From President Tim Sands: Take care of your mental health
February 11, 2021
To the Virginia Tech community,
As we wrap up the third week of our spring semester, I hope you are setting aside some time to focus on your personal well-being. I know we’re all busy, but it is important for you as an individual and for our collective success as an academic community.
According to the 2019 report of the Virginia Tech Mental Health Task Force, we have seen significant increases in anxiety and depression among our students since 2010. Many mental health concerns are initially diagnosed in childhood, and as many as 25 percent of Virginia Tech students have received a mental health related diagnosis at some point in their lives.
We’ve long been committed to the mental health of our students, embedding counselors within colleges and providing resources, such as Cook Counseling Center and Hokie Wellness. We also know that mental well-being is affected by the things we do each day, like getting enough sleep, healthy eating, and connecting with others. We established well-being days this semester to provide opportunities to take a breather. I know they don’t replace the fun and relaxation of spring break, however the data clearly tell us that a traditional spring break could put our community and spring semester at risk.
With so much going on in our lives, it’s important to know how and when to begin caring for our own mental health and how to support others on their mental health journeys. That’s why we’ve created Better Together, a campaign to make students, staff, and faculty aware of the many resources available on campus, in the community, and online to help us care for ourselves and help others.
At Virginia Tech, we believe we can all be Better Together.
Be committed. Be well.
Those in the Virginia Tech community who need assistance or counseling support may contact:
- Better Together
- Cook Counseling Center at 540-231-6557.
- Dean of Students Office at 540-231-3787. Referral to a campus cleric may be made through this office.
- Employee Assistance Program
- Anthem at 855-223-9277
- Aetna at 888-238-6232
- Kaiser Permanente at 866-517-7042
- Optima Health Vantage HMO at 866-846-2682
- Hokie Wellness at 540-231-2233 (students) or 540-231-8878 (employees)
- Office of Housing and Residence Life at 540-231-6205
- Women’s Center at Virginia Tech at 540-231-7806