College. Highlights for most students include meeting new friends, getting involved on campus and becoming socially engaged.
While college is a wonderful time for most students, some students may struggle. Distressed students may initially seek assistance from faculty, staff members, their parents and other students. They may be found in the classroom, at home or within residence halls.
UND Cares is a webpage that was created as a resource guide for parents, staff, faculty and students because UND cares about distressed students or students in need. The webpage can be used to gather information about campus resources, make referrals, and demonstrate how to help each other in time of need.
The webpage also helps students, faculty, staff and parents learn about the professional support services available to students on campus through the Dean of Students and University Counseling Center. Both are available to provide consultation about providing a student with the help that he or she may need.
“Sometimes we may be concerned about a student, a friend or a loved one and we don’t know what to do or who to call,” said Cara Halgren, UND associate vice president and dean of students. “If you are concerned about someone in our community, please call us. We can help.”
According to the UND 2012 American College Health Association – National College Heath Assessment, in the past year:
- 21.3 percent of UND students felt so depressed it was difficult to function.
- 6 .9 percent seriously considered suicide.
- 1.5 percent attempted suicide.
- More than 1 in 4 students indicated that stress interfered with their academic success.
Stress has been the No. 1 academic impact cited by UND students since the survey was started in 2000, according to the Dean of Students office.
Identifying warning signs of distress is the first step in knowing how to help. These can include:
- Significant changes in daily activities.
- Cut off or minimized contact with family or friends.
- Significant changes in performance or involvement in academics, sports, extracurricular or social activities.
- Problems that result from experiences with drinking or drugs.
- Withdrawn, volatile, tearful or emotional behavior
- Acting out of character
- Talking explicitly about hopelessness or suicide
- Difficulty in concentrating or carrying on normal conversation
- Excessive dependence on others for company or support
- feeling out of control in regard to emotions, thoughts or behaviors
“At least one-tenth of the student population finds their way through our doors. Maybe they were encouraged, maybe they heard about the Counseling Center. Whatever brought them to us, the counseling center is here for you or someone you care about,” said Myron Veenstra, director of the UND Counseling Center.
Services at the UND Counseling Center are free and confidential for enrolled students.
“College can take a while to adjust to; it’s nice knowing that there are people out there that truly care about the hardships you are going through,” said UND student Kyle See-Rockers, president of Sigma Phi Epsilon.
The University of North Dakota has tools to help identify students with those warning signs. It’s important to know where to direct them for help. UND Cares can help improve a college career and even save a life.
“The safety and overall well-being of our campus is a responsibility that is shared by all university community members,” Eric Plummer, UND director of public safety and chief of police. “ Remember if you see something, say something in order for us to work together to make an exceptional UND.”
Coordinator of Communications
Health & Wellness
University of North Dakota