Student Services announced their launch of a new suicide prevention website during the Student Government Association Town Hall on Monday.
The URL for the website is shu.edu/hope, which leads to a page that offers multiple ways to seek help, including a 24/7 Mental Health Crisis Hotline at 973-275-Help (4357). Associate Vice President & Dean of Students Karen Van Norman said that the crisis hotline is “always available.”
“There’s a mental health crisis in the country,” Van Norman said.
This announcement was made as a result of students voicing their concerns on the University’s Counseling and Psychological Services efficiency and accessibility.
“To even get an appointment is a little bit difficult,” SGA Gender Equity Commissioner Erika David said of understaffing at CAPS.
Van Norman said that CAPS has been short-staffed for about a year, and that they’re funded to hire three more people, one-third of CAPS staff. She said she is “incredibly grateful” for the current staff.
Van Norman said there’s a misconception on what college counseling centers can do. “We do short-term counseling, not long-term,” she said, “We do not have resources for long-term therapy. We’re an academic institution, not a therapeutic institution.”
She also mentioned that the University is providing resources and training for faculty to recognize, for example, when a student is stressed. The training is not mandatory, she said.