Can you consider posting the following mental health resource?

Date: March 2020

Question

Dear Grad School Deans,

The following might be a useful service if someone is feeling stressed/lonely. You could consider including it in the weekly announcements.

Good alternate resource if people can’t get an appointment with Cornell Counseling. I used it yesterday and it was helpful. (There are enough disclaimers before the start of the call to say that it’s not an alternative to a medical opinion).

New Yorkers can call the COVID-19 Emotional Support Hotline at 1-844-863-9314 for mental health counseling.  

Regards,

Finding Resources


Response

Dear Finding Resources,

Thank you so much for writing to the Ask a Dean column. 

You are correct in that the current situation has at a minimum increased levels of uncertainty and stress for most of us. In addition, with social distancing becoming the new norm, it further complicates the situation when naturally we want to reach out to others when many of our networks are who we see on a daily basis. I write to let you know that what you are experiencing is a true reality for many. I appreciate fully your testimony that the Emotional Support Hotline was helpful to you! And, I want to make sure that you (and other students) have other resources that may be helpful in addition to the Emotional Support Hotline.  They include:

Cornell Resources

  • Cornell Health phone consultation (24/7): 607-255-5155

Ithaca Resources (24/7)

  • Ithaca Crisisline: 800-273-8255
  • Advocacy Center (sexual/domestic violence): 607-277-5000

National Talk-Lines (24/7)

  • Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255
  • Trevor Project hotline (LGBTQ+): 866-488-7386
  • LGBT+ National Hotline: 888-843-4564
  • TransLifeline: 877-565-8860

National Text/Chat Services

  • National Crisis Text Line: Text HELLO to 741741
  • Steve Fund crisis text line: Text STEVE to 741741 (connects you to a crisis counselor of color)
  • Trevor Project text line (LGBTQ+): Text START to 678678
  • National Suicide Prevention “Lifeline CHAT” service: suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat

And, I strongly recommend that you continue to reach out to your networks for support, but acknowledge that you may need to be creative about ways to have meaningful engagements with others that also allow you to maintain social distancing. 

As a campus community, we are just starting to define what a virtual community can look like and how that can be used to provide meaningful connections for students.  As we move in this direction, you’ll notice most of our programming be virtual as well.  You can expect to hear more soon (including in Announcements tonight).

Finally, I want to add that the way individuals get through a challenging situation is to develop resilience.  In addition to establishing a community (and that can absolutely include counseling support), it is important to take time to prioritize self-care (make sure that you are sleeping enough, eating healthy, and getting some exercise – there are some great opportunities highlighted in Grad Announcements that may work for you – check them out!).

 Learn what can help you through difficult moments (i.e. go for a walk, take a nap, call someone, draw a picture, whatever it is – do it).  Try to be thoughtful about the messages you are seeing in the news and see if setting up boundaries is helpful to you.  And, please be kind to yourself during this time!  Finally, know that I am happy to chat some more about this, if that is helpful to you – just send me an email.

All the best,

Janna

Janna Shine Lamey
Sr. Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Life