The Center for Wellness and Wellbeing
The Center for Wellness & Wellbeing, formerly Psychological Services, provides short-term individual counseling, crisis intervention, and mental health workshops and training to SMC students, as well as training and consultation for SMC faculty and staff. In addition, several programs on campus also house mental health clinicians part-time making access to mental health services more efficient and streamlined for students. These include the following:
- Disabled Students Programs and Services
- Guardian Scholars
- Latino Center and African American Collegians
The Center for Wellness and Wellbeing partners with many community-based partners throughout Los Angeles County. Students coming in for services to the Wellness Center are often referred to community providers for longer-term treatment. Wellness staff makes referrals based on a student’s insurance and level of need. Community partners include the department of mental health, private practitioners, intensive outpatient, and inpatient hospitalization. Wellness staff also work with international student insurance to connect them to the provider’s in-network. Community providers also come on campus to see students on an individual basis. For a list of commonly referred agencies, see page 10.
Mental health activities and educational opportunities are offered throughout the year to SMC students, faculty, managers and staff with a goal of reducing stigma and creating awareness. Below is a list of some initiatives that have taken place on campus:
A virtual learning tool for staff and students on mental health topics. SMC was an early adopter of Kognito’s suite of online mental health training featuring role-play simulations that prepare individuals to have real-life conversations with those suspected of having mental health issues. The simulated conversations are intended to inspire and inform, impact how people think and act, evoke empathy, and ultimately change lives. The online training provides trainees with the ability to practice conversations with emotionally responsive virtual people. The suite of trainings include:
- “At-Risk” Training for Faculty and Staff (General)
- “At-Risk” Training for Faculty and Staff: LGTBQ on Campus
- “At-Risk” Training for Faculty and Staff: Veterans on Campus
Mental Health First Aid
An 8-hour mental health training for faculty, staff and students provided 2-4 times per year conducted by Wellness staff. The course gives the SMC community the skills to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The evidence behind the program demonstrates that it builds on mental health literacy, helping individuals identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illness.
Questions Persuade Refer (QPR)
A suicide prevention workshop provided 2-4 times per year conducted by Wellness staff. The mission of QPR is to save lives and reduce suicidal behaviors by providing innovative, and practical suicide prevention training. The philosophy behind this training is that quality education empowers all people, regardless of their background, to make a positive difference in the life of someone they know. SMC students who are trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of suicide and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help. QPR training is offered during the free hour.
A nation-wide campus student-led group whose goal is to reduce mental health stigma and bring awareness to suicide risk through peer psychosocial education, and provide risk reduction tools and resources.
These kiosks are installed on campus to assess student’s mental health and provide students with the referrals they need once assessed. The service also gives the college data around mental health issues on campus. This service is anonymous and confidential.
In order to reach the broader campus community, provide prevention and early intervention services, the Health and Wellness staff provides many psychosocial education workshops annually with the assistance of community-based partnerships. Workshop topics have included the following topics:
- Stress Management
- Suicide Prevention
- Substance use, abuse, and addiction
- Building Healthy Relationships
- Test Anxiety
- Changing Negative Thought Patterns
- Sleep Improvement
- Anger Management
- Introduction to Meditation and Mindfulness
- Music and Mental Health
- Art and Mental Health
- Gratitude and Positive Thinking
- Eating Disorders and Disordered Eating
- Sleep and Nutrition as building blocks
- MediCal Enrollment and the Affordable Care Act
Send Silence Packing
A nationally recognized traveling exhibition of donated backpacks representing college students lost to suicide each year. The program is designed to raise awareness about the incidence and impact of suicide, connect students to needed mental health resources, and inspire action for suicide prevention. Backpacks are displayed in a high-traffic area of campus - such as the campus quad - giving a visual representation of the scope of the problem and the number of victims.
Campus-wide Mental Health Awareness Activities
Throughout the academic year, there are a variety of activities to help reduce mental health stigma and increase awareness and education. Activities include engagement across mental health topics including but not limited to eating disorders, depression, anxiety, and wellness. These activities increase during mental health awareness month in May and throughout the semester during stressful times such as midterms and final exams.
Paws for Healing dogs
Historically provided near finals week to assist with stress management and to raise awareness of mental health resources
24/7 Emotional Support Line 800-691-6003
The Center for Wellness and Wellbeing has a 24/7 emotional support line that acts as an extension of the center. Clinicians answering the phones provide thorough risk assessments and can connect students to community resources. Wellness staff can then follow up with new or existing students after they utilize the service.
A mobile app used for two-way safety communication. Delivers peer-to-peer and self-service tools to help everyone in the community stay safe.
Students with language barriers who are experiencing a mental health crisis are some of the most vulnerable. A language line with certified interpreters will be utilized for mental health and health staff when students are in crisis. This will improve suicide and homicide risk assessments and overall quality of care.
Mental Health Screening
Health Services staff are screening students for depression using brief screening tools. Students who score positive on these screening tools will be linked with on-campus and community-based resources to get the help they need.
Other Suicide Prevention Resources
Students are provided with suicide specific resources throughout the semester such as the Crisis Text Line 741-741 and the National Suicide Hotline (800) 273-8255 or (877) 727-4747. Satellite campuses are also provided with this information to share with their students.
Students experiencing feelings of depression and anxiety can manifest in many ways and changes in academic performance can be an indicator that something is wrong. Faculty and staff can help support students who might be struggling by:
- reaching out when a student misses too many classes
- reaching out when a student misses too many homework assignments
- reaching out when there is a sudden change in performance
Students may request coursework accommodations that go beyond the policies outlined in the syllabus because of a mental health issue, and it is important that faculty and staff be flexible and consider the student's wellbeing when making their decisions.
In addition, faculty and staff should make students aware of on-campus resources, such as the Center for Wellness and Wellbeing and our 24/7 emotional support line exclusive for SMC students 800-691-6003. It is also important that faculty and staff refer these issues to the Care and Prevention Team, so that appropriate follow-up can occur to ensure the student's health and wellbeing.