In 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2018, the University of Texas System’s Board of Regents approved allocations totaling just under $12m to fund 9 different campus-based student safety, mental health, and substance use-related programs. In 2022, the Board allocated another $16.5 million to continue and expand the programs described below. These programs are the result of the UT System’s commitment to support well-being at all of its academic and health institutions.
After-Hours Crisis Counseling Services for U. T. System Academic and Health Institutions
ProtoCall, our vendor for this initiative, provides telephonic intake assistance, assessment, stabilization, support, and referral services to students experiencing mental health crises, customized for each academic and health institution. The afterhours crisis support is an important tool in making mental health resources available to UT System students 24/7/365.
Web-based Alcohol Education, Sexual Assault and Harassment Prevention, and Other Education for Students, Faculty, and Staff at U. T. System Academic and Health Institutions
EverFi, our vendor for this initiative, provides web-based alcohol and sexual assault prevention education, among other courses, designed specifically for college students. The alcohol course, AlcoholEDU, is proven to reduce dangerous alcohol use and alcohol-related harm and increase the use of protective factors. The sexual assault prevention courses are Title IX compliant, fulfill educational requirements found in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and satisfy NCAA requirements for sexual assault training. This program offers an effective and cost-efficient way to reach all our students. Many other training modules on different topics are well-utilized by students, faculty, and staff at all U. T. System institutions.
Thrive at UT App
Thrive at UT, available for free on iPhone and Android devices, was designed by the Counseling and Mental Health Center at UT Austin and has been adapted for each academic and health institution. Thrive at UT helps students improve their well-being in various domains including expanding social connections, challenging negative thoughts and managing difficult moods. Thrive at UT consists of videos of student stories, interactive exercises, and daily reminders designed to help students integrate newly-acquired skills into their routines.
Download on iPhone: https://apps.apple.com/app/id1071922263
Download on Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.utthrive&hl=en_US
Faculty and Staff Training
Funding for this initiative includes two training elements: (1) programs from vendors such as scenario-based online training for recognizing and responding to students who are exhibiting concerning behavior or are in distress and (2) an in-person suicide prevention training program whereby U. T. institutions draw from the expertise of leaders within the U. T. System to create a systemwide suicide prevention training program based on the successful U. T. System Bystander Intervention initiatives that are now on each campus.
Expanding Clinical Mental Health Services to Student via Telehealth Support
One of the greatest challenges that counseling centers face is expanding clinical resources and successfully referring students to off-campus mental health providers. A handful of U. T. institutions have independently piloted contracts with vendors who augment campus accessibility to clinical services beyond that which their counseling centers can provide by utilizing networks of providers via telehealth. By working hand-in-hand with counseling center clinicians, the vendors offer 24/7 services to students via chat or phone, ongoing clinical appointments with the same clinician via phone or video, and clinical availability in over 150 countries and in multiple languages.