The spring semester and academic year are drawing to a close which, in a “normal” year is a stressful, busy time for everyone. This year, the pressure and strain are magnified as we navigate our way through the pandemic and feel ourselves inching ever closer to brighter days.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve said we’re prioritizing the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff above all else. As we look to July and the resumption of more in-person work and operations, I am thinking more and more about you and your overall health. We might be somewhat accustomed to a high level of uncertainty and change, but that doesn’t mean we are immune to feeling the stress that comes with existing in this fluid environment.
For a moment, I’d like you to reflect on how your life has changed over the last 14 months. You may be teaching or working remotely. Your children were learning remotely, and may still be home or may be on modified schedules. You or your family members may have been ill. You may have lost loved ones. Others in your household or family may have been let go from their jobs. The activities that help you relieve stress — exercise, vacation, time with friends and family — have changed. In reality, there are few parts of our individual lives that have remained intact and unaffected.
Psychiatrists Thomas Holmes, Richard Rahe, and colleagues developed a scale to measure stress and the cumulative effect multiple events — both positive and negative — have on our well-being. Every one of the changes to our daily lives mentioned above is a major life event that can impact our mental and physical health.
I share this as we near the end of the semester, and in recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, because I want you to do a self-check and to check on those around you. I want to re-emphasize resources we’ve previously shared. I want you to reach out if you need support. I want you to know I value you as an employee of UNLV, and I value you as a whole person even more. I mean it when I say take care of yourself and look out for each other.
Student resources also are included below, and I ask that you share these with your students as they prepare for finals.
Support for Faculty and Staff
Employee Assistance Program
Call the UNLV Benefits Office for information about the Employee Assistance Program at 702-895-3504.
Faculty and staff also have access to TAO Connect, Therapy Assistance Online, which is a digital platform aimed at making behavioral health therapy more accessible, efficient, and effective. TAO Connect provides free and anonymous self-help tools that allow people to work on improving their behavioral health on their own schedule.
The CDC also provides resources for coping with the pandemic.
Human Resource provides resources through the online work-life space. Programs and services include low-cost health and wellness options.
UNLV recently assembled an online hub of support services provided across campus, which promote “whole-person” wellness, extending from mental and physical to social well-being.
Support for Students
UNLV Support Team
Faculty and staff can play an invaluable role in helping students who are in distress. Expressions of interest, concern, and compassion are important factors that could encourage a student to seek help. The student of concern referral is a part of a comprehensive reporting system that fosters a safe and supportive campus community. It allows faculty and staff at UNLV to share appropriate information about students for whom they are concerned. Staff and faculty, friends, and family members of students in distress can complete the referral form to share pertinent information. Call 702-895-1404 with questions related to the UNLV Support Team or completing a Support Team referral.
The UNLV Support Team also offers a faculty and staff guide to helping a student in distress as well as a free interactive online tutorial on how to navigate conversations regarding mental health with students. Staff and faculty can use the enrollment key "unlasvegas" to complete the interactive tutorial.
Student Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
CAPS serves our diverse campus community by providing free, high-quality and culturally informed counseling and psychiatric services that enhance and support students’ well-being, academic and life goals. Students in need of urgent services may contact CAPS at 702-895-3627 for a same-day consultation Monday through Thursday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. and Fridays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. CAPS continues to offer telehealth visits.
CAPS also provides workshops on emotional wellness topics and offers students access to TAO Connect, a free and anonymous self-help tool that allows you to work on improving your behavioral health on your own schedule. For more information about services visit unlv.edu/caps.
After-hours emergency and crisis services
- Desert Parkway Behavioral Health Hospital (24 hours): 877-663-7976
- Nevada Suicide Prevention Hotline (24 hours): 1-800-992-5757
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (24 hours): 1-800-273-8255
- Crisis Text Line (24 hours): Text CONNECT or HOME to 741741
- UNLV Care Line (confidential hotline for guidance): 702-895-0602
Please take your mental health and physical health seriously in these trying and challenging times. Our community depends on each one of us being as healthy as possible. As the Beatles made famous, "I get by with a little help from my friends." We are a community of friends who can offer support to help you get by.