News Release

News and Public Information Office
Glos Center
Miami University
Oxford, Ohio 45056
(513) 529-7592
(513) 529-1950 fax
newsinfo@miamioh.edu

New programs to support students' psychosocial needs

11/05/2008

Miami University is developing ways to better identify and support students who may be dealing with psychosocial, educational and other issues that have adverse impacts on their lives. To that end, a team of Miami counseling, health, and learning specialists has created the Campus Assistance Program (CAP) and "Gimme Head Room" program.

The goals of the programs are to:
* Help the university community identify students whose psychosocial struggles impact their academic performance, class attendance, health, and behavior.
* Reach students who may be isolated or are less likely to seek help for their distress.
* Connect students with appropriate levels of service.

Research indicates that four of the top five impediments to student academic performance are related to mental health. "Health and learning are cyclically connected and we can influence the effect of this connection with prevention efforts and problem identification and intervention," explains Karen Murray, director of the office of health education. "There is a role for everyone to play in a healthy and responsive community."

By partnering with student support services throughout the university and community to provide consultation, referral, and case management for identified students, organizers hope to enhance awareness of behaviors indicating a student may benefit from intervention and increase the number of faculty, staff, and students prepared to reach out to these students.

CAP is the faculty, staff and community version of the program. "Gimme Head Room" was created by students (Health Advocates with Knowledge, HAWKS) for students, with consultation from professional staff. Faculty who advise student groups are encouraged to consider Gimme Head Room. Also, the program can be delivered to a class if it might fit with a course syllabus.

For more information contact Murray at 529-3438 or murrayka@muohio.edu.

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