Berkeley College Personal Counselor Contact Information for All Campuses

Dear Berkeley College Campus Community:

With last week’s high profile suicide deaths of fashion designer Kate Spade and chef Anthony Bourdain, we are once again reminded of how deeply tragic suicide can be and how people of all walks of life can be suffering in silence and in need of greater support.  Heartbreaking moments like this can also serve as a time to pause to consider our own wellbeing, those close to us (family, friends, and co-workers), and certainly our Berkeley students.  For your review, below we’ve included a list of warning signs (that may be exhibited in one’s interactions, behavior, written/verbal communications, presentation, etc.):

*Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, depressed mood

·  *Thoughts and pre-occupation about death or suicide

·  *Withdrawal from friends, family, and activities usually enjoyed

·  *Changes in eating or sleep patterns

·  *Increased anger, reactivity, criticism (towards others or self)

·  *Increasingly tired or exhausted

·  *Trouble with concentration, focus, attention, memory

·  *Restlessness, irritability, agitation

·  *Crying episodes

·  *Neglect of personal care (hygiene, appearance)

·  *Recklessness, impulsivity (behaving in unsafe ways, use of drugs/alcohol)

·  *Persistent physical symptoms such as headaches, digestive problems, or chronic pain that do not respond to routine treatment

Should you, anyone close to you, or any of your students experience these symptoms or present in such a manner please be sure to consult with us (see attachment for campus contact information for our Counseling & Wellness Services staff) and for immediate/urgent matters be sure to call the 24 hour crisis hotline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or you can also text BRAVE to 741741 for free crisis support.  For those struggling there’s never a bad time to ask for assistance and as helpers it’s critically important to take notice, get involved, convey an openness to dialogue about these issues, share resources, and create a welcoming, positive environment as it relates to mental health issues.

Finally, we want to inform you of the student outreach programs that we have planned for our campus community to address this issue.  On Friday, June 22nd Counseling & Wellness Services will be facilitating a mental health and awareness workshop with all members of Berkeley’s Student Government Association (so that as leaders they can take a proactive stance on campus mental health and early detection).  At this summit meeting we will be addressing health and wellness safety concerns, identifying early warning signs/symptoms, and the importance of accessing available campus/local support.  Thereafter in the weeks to come, Personal Counselors from each campus will also offer a very similar program to the general student body so that we can broaden our reach and deepen our talks about these critically important mental health issues within our community.  If you have any questions for us about any of this material, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.  We are here for you, our students, and the entire Berkeley College community!

– On Behalf of Berkeley College’s Counseling & Wellness Services Staff