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University of Iowa to offer expanded mental health support option

University of Iowa to offer expanded mental health support option

On Oct. 5, the University of Iowa began a new partnership with CommUnity Crisis Services in Iowa City to provide around-the-clock mental health crisis and support assistance via phone, chat, and text for all students, in addition to in-person response and transport to care facilities as needed and appropriate for the situation.

The UI Support and Crisis Line will provide critical support for students living on- and off-campus. Students can reach the UI Support and Crisis Line via phone or text at 844-461-5420 or chat online at mentalhealth.uiowa.edu.

This partnership was formed in direct response to the Reimagining Campus Safety Action Committee’s recommendation for additional investment in mental health and basic needs support. Mental health is a critical component of student success and well-being. Providing 24/7 access to services provides students additional care and support at any time a need arises.

“Providing timely and appropriate care to students who are experiencing any kind of distress is crucial to their well-being. CommUnity has been an essential resource to our community and a valued UI partner for many years. Having dedicated service for University of Iowa students will help fill a critical need on our campus,” said Dean of Students Angie Reams, PhD.

Students who reach out to CommUnity via the UI Support and Crisis Line may be offered a number of options, including:

  • Talking through the concern on the phone with a crisis counselor from CommUnity Crisis Services.
  • In-person support from the Johnson County Mobile Crisis Unit. CommUnity will dispatch the mobile crisis unit if in-person support is requested or warranted based on the situation. This unit works to de-escalate the concern, assess the need for referrals to other community or campus services, reduce unnecessary hospitalizations, and helps admit the client to a crisis stabilization bed, when necessary.
  • Transportation to the GuideLink Center in Iowa City or a local hospital, if necessary.

UI staff may follow up to coordinate additional support for students to assist with addressing the student’s mental health concerns, navigating university systems, and responding to any questions or concerns.

This program will be funded by the Division of Student Life and the student mental health fee and will be staffed by CommUnity Crisis staff members. CommUnity Crisis Services and Food Bank has been providing crisis services to the greater Iowa City area since 1970, but this is the first time the organization will provide dedicated, 24/7 service for UI students.