Oregon State University community members,

The OSU student experience is filled with meaningful opportunities for transformative learning and personal growth. Yet, for some students, attending college also involves significant challenges, including struggles with mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression. As members of the OSU community, we all have a responsibility to cultivate a culture of caring for one another. 

We can participate in such a community by observing World Mental Health Day on Oct. 10 and by learning more about mental health issues around the world and close to home.

In celebration of World Mental Health Day, OSU will offer a week of wellness programming Oct. 8-12. Events such as Unwind in the Plaza, will provide opportunities to engage in stress reduction activities including painting, playing with therapy dogs, taking a picture with the Dam Worth It student-athletes, and interacting with campus wellness resources. Programming includes Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Training to help identify the signs and symptoms of distress and learn the skills to intervene if someone you know is considering suicide.

We recognize that providing mental health support is essential and a growing need within OSU. For example, Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) is serving 58 percent more students than it was just five years ago.

Driven by student feedback on mental health needs gathered last year, Oregon State is expanding year-round mental health services by:

  • Providing staff and faculty training to assist students who are in distress;
  • Building  a peer support network;
  • Creating an interactive wellness quiz with individualized resource and education recommendations;
  • Increasing the awareness of mental health issues through education campaigns; and
  • Creating a campus-wide program to increase student resilience.

As well, CAPS recently has created a Single Session Clinic, where students with a specific problem can meet readily with a therapist to develop skills, strategies, and a personalized action plan. Students may also want to join Active Minds, the student-sponsored organization whose mission it is to help change the campus conversation around mental health. In addition, become involved in mental health projects by e-mailing bonnie.hemrick@oregonstate.edu. To learn more about OSU’s World Mental Health Week or mental health services offered throughout the university, visit the CAPS website.

Please join me in strengthening our culture of mental health awareness and care at Oregon State University.


Edward J. Ray