Faculty Guidelines for Mental Health Statement on Syllabi

Rationale

Counseling Services regularly receives calls from faculty and staff regarding students who might be experiencing distress. In an effort to be more proactive in minimizing the potential negative outcome of students in distress, the enclosed statement was generated for faculty members to consider including on their syllabi; the statement might also be used to encourage classroom conversations about the stigma that keeps students from getting professional help.

Reducing the stigma about accessing mental health care can lead to a culture on the Geneseo campus where students seek professional help when it is needed. We invite you to work with us toward reducing the stigma about accessing mental health care so that students are not afraid to seek professional help when necessary.

We would be interested in knowing whether you use the statement (or a modified version).  If you have any questions, feedback, or otherwise would like to suggest modifications to this statement, feel free to contact Beth Cholette, Ph.D., Clinical Director for Counseling Services.

Syllabi Insert

Diminished mental health, including significant stress, mood changes, excessive worry, or problems with eating and/or sleeping can interfere with optimal academic performance. The source of symptoms might be strictly related to your course work; if so, please speak with me. However, problems with relationships, family worries, loss, or a personal struggle or crisis can also contribute to decreased academic performance.

SUNY Geneseo provides mental health services to support the academic success of students. Counseling Services, a part of the Lauderdale Center for Student Health & Counseling, offers free, confidential psychological services to help you manage personal challenges that may threaten your well-being.

In the event I suspect you need additional support, I will express my concerns and the reasons for them, and remind you of resources (e.g., Counseling Services, Career Services, Dean of Students, etc.) that might be helpful to you.  It is not my intention to know the details of what might be bothering you, but simply to let you know I am concerned and that help, if needed, is available.

Getting help is a smart and courageous thing to do -- for yourself and for those who care about you.