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New mental health resources available for SUNY students

The new resources include a mobile app, access to a hotline from the University at Albany, and improvements to the system's own tele-counseling services.

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Students across all SUNY campuses now have accesses to new mental health resources under a plan announced by SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras.

Malatras announced that students at all campuses will have access to more than 6,000 mental health providers through the app Thriving Campus

The university system is also working to improve its own internally run system. SUNY Upstate Medical University has operated a hub for tele-counseling for students at 10 campuses, and now that SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University will also join in that effort. 

Because of Downstate's involvement, five additional campuses will be added to the program. 

“For students everywhere, normal pressures associated with college are being compounded by the weight of this unprecedented time, with the challenges and disruptions caused by COVID-19 increasing levels of anxiety, stress, loneliness, and isolation,” Chancellor Malatras said.

SUNY also says it will be expanding a hotline program operated by the University at Albany to all students in the SUNY system. The hotline is peer-to-peer assistance for discussing different life issues. 

Malatras has also stated a new campaign, called #ReachOutSUNY to discuss stigma around mental health and educate students on the services the university system offers. 

"This has been a particularly difficult time and it has taken a toll, so by expanding available student mental health support services—and shattering the stigma that may be associated with seeking them out—students will be able to get the support they need, be it a long-term treatment for a specific issue, or when they just feel down and need someone to connect with," Malatras added.

These programs are in addition to other existing programs, such as SUNY's Student Mental Health and Wellness Task Force. The Task Force makes recommendations to the system's board of trustees regarding mental health care for students.

Existing Resources Available for SUNY Students

Malatras also shared some resources that are available now for students. They include:

Middle Earth hotline from the University at Albany (assessible to all students)

  • 1 p.m. through midnight Monday through Thursday, 
  • 24/7 on the weekend, (Fridays at 1 p.m. until Sundays at 11:59 p.m.)
  • 518-442-5777.

SUNY Crisis Text Line

  • 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Text Got5U to 741-741

Crisis Prevention Training 

  • Suicide prevention training, known as "Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR)," is available online for members of the SUNY community.
  • Visit http://www.qprtraining.com/setup.php and enter "SUNY" as the organizational code.