to isolate/quarantine in the fall underscored that many felt cut-off from their social support systems during this time, which made coping harder. This semester, we are adding new programming that will create more opportunities for students in isolation/quarantine to virtually connect with others. Graduate students from SLU’s School of Social Work have graciously volunteered to create community amongst isolating/quarantining students by offering virtual support groups, events, and peer-to-peer support. Students who are placed in isolation/quarantine housing can expect to be provided Zoom links to join virtual support meetings and events. As always, students in isolation/quarantine will continue to have access to support through the University Counseling Center, Dean of Students Office, and Campus Ministry.