As new situations and the pressures of university arise, a team of Brock employees is ready to assist students experiencing distress.
The Brock Campus Assessment, Response and Education (CARE) team, which includes employees from various units across the University, connects at-risk students with resources that can assist them in maintaining optimal mental health and general health and well-being.
Any member of the Brock community can submit a CARE referral form to the team if they believe a student is a risk to themselves or others.
Student Affairs Case Co-ordinator Keeley Burger said there are some common warning signs and symptoms to look for when determining if a student may be in need of a referral.
“Some possible warning signs and symptoms that demonstrate a student is at risk include direct or passive comments about the desire to die or suicide; mention of feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness or helplessness; as well as expressing that people would be better off without them,” she said. “Additional signs include concerns regarding substance misuse or distortions of reality.”
Associate Director of Student Affairs Darryl Veld said everyone can play a part in keeping students safe.
“We are not asking for others to solve complex matters, but we hope they will bring forward concerns so that the professionals on our team can identify, triage and deliver a wholesome response,” he said.
Burger said taking the step to submit a CARE form can create a life-changing connection for students.
“Submitting a CARE referral ensures students receive the option for support, the knowledge and understanding of resources that are available and, most importantly, a reminder that nobody has to struggle alone,” she said. “Early intervention is extremely important when it comes to mental health support, so being proactive in submitting a concern to our team is always encouraged. The sooner a student is connected to CARE, the sooner they can have a support team in place thanks to the incredible resources available at Brock and within our community.”
Once a referral comes to the CARE team, it is triaged and a member of the team will reach out directly to the student to offer support.
“When I am meeting with a student, I use a holistic approach, taking the time to get to know them,” said Burger. “During this time, I try to learn about the areas in their life that they would like support with. I work with students to connect them to resources, both on and off campus, that best suit their wants and needs. The student is truly in the driver’s seat during our meetings, and I am there to provide support and guidance. The entire process is completed with respect to our students’ privacy, ensuring that everything is kept confidential, including from those who have submitted the referral.”
While the CARE team is often the first point of contact, Veld said its members rely on support from internal and external partners to ensure student safety.
“Students are regularly referred to Personal Counselling or Student Accessibility Services,” he said. “Other key partners include Brock International Services, the Registrar’s Office, Residences, and Human Rights and Equity. Campus Security Services is often on the front end of a report to our team before providing support to ensure student well-being throughout any difficult times.”
Anyone wishing to refer a student can do so via the CARE referral form on the Student Life and Success website.
Students can receive urgent/crisis 24-7 telephone counselling by calling 1-833-276-2533 (1-833-BROCK33) or students who are outside of North America can call 001 416 382 3257 for 24-7 telephone support every day of the year.
Students in need of mental health supports can also access counselling and resources no matter the time of day through the My SSP mobile app, which offers text and chat support and can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play.