Safety and health resources: a message to faculty and staff
Over the past several days, we have faced significant challenges on our campus. Saturday was an especially difficult day. While it has been an unsettling time, there is also much taking place to remind us all what a special and caring community we live in. I have heard from so many of you, expressing concern and support for Anna Smith’s family, for our students, and for our faculty and staff colleagues. This outpouring of compassion reaffirms my faith in this caring Appalachian community.
On Saturday, you received an email to faculty and staff from Dean of Students J.J. Brown. I echo his words, and want to encourage you to utilize the resources available to you for supporting our students. If students approach you for assistance or if you notice students showing signs of distress, please remember there are many resources that Academic Affairs and Student Development have in place to assist you in helping them. These include:
- The AppCares website, which includes a link to faculty and staff resources you can use as a reference for assisting students.
- The Counseling and Psychological Services website, which includes, information about how to help and refer students. Of note, see the “at risk” block on the left side of the homepage for an online tutorial to assist students in emotional distress.
- The Dean of Students office (828-262-8284) and Counseling and Psychological Services (828-262-3180) staff also stand ready to assist should you need additional help.
- I also shared an email with our students and parents today, outlining many resources available to them and noting in particular two additional measures we are implementing in response to requests: University Police will increase foot, bike and vehicle patrols, and will also provide rides for our students who request shuttle service after regular Safe Ride hours.
I also want to be sure you know that there are resources available specifically to support faculty and staff as well:
- The Counseling Center for Faculty and Staff has an excellent team available to provide you with confidential support.
- The University Ombuds Office is also an outstanding resource if you are facing a challenge in the workplace and aren’t sure where to turn.
As we move forward in the days ahead, we will help one another, and together, we will build upon our already strong and compassionate foundation. We will become an even stronger community as we continue to embrace our mission of helping create healthy, just and sustainable societies by equipping our students to live with knowledge, compassion, dedication, humility and dignity.
Sheri N. Everts