October 17, 2021

A message from the Vice President for Student Affairs

Dear UMW Community,

On May 13, 2021, President Paino released his response to the report and recommendations of the UMW Police Advisory Committee, which met throughout the 2020-21 academic year.

Dr. Paino’s recommendations included an evaluation of the University’s mental health crisis response. Here is the specific recommendation:

Restructure mental health crisis response. Dr. Juliette Landphair, Vice President for Student Affairs, and Dr. Tev Zukor, Director of the Talley Counseling Center, will form a working group that includes University Police, those on staff responsible for mental health crisis response, and interested students, to develop a timeline and plan for reform that might include:

  • 24/7 availability of clinical professionals for student support
  • Changes in UMW Police protocols during a mental health crisis
  • More Residence Life staff training and communication responsibilities to proactively inform students about student support options

The working group has been established and includes the members below. In addition to gathering feedback from the community, we will be reviewing relevant data, including Campus Police Surveys, and University policies and protocols around crisis response.

We look forward to reporting out the results of our work in the fall. In the meantime, do not hesitate to email me or Dr. Zukor with any questions or insights.

Sincerely,

Juliette Landphair, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs

 

Mental Health Crisis Response Working Group

Co-Chairs

  • Dr. Juliette Landphair, Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Dr. Tev Zukor, Director of Talley Center

Members

  • Megan Brown, Area Coordinator for Residence Life and Housing
  • Alexandra Diviney, Class of 2022
  • Lt. Bill Gill, UMW Police
  • Vivian Hyatt, Class of 2022
  • Sgt. Tegan Lewis, UMW Police
  • Marissa Miller, Director of Prevention and Education

Mental Health is Top of Mind at Mary Washington

As UMW students approach the end of an unprecedented semester, with final exams and holidays on the horizon, practicing self-care and inquiring about others’ wellbeing is important. Zen Garden photo courtesy of Dan Hirshberg.

As UMW students approach the end of an unprecedented semester, with final exams and holidays on the horizon, practicing self-care and inquiring about others’ wellbeing is important. Zen Garden photo courtesy of Dan Hirshberg.

Five short words can go a long way toward mental wellness: “How are you feeling today?”

“It’s something every single member of our community can do for our students,” said Tevya Zukor, director of University of Mary Washington’s Talley Center for Counseling Services. “That kind of check-in can mean the world to someone who’s feeling isolated and disconnected.”

And who isn’t feeling a little off-course and overwhelmed these days? Especially students. With final exams and the fuss of the upcoming holiday season upon them – not to mention a global pandemic and the aftermath of a divisive election – more first-time mental health service-seekers are turning to the Talley Center. Zukor sees a positive side to the uptick in visitors. Young people are discovering the world of mental health, beginning to build coping strategies and dissolving the stigma around asking for help.

“It’s OK to want support and seek feedback and guidance when we’re not feeling well,” he said. “There’s nothing shameful about seeing someone to help navigate the world. That doesn’t make us flawed; it makes us human.” Read more.

Tragedy Turned Alumna’s Focus to Suicide Prevention

It’s 2 a.m., and there’s a police officer sitting on Julie van Ommeren’s gingham-print loveseat. Another stands by his side. But where is Kyle? She hears someone scream, then suddenly realizes the voice is her own. This is a story of how a liberal arts education – and a custom-made major – can map to […]

UMW, Other Virginia Campuses to Hold Virtual ‘Take Back the Night’

Take Back the Night – an international event that aims to end sexual, relationship and domestic violence in all forms – has had many incarnations since its inception more than 35 years ago, from rallies, marches and performances, to runs, walks and biking events. Now, with the looming presence of COVID-19, the event is going […]

UMW, Other Virginia Campuses Hold Virtual ‘Take Back the Night’

Take Back the Night – an international event that aims to end sexual, relationship and domestic violence in all forms – has had many incarnations since its inception more than 35 years ago, from rallies, marches and performances, to runs, walks and biking events. Now, with the looming presence of COVID-19, the event went virtual for the first time ever. Take Back the Night for 2020 is Take Back the Net.

Held as an annual speak-out and candlelight vigil at Mary Washington for over two decades, the event brings together the University and Fredericksburg communities to share personal stories of resilience and recovery, stand up against sexual assault and gender-based violence, and let survivors know they are not alone.

Unable to assemble in person, UMW Eagles joined electronically with colleges and universities across the Commonwealth for Take Back the Net on Tuesday evening. Spearheaded by the Virginia Campus Task Force, this Zoom gathering featured survivors, advocates and allies, including several Mary Washington students and alumni. The event came as higher education institutions nationwide observe Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) in April. Read more.

Zukor Column Appears in Psychology Publication

Talley Center Director Tev Zukor

A column by Tev Zukor, director of the Talley Center for Counseling Services, appears in a recent edition of  the American Psychological Association publication “Group Psychologist.” His perspective about group psychotherapy can be viewed at https://www.apadivisions.org/division-49/publications/newsletter/group-psychologist/2019/03/group-therapy?_ga=2.94700693.888501561.1556736391-1805288234.1556736391.

Group Psychotherapy Column (American Psychological Association)

Group Psychotherapy Column: Civilizations Die From Suicide not by Murder (The Group Psychologist)

Zukor Publishes Column in The Group Psychologist

Tevya Zukor, director of the Talley Center for Counseling Services, recently published a column in The Group Psychologist, the newsletter of the Society of Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy.

Entitled Civilians Die From Suicide, Not by Murder, Zukor reflects on the deaths of fashion designer and icon Kate Spade as well as celebrity chef, author and TV personality Anthony Bourdain. Zukor writes:

“Anthony Bourdain’s death hit me hard. My mind flashed back to that fleeting conversation I had with him; not the content of the conversation (which has long ago been lost to memory), but rather to the vibrancy and enthusiasm of the person I admired. I thought, with great sadness, about the people who were closest to Mr. Bourdain and the profound sense of loss they were experiencing. I thought of the multiple times, both personally and professionally, when I have been confronted with the immediate aftermath of a completed suicide. There is a profound sense of shock and incongruence of those scenes – the dichotomy that one life has suddenly, and violently, ended while thousands of others continue uninterrupted and unaware of the tragedy that has occurred next to them.”

Supporting Distressed Students: Presentation

Many students experience emotional and psychological difficulties at some point in their lives. Some students either arrive at UMW or develop at some point in their journey an emotional, physical or psychological disability that requires additional support and possible academic accommodations.

Sandra Fritton (Director of the Office of Disability Resources) and Tevya Zukor (Director of the Talley Center for Counseling Services) will be discussing how faculty and staff can identify, refer and support distressed students and assist them in receiving appropriate accommodations to allow those students to be successful.

There will be two opportunities to attend this presentation, which will occur in Lee Hall Room 414:

Tuesday, Sept. 20, at 11 a.m. and Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 2 p.m.

Please encourage faculty and staff to attend this important training.