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Dear Students:

As I have mentioned before, we are living in a time of unprecedented uncertainty, and many of us are fatigued. If you find that you are less energetic, feel less confident or less happy than usual, please know you are not alone and that this is a normal response to our stressful times.

Please also know our campus has a variety of resources to support you.

  • Our team in The Graduate School is always here to help you with both academic and personal issues. In addition to providing support through academic solutions (like leaves of absence, withdrawals and others), we can also direct you to resources to address issues of a more personal nature.
  • Please remember that the resources in the Office of the Dean of Students, Student Wellness (including graduate student-specific programming), and Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) are available to graduate students (these resources are not just for undergraduates).
  • If you are thinking about hurting yourself, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255 (available 24/7) or text HOME to 741741.
  • Please be mindful of changes in your behavior/the behavior of your peers (missing class, decreased interest/performance in research, evidence of less attention to personal hygiene) that might suggest you or a colleague is struggling. I urge you to reach out to The Graduate School and/or the resources listed above if you sense that changes in your mood, loneliness, or anxiety are making it hard for you to function (e.g. having a hard time getting out of bed or feel really badly about yourself).
  • If you are a TA, please consider adding a statement about stress, anxiety and wellness resources in your syllabi and/ or Sakai site to help undergraduates who are struggling. I use the following language, that you can modify for undergraduates: “Graduate school can be challenging, and it is not uncommon for students to find that they are anxious, stressed, or even depressed. There are many resources on campus to help students in distress. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Counseling and Psychological Services at (919) 966-3658 or me if we can be of assistance.”
  • Training in Mental Health First Aid is available and may help to you to be even more effective in your support of students and your peers on campus.

The past 18 months have forced all of us to call on reserves of strength, composure and compassion that we likely never knew we had, and some of us are nearly tapped out. Please know that you are not alone if you feel depleted, tired and defeated. I urge you to reach out to The Graduate School and/or any of the resources above. We are here to help, and we care. We will all get through this together.

Suzanne Barbour


The Graduate School

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