In 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2018, the University of Texas System’s Board of Regents approved allocations totaling just under $12m to fund 9 different campus-based student safety, mental health, and substance use-related programs. These programs are the result of the UT System’s commitment to support well-being at all of its academic and health institutions.
After-Hours Crisis Counseling Services for U. T. System Academic and Health Institutions
ProtoCall, our vendor for this initiative, provides telephonic intake assistance, assessment, stabilization, support, and referral services to students experiencing mental health crises, customized for each academic and health institution. The afterhours crisis support is an important tool in making mental health resources available to UT System students 24/7/365.
Web-based Alcohol Education, Sexual Assault and Harassment Prevention, and Other Education for Students, Faculty, and Staff at U. T. System Academic and Health Institutions
EverFi, our vendor for this initiative, provides web-based alcohol and sexual assault prevention education, among other courses, designed specifically for college students. The alcohol course, AlcoholEDU, is proven to reduce dangerous alcohol use and alcohol-related harm and increase the use of protective factors. The sexual assault prevention courses are Title IX compliant, fulfill educational requirements found in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and satisfy NCAA requirements for sexual assault training. This program offers an effective and cost-efficient way to reach all our students. Many other training modules on different topics are well-utilized by students, faculty, and staff at all U. T. System institutions.
Thrive at UT App
Thrive at UT, available for free on iPhone and Android devices, was designed by the Counseling and Mental Health Center at UT Austin and has been adapted for each academic and health institution. Thrive at UT helps students improve their well-being in various domains including expanding social connections, challenging negative thoughts and managing difficult moods. Thrive at UT consists of videos of student stories, interactive exercises, and daily reminders designed to help students integrate newly-acquired skills into their routines.
Download on iPhone: https://apps.apple.com/app/id1071922263
Download on Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.utthrive&hl=en_US
Alcohol and Consent Health Communication Campaign
Because the combination of alcohol and sexual activity is an issue for some of our college students, and alcohol is implicated in the majority of sexual assaults, teaching students about how alcohol use relates to the ability to give and get consent is critical. Several UT Austin campus stakeholders and an administrator from UT El Paso partnered with its Center for Health Communication (CHC), an academic department affiliated with the Moody College of Communication and the Dell Medical School, to lead the creation of this messaging. The research and development took place over a three-and-a-half-year period and was piloted at UT El Paso and UT Austin. The health communication campaign materials are available here, and information about the campaign at UT Austin is here.
The U. T. System Bystander Intervention Initiative takes a multi-issue approach and can aid in the prevention of sexual assault, relationship violence, suicide, negative consequences of mental health issues, incidents of bias, hazing, the spread of COVID-19, and high-risk drinking or other drug use. In the programs below, students are repeatedly exposed to the three bystander steps of Recognize, Choose and Act so that they can intervene in potentially harmful situations or interactions in a manner that positively influences the outcome.
View each academic institution’s Bystander Intervention Program:
- Arlington: https://www.uta.edu/student-affairs/dos/mavs-stand-up
- Austin: https://www.wellnessnetwork.utexas.edu/BeVocal/
- Dallas: https://cometvoice.utdallas.edu/
- El Paso: https://www.utep.edu/initiatives/dot/
- Permian Basin: https://www.utpb.edu/life-at-utpb/student-services/dean-of-students/bystander
- Rio Grande Valley: https://www.utrgv.edu/srr/superhero-project/
- San Antonio: https://www.utsa.edu/beaksup/
- Tyler: https://www.uttyler.edu/wellness/swoopin.php
Collegiate Recovery Programs (CRPs)
Academic campuses have collegiate recovery programs which provide student access to services and groups that support a variety of pathways to recovery, including AA, SMART Recovery, and mindful recovery. CRPs provide social, academic, service, and support opportunities for students in recovery or in search of recovery. CRPs have also been on the front lines for prevention of opioid overdoses by conducting trainings and raising awareness about this critical public health issue.
View each academic institution’s Collegiate Recovery Program:
- Arlington: https://collegiaterecovery.org/project/university-of-texas-arlington/
- Austin: https://recovery.utexas.edu/
- Dallas: https://recovery.utdallas.edu/
- El Paso: https://www.utep.edu/student-affairs/collegiate-recovery/
- Permian Basin: https://www.utpb.edu/life-at-utpb/student-services/dean-of-students/recovery
- Rio Grande Valley: https://www.utrgv.edu/recovery/
- San Antonio: https://www.utsa.edu/counsel/recovery/
- Tyler: https://www.uttyler.edu/recovery/
Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS)
Rooted in principles of brief motivational interviewing, BASICS is an evidence-based program designed for college students 18 to 24 years old who drink heavily and have experienced negative consequences as a result. BASICS is delivered in an empathic, non-confrontational, non-judgmental manner and is aimed at revealing the discrepancy between a student’s risky drinking behavior and their goals and values. The program is run by trained facilitators who utilize motivational interviewing during two sessions that focus on psychoeducation, personalized feedback around current substance use and harm reduction.
- Arlington: https://www.uta.edu/student-affairs/health-services/health-promotion/substance-use-prevention
- Austin: https://www.healthyhorns.utexas.edu/basics.html
- Dallas: https://studentwellness.utdallas.edu//alcohol/index.html#:~:text=BASICS,email%20studentwellness%40u…;
- El Paso: https://www.utep.edu/student-affairs/basics/about/#:~:text=BASICS%20is%20an%20evidenced%2Dbased,and…;
- Rio Grande Valley: https://www.utrgv.edu/counseling/basics/index.htm#:~:text=BASICS%20is%20designed%20to%20assist,beha…;
- San Antonio https://www.utsa.edu/students/sanews/2010/images//issue23/BASICS%20FACT%20SHEET.pdf
- Tyler: https://www.uttyler.edu/recovery/basics/
National College Health Assessment
To aid in the evaluation of these initiatives and to regularly collect data about the health habits and behaviors of our students, the academic campuses participate in the ACHA-National College Health Assessment (NCHA). This is a nationally recognized research survey that can assist colleges and universities in collecting precise data about students’ health habits, behaviors, and perceptions. Data is available at the system and individual campus level.