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Wellness Resources for Students Spring 2022

To: All Students

From: Melissa Van Der Wall, Dean of Students

Date: May 1, 2022

Dear Students,

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and this is the perfect time to emphasize that your wellness is our top priority.  Mental health and wellbeing are something to care about throughout the year, but now more than ever, we write to remind you of resources for support. Advocating for yourself is investing in your experience and pursuing what you need academically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, financially, and socially to be healthy and successful. We understand that you might be wrestling with issues impacting your student experience. Solutions are available to help and we encourage you to take care of yourself.

We know that help-seeking behavior is not easy for everyone. We also know there is a reluctance amongst students of Color and students from under-represented communities to seek mental health support, for a variety of reasons.  Well-being for these individuals, as a result of certain cultural/ethnic stigmas and historical barriers, looks different.  However, we want you to know that we see you!  We understand that you may even feel that you are being treated or perceived as “less than” during this time for academic performance, and this is indeed traumatizing. Please take advantage of the confidential resources available, in particular Counseling Services, Health Services, Office of Specialized Services, and the Office of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Compliance (EDIC).

Resources and Options
We validate that students may find it difficult to manage a routine or concentrate on academics during this period of final exams and upcoming graduation. Some students may be experiencing sleep difficulties and others may find themselves struggling with increased stress, anxiety, and other mental health concerns. We encourage you to engage in self-care strategies that promote overall well-being.

  • Schedules: Maintain a schedule which can help when you feel overwhelmed;

  • Sleep: Develop a consistent sleep schedule. Young adults (aged 18 to 25) need 7-9 hours of sleep per night. A lack of adequate sleep can lead to fatigue, mood changes, and difficulty focusing. Try to avoid screens for an hour before trying to sleep (bed is only for rest), and avoid studying or eating in your bed;

  • Nutrition: Eat consistently and do not skip breakfast (especially before an exam). Your ability to concentrate and recall information is worse when you are hungry. Eating breakfast before an exam has been found to improve performance, while not eating has been found to worsen performance. If you are struggling with food insecurity, please visit the We Care Food Pantry for food. Please visit this page to learn more about how nutrition impacts your academic functioning and mental health;

  • Get Active: Move your body, as a lack of movement can cause pain and discomfort. Additionally, regular exercise improves mood through the release of endorphins. You can visit the Bradley Center, enjoy the scenery of the campus, or hike in the Ramapo Valley County Reservation. If you use mobility aids, the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD) created a playlist with many accessible exercises;

  • Isolation: Stress, anxiety, and depression cause us to isolate ourselves from our community. Social bonds help us to feel better and prevent suicide attempts by decreasing feelings of hopelessness. Try to spend some time de-stressing by meeting up with friends and attending events on campus.  A Therapy Dog event, sponsored through CSI, will be in the Grove on May 4th from 1pm to 3pm.  Following, Yoga on the Yard, co-sponsored by EDIC and Counseling Services, will occur from 3pm to 4pm on the Birch Mansion Lawn;

  • Having Fun: Whether you like crafting, dancing, playing video games, sports, reading, singing, or watching movies, spending time doing what you love is a great stress and anxiety reliever;

  • Transitioning After Graduation: The change from being a Ramapo College Student to an alumni may bring about uncertainty and anxiety as you are realizing your next steps. If you have any questions or concerns on planning your career after graduation, schedule an appointment with a Career Advisor within the Cahill Career Development Center. You can also use Handshake to browse job postings, career articles, and other resources. Alumni of the college will still have access to TAO, a platform through Counseling Services to support your mental well-being through self-help. If your email becomes inactive, reactivate your account and utilize TAO.

Drop-in Hours (Mental Health Support):

Counseling Services offers drop-in consultations (students without an appointment) available Monday to Friday from 1pm to 3pm. Students are seen on a first come, first-serve basis by dropping into the office, located in D-216. The last appointment is at 2:40 pm. Please note that drop-in consultations are not considered formal mental health treatment and are designed to address a specific concern.


If you are struggling to function at your best and are interested in mental health counseling, please call Counseling Services at 201-684-7522 or email Susan Blezow, Office Manager, to schedule an intake. The phone number and email are checked during business hours (8:30 am to 4:30 pm).

Day Time Emergencies:

If you are experiencing a psychological emergency (such as having thoughts of suicide or you have experienced a trauma) during business hours (Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm), please drop-in to room D-216 or call Counseling Services at 201-684-7522 and ask to be connected with the Emergency Counselor. Alternatively, you may call 911 or your local emergency room.

After Hours Emergencies:

If you are experiencing a psychological emergency during nights (after 4:30pm Monday to Friday) or weekends/holidays, please call 201-684-7522 and follow the prompt (“Press 2”) for immediate assistance. Alternatively, you may call 911 or your local emergency room.

TAO Self-Enrolled Self-Help:

Counseling Services offers all Ramapo students FREE access to, TAO, an online self-help program that is accessible by phone, tablet, or computer. You can learn more about TAO and how to register by visiting the Counseling Services Website.

 Additional Resources:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (24/7/365): 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

  • NJ Hopeline: (24/7/365 Peer Support and Suicide Prevention Hotline); 1-855-654-6735 or text for a response within 24 hours

  • 2nd Floor Support Line for NJ Residents Ages 10-24 years old (24/7/365): Call or text 888-222-2228

  • NJ Mental Health Cares Helpline (7 Days a week, 8 am to 8 pm): 1-866-202-4357

  • NJ Mental Health Cares Videophone Helpline for Individuals who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing (Mon-Friday 9 am to 5 pm): 973-870-0677 VP

  • Crisis Text Line (24/7/365):  Text HOME to 741741

  • Trevor Lifeline for suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and/or questioning young people under 25 years old (24/7/365): 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 678-678 )

  • Trans Lifeline’s Peer Support Hotlinerun by trans people for trans and questioning peers: 1-877-565-8860

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233; TTY (teletypewriter): 1-800-787-3224; or text “START” to 88788

  • Veterans in NJ Crisis line for suicide prevention  (24/7/365): 1-800-273-8255, Press 1 or text 838255

  • NJ Vet to Vet Peer Support Line for New Jersey National Guard members, active military personnel, veterans, their families, and caregivers statewide (24/7/365): 1-866-838-7654

  • Lines for Life crisis support for service members, veterans, and their families (24/7/365): 888-457-4838

  • Lines for Life Alcohol and Drug Helpline serves anyone who needs information, support or access to resources and treatment for alcohol or drug use (24/7/365): 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

  • NJ Connect for Recovery, a clinical and peer to peer support line for those struggling with opiate use (12 pm to 8 pm): 855-652-3737 for TTY 877-294-4356

  • RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline (24/7/365): 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)

  • healingSPACE, Bergen County’s Sexual Violence Resource Center (24/7/365):201-487-2227

  • 8 Minute Work Out Video

As you consider May as Mental Health Awareness Month, be aware of those living with mental health issues, contribute to a stigma free campus and society, advocate for policies that support mental health issues, and understand the resources that are available to you should you be in need of support.

In health,

Melissa Van Der Wall
Dean of Students

Megan Johnston, MSW
Health Educator, Center for Health and Counseling Services