Wood Duck

A Message From the Dean - October 2021

Fall is here! The campus is active, students and faculty have settled into a routine, and the leaves are beginning to turn colors. We also celebrated the first rain in several months for our parched state. While our transition to in-person instruction has gone smoothly and our COVID-19 numbers stay manageable, we know that many members of our community are experiencing additional stress and anxiety due to the ongoing pandemic. I would like to remind everyone that taking care of your mental health and well-being is incredibly important, and there are free resources available for students, faculty and staff who may be struggling.

Support for faculty and staff

We know that many of you juggle both work and home life and care for small children and/or elderly adults. The campus WorkLife program provides several tools and programs for creating greater well-being and workplace flexibility. And, the healthy UC Davis website provides a list of resources for managing stress.

For counseling support, Academic and Staff Assistance Program (ASAP) provides free services both in person and remote, and they have an entire page dedicated to coping with COVID-19 stress and anxiety.

The Campus Ready website has a section on wellness and work-life balance with several links to resources, status updates, childcare options, and equity and inclusion resources for COVID-19.

Support for students

Students may be experiencing the transition to in-person classes in different ways and there remain many factors that impact our students, including multiple academic and campus changes. We encourage ongoing and supportive communication with students—acknowledging that significant distress and environmental stressors are present and guiding them to resources that support their well-being and academic performance.

Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS) are available to support student physical and mental wellbeing and success. Students can access telemental health or in-person counseling support, and there are also a number of campus resources available, including COVID-19 information for students and families.

Students who have questions about COVID-related policies, public health guidance or general concerns regarding their transition to campus can call the Aggie Info and Help Line. A service of the Aggie Compass Basic Needs Center, this new info line has trained student staff to provide support for non-crisis questions and referrals to campus resources.

The Office of Student Support and Judicial Affairs (OSSJA) case managers support students in crisis and the faculty and staff who interact with them. Case managers evaluate risk, connect students with relevant resources, arrange for proper care and follow-up so that students receive assistance with their needs.

I want to remind everyone again that it is okay to not be okay. We are all human, and this pandemic has taken its toll on the well-being of all of us. I encourage you to take time to care for yourself and seek help if you need it. And if you can, take a break to stroll around Lake Spafford and the Arboretum. The area is full of migrating birds right now, and we are so fortunate to have such a beautiful space to relax on campus.

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