Dear students and faculty and staff members,
Thanksgiving is next week and, like many of you, I have been reflecting on the people and things for which I am most grateful.
Among many blessings this year, I am grateful for my family. I am grateful to have a job I love at a place that’s given so much to its community for so long. And I am grateful to be part of a campus that cares.
The bighearted nature of the University family is on display every day. It’s found in the faculty member who takes extra time to help a student understand course material. It’s exhibited by a friend who drops a quick text to check in on a classmate. It’s there when organizations and individuals volunteer their time to help make the community better.
When we show support for one another, we strengthen our community. That reality was evident earlier this month when we marked Mental Health Awareness Week. The observance was the idea of student Caemon Scott, and I want to commend and thank him for his advocacy of an issue that many within our community confront daily.
Studies show alarmingly high rates of depression and anxiety among college-age students. Many adults struggle with mental health as well. It cuts across racial, gender, economic and social lines, and affects the everyday lives of millions of people.
Mental wellness is one of the great health care challenges of our time, and it’s important for people who experience difficulties to know that they are not alone and that it’s okay to ask for help when they need it.
Here at the University, the Counseling & Testing Center is a free, confidential resource for students and employees who may be dealing with substance abuse, anxiety, depression, relationship problems and other challenges. You can find more information on the center’s website.
The approach of the holidays and the end of the semester can be stressful. But know that there are plenty people throughout campus who are willing to lend an ear and offer a helping hand.
That’s what being part of a caring community is all about.
Happy Thanksgiving, and Geaux Cajuns!
Dr. Joseph Savoie