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Mental health resources available on campus

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Jocelyn Arceo
Arts Editor

As of last year, there were 33 reported Behavioral Intervention Team, or BIT, cases, 122 Campus Assessment, Response and Evaluation, or CARE, Team cases, and over 3,000 appointments made to the Counseling and Psychological Services, or CAPS, on campus.

Resources are available all across campus, both for those who are struggling personally, as well as for individuals concerned for the well-being and stability of others.

“When somebody is hurting we suggest counseling, or getting help in the academic center,” Loretta Rahmani, chief student affairs officer, said. “We care, you matter. Please use your resources for help.”

Resources include the CARE Team, BIT, and Sexual Misconduct Reporting in regards to Title IX.

There is also a mandatory course for all incoming students that touches on subjects such as substance abuse and sexual consent, titled Think About It.

The CARE Team has been on campus for the last 30 years. This team of people from different organizations on campus help assess reports made by others regarding students, faculty or staff members who may pose a threat to themselves.

“Anyone can submit a student’s name,” Elleni Koulos, director of Counseling and Psychological Services, said. “We sit and ask, are there any resources the student needs and is there a natural contact that can reach out to the student to ask them if they need any resources.”

If the student is believed to be a threat to others, the report is sent over to BIT.

BIT receives reports in real time, and based on the threat level of the individual the team will sometimes meet as soon as an hour after the initial report, which has been done before, Rahmani said.

All reports can be made at laverne.edu/bit where there is a link titled Behavior and Wellness Referral Report which asks for all information on the individual, as well as a description of any incidents that may have led to the initial report.

Although not all details on the individual may be accessible to those filing the report, it is important to fill out as much of the referral as possible, regardless of any missing information.

“I think for some students it’s been nice to know that professors and people on campus care about them,” Koulos said. “There are people that you can go to, and there are people that want to help.”

A course titled Think About It was created four years ago.

It is mandatory for all new students, including traditional and nontraditional undergraduates, graduate students, transfer students and faculty as well. There is a hold implemented on the individual’s account if not completed.

“Incidents of sexual misconduct go under-reported. I got here in 2010, and I can almost count on one hand how many incidents were reported between 2010 to 2014,” Juan Regalado, dean of students, said. “There has been an increase in awareness, and an increase in reporting. This may not be a measure of efficiency, but a measure of impact.”

Although awareness of the issue has grown, Regalado said that does not mean the issue of sexual assault and misconduct on campus is solved.

“Just because there’s an awareness doesn’t mean someone will come out and tell you,” Regalado said.“It takes courage for the person to disclose, but it also takes courage for the person being disclosed to, to understand what it is they can do in terms of support,” he said.

Not only is the University working on raising awareness regarding the issue, an 8-hour mental health first aid training course is also offered.

The course teaches students and faculty what to do when an individual feels comfortable enough to disclose to you what they may be struggling with, Regalado said.

“We want to make sure there is more information out there that wasn’t just a course because as great as [Think About It] is, it’s one-dimensional,” Regalado said. “Different people learn in different ways, so how do we figure this out.”

CAPS is located at 2215 E Street. Students can find out more about their wellness and safety resources at laverne.edu/counseling.

Jocelyn Arceo can be reached at jocelyn.arceo@laverne.edu.

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