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As we get closer to the end of the semester, we know that many big moments are coming up for you such as completing final exams and preparing for summer plans.

As exciting as this time is, we know it can be overwhelming.

You have likely heard the phrase “Vols help Vols” around campus. That means we look out for each other and there is a culture of care across our campus. If you see a friend or classmate who may be struggling, it’s important for you to check in with them. You are not alone in helping them—there are a number of resources available for all of our students.

If you have concerns about a Vol, we encourage you to call the 974-HELP referral line. On weekdays from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. this phone number is answered by staff in the Office of the Dean of Students, who work to create a safe and nonjudgmental place for students to be understood and supported. They also work to foster student success and well-being while meeting the immediate needs of the person. After hours, the number is answered by mental health professionals who will take your information and follow up with the student of concern as needed. When you call about someone else, your name will not be shared unless you want them to know you called. You can make submissions to the online 974-HELP referral form if you want to report a nonemergency concern.

You can also call 974-HELP if you are in need of help yourself. During regular business hours, the Office of the Dean of Students staff will help you get connected to any resources you might need. After hours, the mental health professional who answers will provide phone support and help you connect to resources immediately or the next day depending on your needs.

UT is taking a holistic approach to its mental health resources across campus. In partnership with the JED Foundation, UT has developed a strategic plan to guide the campus in a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention, substance abuse reduction, and overall mental and emotional wellness.

Students who feel the need for professional intervention are encouraged to seek services at the Student Counseling Center. However, many students may benefit from less intensive intervention. In addition to the regular counseling services the Student Counseling Center offers, there are alternative services that student can access for support:

  • Therapy Assistance Online (TAO) is an online self-help program that provides strategies for managing anxiety, stress, and depression. The modules are designed to help you have a better understanding of your personal experiences and equip you with strategies to aid you in feeling less anxious.
  • The Student Counseling Center offers workshops that provide education and support for managing stress, anxiety, and decreased motivation for students needing extra support to finish strong this semester.

If you want to learn more about how to help fellow Vols who are in distress, you can request a presentation by Student Counseling Center staff. One workshop, the Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) program, is a suicide prevention program that helps students, staff, and faculty understand the warning signs of students in distress and how to effectively intervene.

In addition, there are many passionate individuals and student organizations across campus, such as Active Minds at UT and Ambassadors for Mental Health Awareness and Suicide Prevention, working to increase awareness of mental health issues.

If you feel more comfortable speaking to someone off campus, you can speak to a crisis counselor at the National Suicide Hotline by calling 800-273-TALK.