San Diego State University
 

To our one SDSU community,

The conditions we have seen since the start of this year are, in many ways, unfamiliar to many of us. 2020 has been one of the most unusual and difficult times in recent history. No matter what we have experienced this year, we each have the license to grieve and to heal in the ways most beneficial to our individual selves.

For some of us, we heal through spending time with others, and can still do so responsibly during the pandemic. For others, we may heal and recenter ourselves through prayer and spiritual practice. Some of us benefit most through exercise. Whatever works best for you, we encourage you to find every opportunity to take good care of your whole self, which includes mental and physical health, academic success, social well-being and holistic aspects of being well.

The concern for our collective health and our community drives our efforts. Our in-person interactions may be limited, but many resources remain available at San Diego State University. With this message we want to share the many ongoing programs, services, events and other supports for students and also faculty and staff. We also have teams ready to connect you with off-campus support should you need other assistance.

The following are some examples of things you may find helpful.

 
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Access to Support, Tools (On Your Own Time)

Not all students are experiencing the pandemic in the same way, and Counseling and Psychological Services (C&PS) is available to help.

Seven new therapists will join the department in January to further expand capacity, and therapists from a wide variety of backgrounds and languages are available to all students. Students are encouraged to call for a consultation to get personalized recommendations by a therapist. Beyond normal operating hours, students in immediate need on weekends or evenings can talk with a therapist even when the office is closed by calling 619-594-5220 and selecting the option to talk with an emergency therapist.

Students can also access tools on the C&PS website, which has information, strategies and other tips for coping, including coping with the pandemic, meditation and mindfulness exercises, and more.

 
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Addressing Well-Being in Multiple Ways: One-on-One, Group Opportunities

C&PS provides full support to students through virtual means, including individual sessions, group sessions, workshops and events. The team also plans to reintroduce in spring 2021 the popular “Coping with Quarantine” series, which launched this fall.

“Talk-it-Out” is available on a drop-in basis, for students who need a focused consultation with a therapist. The schedule is available online. These are one-on-one sessions with students who need space to talk through any concern or issue they may be experiencing.

In addition to the C&PS website, you can also follow the team via SDSUCounseling on Instagram for more information.

Well-being and Health Promotion (W&HP) continues to offer one-on-one education to connect with students and help them understand more about their sexual health, nutrition and sleep hygiene. W&HP also offers health coaching sessions to help students understand and improve their emotional wellness and self-care.

W&HP can assist students navigate health care within the San Diego community, empower them to access health-care resources where they are living now and help connect students to health care if they do not currently have access.

 
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Accomodations, Emergency Assistance Available for Students

Students who need support obtaining accommodations in their courses should contact the Student Ability Success Center (SASC) by emailing [email protected] or calling 619-594-6473. For general SASC information and appointment scheduling, you may also contact the virtual front desk: https://SDSU.zoom.us/j/94992128921. Hours and more information are on the SASC site.

The Economic Crisis Response Team (ECRT) offers student support through any basic needs crises, including food and housing insecurity, financial insecurity and health insecurity. Students can fill out a basic online form to request ECRT assistance.

 
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Resources Specifically for Faculty, Staff

Many faculty and staff have extended themselves heroically to maintain our essential missions during the pandemic. Information technology and facilities staff have gone to great lengths to care for the infrastructure that makes our mission possible even under these conditions.

Those who work directly with students, whether as instructional faculty, as advisors, as support staff, or in health and residential settings, have provided guidance, assurance, and compassion to others, even when they have themselves been under significant stress and shouldered new home and family responsibilities. We are especially mindful of our faculty and staff who have been educating and caring for their children at home, even while educating and caring for our SDSU students on the job.

Such enormous efforts can strain even the healthiest and most resilient communities — our one SDSU community included. Focused conversations are occurring to identify how administrative, non-essential, or non-timely burdens may be lessoned for our faculty and staff. Further, it is critical that as we approach winter recess, we offer ourselves and our colleagues flexibility and consideration and set realistic expectations for what must be accomplished during these final few weeks of the semester.

Faculty and staff should also rely on the Employee Assistance Program and other resources for employees are available online (SDSU login credentials required).

Faculty-specific support and information about how to work in a healthy and sustainable way during these unprecedented times is available through the SDSU Faculty Futures Lab podcast, which features episodes on healthy Zoom use, managing telestress, mentoring graduate students, and fostering community.

For faculty and staff who need support assisting a student experiencing difficulties, Counseling and Psychological Services (C&PS) offers consultation for you as well. You can reach the team by calling the office at 594-5220.

Faculty and staff can also request a staff or team presentation from C&PS about the various supports offered, and ways to support students’ mental health. Faculty and staff may request a presentation online.

 
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In Closing

So many of us have experienced losses — the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, the loss of tradition or rituals that bring comfort and help community connections feel more real. During a global crisis, feelings of anxiety, loneliness, frustration and heightened stress are not just common, they are normal. Also common is the constant drifting between frustration and optimism or hope.

We desire more immediate solutions to curb the pandemic, but experts project that the virus will remain present and pose challenges at least through the summer of 2021. We have been inundated for months with little repreve. This is why more regularly designated times for rest and recovery are essential. Just as we have response plans for the pandemic, we also need plans for personal health and community care. Through everything, and in the months ahead, we encourage you to continue taking care of yourself as best as you can and approaching one another with compassion in the spirit of community well-being.

J. Luke Wood, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs and Campus Diversity

Andrea Dooley, Ed.D.
Associate Vice President for Health, Well-Being & Accessibility

 
 

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