Student Psychological Wellness | Policies

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Student Psychological Wellness

Policy regarding student psychological wellness.

Owner: Vice Provost for Student Affairs

Tags: APStudent Affairs


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) continues its commitment to support students through campus safety and wellness. Our goal is to promote the principles of CARE (Communicate, Ask, Reach, Engage), by identifying, engaging, and 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 violence-free environment.


Policy Statement

Teachers College (TC) recognizes that student well-being helps individuals 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 responsive to the needs of those who have, or who are at risk of developing a student wellness concern. 



The College supports the needs of those who are currently well by focusing on three fundamental principles:

    • Education
    • Prevention
    • Resources



Educational programming helps members of the College community promote students’  wellbeing 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), 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, navigating and accessing resources/ providers, well-being programming, workshops, educational and support groups, and publications. The College offers education around themes associated with student well-being, self-care and ways to prevent self-harm. If a student wants to reach the Student Support & Advocacy (SSA) team they can complete an initial contact request form.  If a faculty member has a concern about a student they can complete the faculty referral form. 

Student Support & Advocacy (SSA) at TC offers voluntary services to the TC community. The College has a system 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 which includes faculty and staff from various divisions in the College.  The staff member performing the check-in will be determined based upon who may be most familiar with the student and will be able to most effectively assist the student based upon the existing relationship. 

All members of the Teachers College community are invited to call upon these resources for advice and assistance for themselves or others in the community.

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,  


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. Teachers College has a Psychological Emergency Response Team (PERT), formed by key responders in various College offices and departments, 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




  1. Sinai/St. Luke’s Psychiatric 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 CPS 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 or at (212) 854-2878.


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

Vice Provost for Student Affairs

  • Thomas P. Rock, Vice Provost for Student Affairs

528 West 121st St., Room 166

(212) 678-3083


Information Sharing


Students receiving support from a member of our team understand 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 Division of 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. 


Information Disclosures

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 PERT protocol of case management.


Related Policies

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.


Annual Review

The PERT team is responsible for the annual review of this policy, in collaboration with the Student Support & Advocady (SSA) team. 


Responsible office: Vice Provost for Student Affairs

Last Updated: July 12, 2022

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