To: All Students
From: Melissa Van Der Wall, Dean of Students
Date: January 26, 2022
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.
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). No appointment is necessary, but you must first call 201-684-7522. 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:
- NJ Hopeline (24/7 Peer Support and Suicide Prevention Hotline); 1-855-654-6735 or text firstname.lastname@example.org
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (24 hours); 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- Bergen County Emergency Psychiatric Screening Center; 1-201-262-HELP (4357)
- Crisis Text Line – Text HOME to 741741
- The Trevor Lifeline; 1-866-488-7386 (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
- 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
- NJ Mental Health Cares Helpline: Call 1-866-202-HELP (4357)
Helping Each Other
While I hope that you would intervene when another student is in distress, I recognize that you must first have access to teachable tools in order to be aware of warning signs. Counseling Services has adopted an online tool called “Ask, Listen, Refer” that will teach you to better notice the signs of distress, to support someone you are worried about, and to refer them to services if necessary. To engage in the free training, click here and take the 20-minute, self-guided online program. I received my Certificate of Completion and hope that you will join me in learning more about how we can support 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 email@example.com 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. The list of available topics and the request form for Wellness Is Now (W.I.N.) can be found on the Counseling Services webpage. If you’d 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. If you wish to get involved on campus as a student leader to promote mental and emotional health and so much more, please apply to become a Wellness Is Now (WIN) peer educator for fall 2022.
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) at http://www.ramapo.edu/bit/. The team coordinates the support services of Ramapo College in order to assist students who have reportedly displayed troublesome or 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.
- TAO has also created COVID-19 content, available on Vimeo for ease of access. “Coping through the Coronavirus” provides concrete ways to manage the anxiety and uncertainty that we are all facing.
- Mindfulness at Ramapo College provides free, virtual meditation events on Wednesday evening and Thursday afternoon.
Additionally, taking care of your physical health through exercise and nutrition has been found to improve mental wellbeing:
- The Ramapo College fitness centers including the Bradley Center, Student Lounge, and Recreation Lounge; the Adele and Reuben Thomas Swimming Pool, the Sharp Fitness Center, and the Auxiliary Gym are open to students with a Ramapo ID throughout spring 2022.
- Mindfulness at Ramapo College also provides weekly yoga classes that are $25 for Ramapo College students.
- Ramapo Dining Services provides a complimentary dietitian, Anne Sugrue, RD., who can help you make informed decisions about your diet on campus.
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.
If you ever have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at email@example.com or by phone, 201-684-7457.
Best wishes for a successful semester.
Melissa Van Der Wall
Dean of Students