UIC Police supports students with finals week mental health initiative
May is Mental Health Month, and this year, UIC Police partnered with the UIC Counseling Center and the Chicago affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), a grassroots mental health organization, to create an engagement initiative for UIC students who reside in campus housing. As students prepared for final exams, UICPD knew that this specific period can be a stressful time for students at UIC.
“Historically, the last week of the semester has been the time of year where UICPD has observed an increase in calls for service regarding well-being checks and suicidal ideation responses in comparison to other times during the year,” said Officer Christopher Eterno, who led the UICPD effort. “That’s why we wanted to do something to show UIC students that they are cared about and supported.”
During finals, UICPD created a “Wall of Inspiration” for the students residing within UIC residence halls. At each wall location, students were offered a piece of candy with an attached mental health resource card. In return, they were encouraged to write an inspirational or joyful quote to post on the wall for all students to see.
“The goals of this initiative were to foster a positive environment for students during finals and provide positive affirmations to their fellow students while simultaneously promoting mental health wellness during this stressful period,” said Officer Eterno. “We were very encouraged by the student response and hope to continue this program in the future as students return to campus.”
The “Wall of Inspiration” at Thomas Beckham Hall (TBH) received 63 inspirational messages, the Commons Atrium received 40, and Single Student Residence (SSR) received five.