Just before the start of Winter Quarter 2020, UC Santa Barbara’s Mental Health Task Force launched its new Student Wellbeing Website — a place for students to access resources and support for their mental health and well-being, including basic needs and personal safety.
The idea initially came from the Mental Health Task Force and formed this year by UCSB Health & Wellness in an effort to create a singular directory for students, who previously had to go to multiple websites to learn about the full range of resources available at UCSB, according to Sharleen O’Brien, director of Health & Wellness and co-chair of the Mental Health Task Force.
The site features subpages including Urgent Needs and Basic Needs, as well as links to prominent campus wellness organizations such as Counseling & Psychological Services (C.A.P.S.), Campus Advocacy, Resources & Education (C.A.R.E.) and Student Health.
The Urgent Needs section provides quick access to resources such as the UC Police Department, financial emergency assistance and sexual assault advocacy, while the Basic Needs section informs students on resources such as campus food banks, affordable housing and budgeting strategies.
The website also has a brief summary of every listed wellness organization on campus and the services each organization offers.
“The website is also a statement to students that we highly value supporting the well-being of our students for their quality of life, but also as integral to their success at UC Santa Barbara and beyond,” O’Brien said.
According to O’Brien, the Mental Health Task Force collaborated with a variety of campus groups to ensure the website was comprehensive, including the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Student Health Services, Alcohol & Drug Programs, C.A.P.S., Health & Wellness, C.A.R.E., Student Mental Health Coordination Services, Disabled Students Programs, Career Services, Housing, the Educational Opportunity Program, the Graduate Division and the Food Security & Basic Needs Taskforce.
Angela Andrade, director of the Student Mental Health Services Coordination, also met with Associated Students (A.S.) President Alison Sir and Adalis Rojas from the A.S. Public Health & Mental Health Commission to discuss key features of the site, such as links to critical resources and contact information for campus services.
The website is located on the UCSB homepage, under Campus Experience and Health and Wellness.
According to O’Brien, the website is still a work in progress.
“We expect to continue growing this site with student feedback to ensure that it is maximally useful for students,” she said.
The Mental Health Task Force will be publicizing the website’s creation over the next few months and will be discussing it with the UCSB community at the A.S. Mental Health Town Hall at Corwin Pavilion on Jan. 31 from 3 to 5 p.m.
Correction [Jan. 22, 4:46 p.m.]: This article previously stated the A.S. Mental Health Town Hall would be taking place on Jan. 24. The article has been updated to reflected the correct date, Jan. 31.