Mental health resources available for students


September is National Suicide Prevention month, and being that suicide is a leading cause of death in the U.S according to the CDC, UTEP offers Miners Talk, an after-hours crisis line. Other means of help include calling 988, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the Mental Health Crisis Line to assist with anxiety. Photo courtesy of Guillaume Paumier/Wikipedia Commons

Victoria Rivas, Contributor

September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and UTEP is here to help students and bring awareness of the mental health resources available to students.

According to ASFP, Texas ranks 36 for suicide deaths in the U.S. with 3,924 deaths reported in 2021.

UTEP’s Deans of Students Office (DOS) hosted its annual “R U Ok?” Day event Sept. 9 to inform students of how they can help prevent suicide in our community.

“We’re asking the UTEP community to connect with people in their lives and help stop little problems from getting bigger,” UTEP’s DOS said via Twitter.

R U OK? is an Australian harm prevention campaign that encourages people to have meaningful conversations that can help others who are going through difficult times in their lives.

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students. According to the CDC, suicide affects all ages, races and ethnicities.

UTEP offers several resources, including Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), which is free for all students. Students can receive up to eight sessions of individual counseling.

CAPS will host a Gatekeeper Suicide Prevention Training workshop from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 13, at the Union East – Cactus Flower Room 102C to train students on how to recognize the signs and symptoms to look for.

R U OK? recommends people to start the conversation by asking, “are you ok?” Then continue by listening without judgment, encouraging action and continually checking in to express support.

UTEP also offers Miners Talk, an after-hours crisis line for evenings, weekends, and holidays. Students can call 915-747-5302.

Students also have access to Togetherall, an anonymous online community that supports mental health every day of the week.

As of July 16, the 10-digit National Suicide Prevention Lifeline transitioned to 988, a Suicide and Crisis Lifeline available 24/7.

“988 is more than a number, it is a message: we’re there for you,” said Xavier Beccera, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in a statement.

El Paso offers the Mental Health Crisis Line to assist with anxiety, stress, grief, and hopelessness at 915-779-1800.

For information, visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website. For UTEP resources, visit the CAPS website.

Victoria Rivas is a guest contributor and may be reached at [email protected]; @VicRivas_18 on Twitter.