Manhattan College will now issue new student ID cards complete with the printed numbers for mental health crisis hotlines. The hotlines will be printed on the backs of new Jasper Cards as part of an initiative to promote wellness resources.
According to a report from student publication, The Quadrangle, the idea was brought to Manhattan administration by two student athletes. The college began issuing the updated campus cards this semester.
“Having access to these resources is critical,” says Ronald Gray, vice president of student life. “We know that one out of every two students struggles with mental health, depression, anxiety, and we know that is coming out of COVID and out of the responsibilities that have increased for students over the number of years.”
Also offering support for the card initiative is the college's Wellness and Flourishing Council and the Student Athlete Advisory Council.
“The students wanted three numbers on the back of the ID. When everything got discussed and unpacked, it’s pretty clear that we needed to go a little broader than just the suicide hotline," says Esmilda Abreu-Hornbostel, dean of students and co-chair of the Wellness and Flourishing Council. "So we got the sexual assault awareness number on there, as well as 911, 7333 and the general public safety number as well.”
Printing crisis hotlines on campus cards has become an increasingly popular initiative on campuses across the country. The inspiration behind these initiatives is to provide college students, who are so often at higher risk of self harm, more convenient access to vital help and resources.
The Manhattan students proposed the measure to administration last fall when the process began.
The first step of the card initiative begins March 22, when bag tags and phone stickers with the crisis hotlines will be given out to Manhattan students. Some of these items will also include a QR code, which sends students to a LinkTree that provides a full list of on and off campus mental health resources.