Red Folder Initiative

The Red Folder Initiative involves providing all faculty and staff with a Red Folder that is meant to serve as a quick reference guide, providing resources for working with students who may be struggling emotionally. Each folder includes information on identifying indicators of distress, tips for talking to students, and resources to contact for additional help. 

Updated Red Folders were distributed in Spring 2024. If you need additional Red Folders please submit a request.

Memo to the Campus Community Spring 2024

Dear Members of the SUNY Geneseo Community:


As we near the end of the Spring 2024 semester, we are pleased to present you with the most recent edition of the Red Folder, a resource designed to assist faculty and staff in responding to students in distress. While mental health occurs on a continuum, we are often called upon to provide extra assistance when students are feeling helpless, hopeless, or overwhelmed. Many of us are called upon to provide extra assistance when students are feeling helpless, hopeless, or overwhelmed, and it can be challenging to stay emotionally present and connect students to the right resources while also worrying about what to say and how to help. We hope this folder provides an anchor for you in those moments.


While responding to students in distress is one aspect of campus wellbeing, we know that the topic includes so much more. Over the past few years, many of us have noticed the mental health needs of our students change and intensify. Some of us have found that our own emotional reserves–the same ones that worked overtime to sustain us throughout the pandemic–may have receded. In conversations with members throughout campus, we have learned that it’s increasingly common for students, faculty, and staff to report feeling the effects of burnout despite their best efforts to practice self-care.


In this moment, we see an opportunity to approach campus-wide wellbeing in a more holistic and systemic way. The Wellbeing Collective is an open group of faculty, staff, and students who are interested in how we can thread wellbeing into the fabric of SUNY Geneseo culture. Inspiration for our work can be found in the Okanagan Charter, a document that emphasizes how wellbeing of person, place, and planet are integral to operations on college campuses. 


As the Wellbeing Collective continues to grow, we are committed to creating an environment in which all campus community members can thrive. We intend for our work to be broad in scope and deep in impact and we invite you to learn more at We welcome any form of participation, no matter how big or small.



Best wishes for a healthy end to the Spring semester,


The Wellbeing Collective


Students in distress may be struggling with academic or personal challenges. Remember that you are in a unique position to identify students who may be in need of help. 


Sharing your concerns directly with the student and reaching out to campus/community resources are important first steps in the helping process.


Students may not be aware of what resources are available or how to find help. It's okay to check in with students to see how they're doing. Demonstrating a culture of care and compassion strengthens the campus community.