The College seeks to promote both the academic progress and personal well-being of our students. Sometimes balancing the pressures of academics, family, health related concerns and finances can lead to coping difficulties. Teachers College (TC) is committed to support the psychological wellness of its students by promoting the principles of TC CARES (Connect, Assess, Respond, Educate and Support), by identifying, engaging, and by assisting students who may be facing personal and/or academic concerns.
Now, more than ever, academic settings must offer holistic support to students, designed to ensure that they are aware of the resources and support that may allow them to thrive. This Student Psychological Wellness Policy outlines an approach to educate and promote discussion about student well-being, focusing on strategies to keep emotional balance while meeting the demands of graduate school. Further, it aims to provide support and resources to prevent harm to self and to others, threats, disruptions, and violence. It also outlines procedures for crisis intervention and response. All members of the College community are expected to promote a healthy and violence-free environment.
Teachers College (TC) recognizes that psychological well-being allows students to better cope with the stresses of work and study, maintain healthy relationships, and better contribute to the campus community professionally and personally.
The College takes a sensitive and informed approach to student well-being and is committed to ensuring the student body is aware of and is responsive to the needs of students who have, or who are at risk of developing a wellness concern.
The College supports the needs of those who are currently well by focusing on three fundamental principles:
Educational programming helps members of the College community promote students’ well-being and self-care. Workshops, educational groups, and publications address issues such as general principles of well-being, stress management, depression, anxiety, and similar topics related to overall student well-being and success.
Programming is provided through many avenues at Teachers College including through the Office of Graduate Student Life & Development (GSLD), Residential Services (ORS), Office of International Students & Scholars (OISS), The Office of Access for Students and Individuals with Disabilities (OASID), The Office of Diversity and Community Affairs (ODCA), The Office of Student Support & Advocacy (SSA) and Columbia University’s Offices of Health Services and Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS). Programming is also offered throughout each academic year to faculty and staff to ensure that those working with students are aware of the resources available to assist students in the best way possible.
The College offers students first-hand resources such as orientation and support, assistance with navigating and accessing resources/providers, well-being programming, workshops, educational and support groups, and publications. The College offers education about student well-being, self-care and ways to prevent self-harm. If a student wants to request support or if a TC community member (faculty/staff/student) would like to refer a student of concern, they can complete a TC CARES REFERRAL FORM and a member of the Office of Student Support & Advocacy and/or a member of the TC CARES Team will connect with the student to schedule a support meeting.
The Office of Student Support & Advocacy (SSA) at TC offers voluntary services to the TC community. The College has a case management process to provide check-ins for students where there is an identified concern. The check-ins may be performed by a member of the Office of Student Support & Advocacy (SSA) or a TC CARES Team member. During support meetings, students will be connected with resources/support that may help them to be successful at TC.
All members of the Teachers College community are invited and encouraged to submit a TC CARES REFERRAL FORM to report a student of concern or utilize resources listed below for advice and assistance to support students.
Additionally, Teachers College is committed to accommodating qualified students who have disabilities, including psychiatric or emotional disabilities. Students seeking accommodations should contact the Office of Access and Services for Individuals with Disabilities (OASID), 301 Zankel Hall-3rd floor, Tel/Voice: (212) 678-3689, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Crisis Response & Intervention
The early identification of persons at risk for self-harm or harm to others is essential. Immediate help should be sought if someone has spoken about experiencing suicidal ideations, or a suicide plan; being a victim of other violence, or if someone has expressed ideations and/or a plan to hurt someone. Student Affairs in collaboration with the Office of Public Safety has created the TC CARES initiative, which has formed key members of the college to be part of the TC CARES Team, in an effort to assist faculty and staff in identifying and supporting students who may be in distress and in need of assistance with issues associated with their well-being. This includes immediate assistance along with referrals and other resources.
IN AN EMERGENCY, contact one of the following immediately. All are available 24/7.
TC Office of Public Safety
(212) 678-3333 or x3333
NYC Police Department
Mount Sinai - Morningside Emergency Room
113th St & Amsterdam Ave
General: (212) 523-4000
Emergency: (212) 523-3335
Psychiatric Emergency: (212) 523-3347
Additionally, Columbia Health has a 24/7 Mental Health Support Line that operates under the Counseling and Psychological Services phone number after office hours and on any other day that the offices are closed, such as weekends and holidays. Any Teachers College student can reach out to a counselor on-call directly at (212) 854-2878. TC Community members can also reach out to (212)-854-2878 if they would like to process a situation regarding a student with a counselor.
In less urgent situations, the resources below are available.
Please note that CU/CPS Center staff provides consulting services to Teachers College personnel on issues related to suicide and threats of violence. College faculty or staff who are concerned about issues relating to suicide or threats of violence may call the office at any time at (212) 854-2878.
Columbia Counseling & Psychological Services Center
8th Floor, Lerner Hall (115th Street & Broadway)
Appointments and After-Hours Support (212) 854-2878
Hours M-Th 8 to 6:30; F 8 to 5
Office of Residential Services
1st Floor, Whittier Hall
(212) 678-3235 (phone)
Or contact any Community Assistant or other Residential Services Administrator
Associate Vice President & Chief Student Affairs Officer
Thomas P. Rock, Associate Vice President & Chief Student Affairs Officer
525 West 120th Street, Bldg. 528-Room 163
Office of Student Support & Advocacy
525 West 120th St., Bldg. 528-Room 166
It will be disclosed and explained to students receiving support from a member of our team that meetings are for the purpose of obtaining information on concrete well-being resources and are not necessarily confidential appointments. We will strive to protect students' privacy. Still, our team may share some information regarding the student with the Student Affairs leadership team, or the TC CARES team for the purpose of assisting in connecting the student to appropriate resources. A student requesting an appointment for student support should keep in mind that this request does not indicate an interest or need for ongoing mental health services.
If the College believes that the safety of a student, or of any other person, is at risk, the College may contact family members, individuals a student has identified as emergency contacts, or others as the College deems necessary or appropriate under the circumstances. Consistent with U.S. Department of Education guidelines, pertinent student education records may be disclosed to appropriate officials in a health or safety emergency.
More detailed procedures for follow-up actions will be determined by the TC CARES TEAM or Emergency Response Team (ERT) protocol.
Nothing in this Policy precludes the College from addressing student behavior through the Student Conduct Code, residential contracts, and other policies. For example, if a resident student's behavior interferes with the rights of others, the student may be removed from campus housing or may be required to comply with conditions established by the Office of Residential Services to continue living on campus. Other actions may be taken as outlined in the Housing Contract.
Student Affairs is responsible for the annual review of this policy, in collaboration with the Office of Student Support & Advocacy (SSA).
Responsible office: Associate Vice President + Chief Student Affairs Officer
Last Updated: July 2023