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Ramapo College Wellness Services – Fall 2022

To: All Students

From: Melissa Van Der Wall, Dean of Students

Date: September 8, 2022

Dear Student,

I anticipate that your student experience will be a positive one; however, I recognize that everyone goes through stressful times. According to the Jed Foundation, suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students; therefore, I want you to be aware of the services Ramapo College has in place to support students and what you can do to assist another student who might be in distress.

Counseling Services
Free, confidential mental health counseling and crisis intervention services are available through Counseling Services.  The contact phone number to schedule an appointment is 201-684-7522.  Counseling Services is located in D-216.

If you or someone you know is in a crisis situation and having thoughts of death, dying, or suicide, emergency appointments are available in Counseling Services by calling 201-684-7522, Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm. In addition, counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for all psychological emergencies, including thoughts of suicide, by calling 201-684-7522 and following the prompts.

In Counseling Services, drop-in consultations are offered Monday through Friday from 1:00pm to 3:00pm (last student seen at 2:40pm). Students are seen on a first-come, first-served basis. The purpose of these brief, drop-in hours are to assist students with concerns such as:

  • You have a specific problem and would like to talk it through with someone.
  • You are not sure if you want to start ongoing therapy.
  • You are looking for another perspective on something you are going through.

Other Crisis Resources:

  • Suicide & Crisis Hotline: Call or text 988 (24/7/365)  to access a trained crisis counselor if you are experiencing thoughts of suicide, a mental health or substance use crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress. 988 is confidential, free, and available 24/7/365. Confidentiality is limited in instances where a caller is a danger to themselves or others. You can still reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • NJ Hopeline (24/7 Peer Support and Suicide Prevention Hotline); 1-855-654-6735 or text
  • Crisis Text Line – Text HOME to 741741
  • The Trevor Lifeline; call 1-866-488-7386 or text START to 678-678 for suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning young people under 25 years old
  • Trans Lifeline’s Peer Support Hotline, 1-877-565-8860
  • RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline (24/7/365): 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)
  • healingSPACE – 1-201-487-2227; sexual violence crisis intervention hotline (say that you are a Ramapo student.)
  • Veterans in NJ Crisis line: Call 1-800-273-8255, Press 1, Veterans Crisis Line (Text):  838-255
  • Lines for Life Military Helpline for service members, veterans, and their families (24/7/365): call 1-888-457-4838
  • Lines for Life Alcohol and Drug Helpline for anyone who needs information, support or access to resources and treatment for alcohol or drug use (24/7/365): 1-800-923-4357
  • NJ IME Addictions Access Center  provides information and referral to substance abuse treatment agencies statewide (24/7/365): 1-844-276-2777

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
You can contribute to Ramapo’s connected, caring community by participating in Counseling Service’s Ask, Listen, Refer training. The brief, 20-minute online training is designed to give you the important knowledge of recognizing the warning signs of suicide, as well as how to respond and get help for people at risk.  By completing the training, you will be entered in a give-away.  I received my Certificate of Completion and hope that you will join me in learning more about how we can support each other.

Join Counseling Services and Active Minds on Wednesday, September 28th, 2022 for two screenings of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s short documentary, “It’s Real: College Students and Mental Health.” After the screening, there will be a panel with Counseling Services staff and Ramapo students to discuss mental health concerns and recovery in college students:

Active Minds will also be creating a window display in the Fishbowl to raise awareness about the impact that suicide has on college students.  Please consider joining Active Minds and contribute towards these important efforts by emailing

Lastly, the Wellness Is Now (W.I.N.) Peer Educators will be tabling throughout September to raise awareness about the warning signs of suicide, self-help and Ramapo resources to prevent mental health crisis. You can find them by the Student Center stairs, on the left side, on the following dates:

  • Tuesday 9/13, 9/20 and 9/27 from 12:00pm to 2:00pm
  • Thursday 9/15 and 9/22 from 2:30pm-4:00pm

Helping Each Other
Counseling Services can facilitate suicide prevention training, known as Campus Connect, for student clubs or organizations.  Campus Connect is a free, 3-hour long training that provides gatekeepers with information and strategies to help prevent suicide, and refer students to campus and community resources. Counseling Services staff members utilize experiential exercises, including an emphasis on acknowledging and working with a gatekeeper’s own fears about suicide. Campus Connect prepares faculty, staff, and students with an opportunity to learn about suicide prevention, and practice strategies for interacting with a student who is in crisis. To request training, please contact Dr. Judy Green at for more information. Other Counseling Services workshops can be requested on their website.

If you are a student club or group on campus, there are peer educators you can work with to teach your members vital strategies to promote mental and emotional health through planned workshops. If you would like W.I.N. to co-sponsor an event with your organization, please email Megan Johnston, the Health Educator and W.I.N. staff advisor, at or complete the request form on the W.I.N. webpage.

Behavioral Intervention Team
If you are not sure what to do about another student and the student is not in immediate danger, you can share your concerns with Ramapo College’s Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT). The team coordinates the support services of Ramapo College in order to assist students who have reportedly displayed concerning behaviors.

Additional Ways to Care for Yourself

The following services exist at Ramapo College to help you care for your mental wellbeing:

  • Counseling Services offers a free, anonymous mental health screening to help you identify any areas of distress that could be impacting your ability to function at your best.
  • Counseling Services has also compiled a resource list to support mental well-being, healing, and empowerment among Black students and their allies.
  • Counseling Services partners with Therapy Assisted Online (TAO), to give students access to a free and completely private online library of interactive educational modules and practice tools. TAO supports stress management, mindfulness, problem-solving, relationships, and communication as well as provides strategies to develop more helpful thinking patterns. In order to access these free modules, create an account with your Ramapo email here. 

Additionally, taking care of your physical health through exercise and nutrition has been found to improve mental wellbeing:

  • The Ramapo College fitness centers includes the Bradley Center, Recreation Lounge, Adele and Reuben Thomas Swimming Pool, Sharp Fitness Center, and the Auxiliary Gym. They are open to students with a Ramapo ID throughout Fall 2022
  • Ramapo Dining Services provides a complimentary dietitian, Anne Sugrue, who can help you make informed decisions about your diet on campus.  Anne can be reached at

Building a support system and becoming involved in the community is another great way to care for your well-being. You can explore the many student clubs and organizations to find your community.

In closing, I wish you a healthy and positive fall semester.  Remember: You are human. You matter. You belong here. You can do challenging things.  You are worthy.  If you ever have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at or by phone, 201-684-7457.

In health,

Melissa Van Der Wall

Dean of Students