Office of the Provost

Mental Health Awareness Campaign

As we move into the midpoint of the fall term and are dealing with the normal pressures and stresses of this time of the semester in addition to the ongoing and broad-reaching impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, now is a very good time to reach out to your students with attuned messaging that:

  1. Conveys it’s okay to not be okay – Acknowledge the stress that many students are under right now. Normalizing feelings of stress and anxiety, and the tax these things create on our cognitive bandwidth, can be very helpful for students who may worry about whether these feelings mean they don’t belong in college. It also increases the likelihood students will seek out help when they need it.
  2. Encourages students to take care of themselves, physically and emotionally, and build into their schedules time to support their well-being.
  3. Shares some basic information about campus resources available to support students’ basic needs, health, and wellness.

Towards these ends, we are asking all instructors to share, in class over the next week, the attached slide. In case it’s helpful, below are some suggested talking points that you can use to introduce the slide. Please adapt these to your individual style, so the messages don’t appear stale if being received in multiple courses.

  1. “Midterm is one of the most stressful periods in the semester. It’s normal to feel higher levels of stress or anxiety, or struggle more with mental or physical health issues at these times.”
  2. “In addition, the pandemic is continuing to create real disruption and stress in many of our lives.”
  3. “It’s very important in times like this to make sure we’re taking care of ourselves, and that includes reaching out for help when you need it.”
  4. “UToledo has a variety of helpful resources, whether we’re really struggling right now, or just want to do what we can to keep ourselves well.”
  5. “This slide has information on a variety of those resources. And if you’d like more information about any of them, please let me or your Success Coach know.”

Take time to discuss some of the individual items listed on the slide, we have attached a document with additional information.

For tips on how to talk to students to make effective referrals to campus resources, see this Teaching Center resource on Making Effective Referrals.

If you have a non-urgent concern about the safety or well-being of a student, you can complete a Rocket Care Request and a team member from the Office of Student Advocacy and Support will follow up with the student. If you have an urgent concern about the safety of a student, please contact the University of Toledo Police Department at 419-530-2600.

Additional Resources that may be helpful:

  • See this resource on Supporting Financially-Stressed Students from the Student Experience Project for helpful tips on how to support students in your courses who are under high levels of financial stress.
  • This website on cognitive bandwidth – what it is, how stressors such as the pandemic influence bandwidth, how bandwidth under miners impact our ability to focus and learn, and how we can help to maintain our bandwidth in stressful times.

We also know that this is can be a very stressful time for faculty and staff. It is important that we take care of ourselves while we take care of the needs of others. If you are experiencing some of these same feelings, you may find it helpful to have someone to talk to - or you may want to check out some resources that are available to you.

Our IMPACT Employee Assistance Program (EAP), offers confidential support for you and your household members, dependents living away from home, and parents & parents-in-law. In addition to many online resources, professional phone support is available around-the-clock, on an unlimited basis, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Face-to-face counseling is also available, with up to 5 sessions included per problem occurrence. Access these services here:

Last Updated: 9/8/22