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Dear Colleagues,

The demand for student mental health services, coupled with the increase in acuity, calls us to transform student mental health services to meet the changing needs of our students. We are committed to providing robust mental health services that ensure that students receive the support they need when they need it. As you will see below, we have made significant investments in expanding our capacity for offering mental health services this year. In addition, having accurate information about how to access those resources is a critical component of our commitment to students, faculty, and staff. This email is the first in a series of communications to share important information about these resources. As Dr. Sullivan related in her email to the campus earlier this month, each of us has a role and responsibility for supporting our students’ mental health and overall wellbeing. We are grateful for the time and support you give to our students, and we are committed to supporting your efforts.

We are pleased to share this comprehensive update on our efforts to transform mental health services at SCU. Please reach out if you have any questions or additional ideas to support our efforts.

The University and several generous donors have made significant financial investments in the transformation of mental health services at Santa Clara:

  • Funded eight new positions in Counseling and Psychological Services to increase our capacity to serve students: three Counselors in Residence, one additional Case Manager, a Master’s-level Counselor, a Master's Level Training Director, a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, and an additional Postdoctoral trainee.
  • Funded a new Assistant Director for Recovery and Alcohol and Other Drug Programs position in the Wellness Center.
  • Funded a new Assistant Director for Student Wellbeing in the Office of Student 
  • Expanded the partnership with Christie Campus Health to provide CAPS 24/7 resources that supplement the counseling services and wellbeing programming currently offered by the University.
  • Funded certification of 40 Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) instructors.
    • During winter and spring quarters, over 100 faculty, staff, and students were trained in MHFA. This summer, Campus Ministry staff, Spirituality Facilitators, Athletics staff and coaches, Resident Directors and Assistant Resident Directors were trained in MHFA.
  • Launched At Risk Mental Health online training for students, faculty and staff.
  • Funded a survivors support group out of the Wellness Center beginning in the fall.
  • Funded student peer health-related leadership positions in the Wellness Center beginning in the fall.

What can students expect when they return to campus in the fall?

Increased Services in CAPS

  • Elimination of session limits and fees associated with therapy appointments in our CAPS office, while maintaining a clinically appropriate, short-term therapy model. Therapists will work with students to develop a treatment plan that best meets each individual's needs within the available resources. If additional support is needed, a Case Manager can help find a community referral. Students also have access to Thriving Campus, a resource that will allow students to identify off-campus providers that are accepting new clients.
  • Access to the CAPS 24/7 support line answered by licensed therapists, including support for students living or studying abroad or in other states. 
  • Access to psychiatric services through our newly-hired Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner.
  • A soon to be redesigned Cowell website and a new wellness hub at with educational materials and assessments to support student wellbeing. 
  • Expanded group therapy options including a group for LGBTQ+ students and the continuation of a group for students of color.
  • Expanded support for students who live off-campus from a designated CAPS Off-Campus Liaison. 

Counselors in Residence

This fall we are launching a Counselors in Residence (CIR) program that places professionally trained mental health clinicians into residence halls to address the mental health needs of residents and to support Residence Life Staff, including our Community Facilitators. This proactive, collaborative effort between CAPS and the Office of Residence Life (ORL) seeks to increase the awareness, availability and access to counseling, decrease barriers to accessing mental health support, and reduce the stigma associated with mental health services. CIRs are available to help students with immediate, non-crisis challenges through walk-in appointments in the residence halls.

What can faculty and staff expect?

  • Accessible, current information about mental health resources available to students so that you can easily connect students with resources on campus they may need.
  • Support to help you respond to students’ needs, including a new faculty/staff toolkit and support for how to respond when you are concerned about a student.
  • Opportunities for conversations with colleagues in Student Life, CAPS, and other offices to learn more about SCU resources.

We are committed to supporting your efforts to help our students. Heather Dumas-Dyer, Interim Director of Health and Counseling, will provide additional information next week related to CAPS staffing and some additional services. Together we can create a supportive campus community as we live out our commitment to cura personalis.

With gratitude for your continued support for our community,

Jeanne Rosenberger
Vice Provost for Student Life

Heather Dumas-Dyer
Interim Director of Health and Counseling

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Santa Clara University
Vice Provost for Student Life
500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053
Phone: 408-554-4366
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