UTSA Wellness shares important resources for National Suicide Prevention Month

September 15, 2023

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September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Suicide is a serious public health concern in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2021, 48,183 people died by suicide in the U.S. That is one death every eleven minutes.

UTSA Wellness understands the everyday need for mental health awareness and the importance of ensuring that suicide prevention resources are available and accessible. The university makes continual efforts to support its Roadrunner faculty and staff in addressing mental health concerns. These efforts include providing support through Deer Oaks Employee Assistance Program (EAP), offering MDLIVE behavioral health services for UT Select members, sharing valuable resources and promoting programs that raise mental health awareness.

In honor of National Suicide Prevention Month, UTSA Wellness encourages employees to take some time to increase their commitment to engage about mental health and emotional struggles in a meaningful way with family, friends, coworkers and others. Explore below to learn about ways to get started with some of the resources available to UTSA faculty and staff.

View an Upcoming Deer Oaks EAP Online Seminar

UTSA faculty and staff can access on-demand online seminars from Deer Oaks EAP. Several seminars that promote mental health and wellbeing are scheduled this fall, including:

  • World Suicide Prevention Day (recording available)
  • The Gratitude Habit, Sept. 19
  • World Mental Health Day, Oct. 10
  • Pause. Breathe. Resume, Oct.17
  • International Stress Awareness Day, Nov. 1

To access these seminars, visit Deer Oaks EAP Services. Log in using “utsa” as the both the username and password. On the homepage, click the “Online Seminars” tile.

Explore Valuable Suicide Prevention Resources

Numerous free, easily accessible resources are available online to help individuals and their loved ones when faced with a mental health crisis.

Promote a Positive, Supportive Environment for Your Team

Take an opportunity to check in with your team, ask them how they are doing and build connections among team members. Consider some or all of the following activities:

  • Host a morning coffee or tea gathering in the office or virtually.
  • Bring the team together for a fun team-building activity.
  • Make a conversation board with sticky notes in your department lobby or break room.
  • Take a free fitness class at the UTSA Recreation Wellness Center.
  • Invite guest speakers to your team meetings.
  • Host a virtual game during a huddle or team meeting. 
  • Organize a team walking event.
  • Host a team lunch to celebrate monthly birthdays.
  • Take a free virtual Zumba class with It’s Time Texas.
  • Supply coloring books and colored pencils in your break room.

It can be challenging for hybrid and remote employees to ensure they stay connected with their teams. UTSA Wellness welcomes inquiries and suggestions for ways to support remote teams. Employees are encouraged to reach out via email. For support with team-building activities, contact Talent Management.

Learn About Mental Health, Wellbeing and Suicide Prevention Resources Available for UTSA Students

All Roadrunners have a role to play in suicide prevention. Each UTSA faculty and staff member contributes to the success of our student community and campus experience, so it is important to know about the mental health, wellbeing and suicide prevention resources available for our students.

Wellbeing Services and Wellness 360 are essential student resources, offering access to 24/7 counseling services. The TimelyCare app, now available to all UTSA students, provides on-demand mental health and emotional support, scheduled mental health counseling sessions, health coaching, psychiatry services by referral, guided self-care content and access to free or reduced-cost community resources.

Wellbeing Services hosts events and activities throughout the year, including workshops, meetings and Wellbeing Wednesday tabling events, as well as volunteer and educational opportunities. Students can also register for a six-hour Mental Health First Aid training, which teaches risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns, strategies for how to help someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations, and where to turn for help.

In the event of concerning behavior, the Behavioral Intervention Team is ready assist in identifying, assessing, and responding to concerns and/or disruptive behaviors exhibited by students, faculty, staff and visitors who may present a risk of harm to themselves, members of the community or the institution. 

For questions about mental health, wellbeing and suicide prevention resources for students, contact Wellbeing Services.

- Elyse Brown and Bryanda Dominguez