For the first time in five years, the Identifying and Responding to Students in Distress document, also known as the Orange Folder, has been given a complete revamp. On January 24, a more comprehensive version was distributed to more than 1,500 faculty and staff across the university.
The Student Affairs Manager, Darryl Veld, said that the folder has been “significantly updated.” This is huge news for Brock considering this is the first time a new Students-at-Risk Protocol has been updated since being removed from Brock’s Student Code of Conduct. Coincidently, the move was made before Bell Let’s Talk Day and furthermore, was made to help reduce the stigma around mental health. The revamped protocol outlines the response and outcomes that follow a disclosure of problematic behaviours and includes information on emergency and crisis situations.
Veld said “when someone is in a teaching assistant’s office and is having a difficult time, the TA can grab this [folder]. They’ll know who to call, what the number is and there will be no fumbling around on Google [or other search engines].” Veld continues, “Everyone should have it in a drawer near them.”
Within the Students-at-Risk Protocol folder, there are nine situations outlined with information included on whether immediate action is required and potential next steps.
While speaking to faculty and staff, Veld said “We don’t expect them to be experts [on mental health], but that doesn’t mean they cannot make expert referrals… There are eight of us on the Students-at-Risk team – 16 eyes. We’d like there to be 20,000 sets of eyes looking out for people with mental-health concerns and for them to be equipped with the tools to help.”
Veld continue to state that having the easily-accessible information on hand could potentially mean diverting a crisis or offering assistance in what might be a life-or-death situation. “Having this information at your fingertips will help you work through this. Stay calm. Reach for the folder.”
Who to call on campus in emergency crisis situations:
Student Health Services, Harrison Hall: Physicians and Mental Health Nurse, 905-688-5550, ext. 3243
Personal Counselling, Schmon Tower, 400: Counsellors, 905-688-5550, ext.3240
Campus Security, Kenmore Centre: Available 24-hours a day, 905-688-5550, ext. 3200
-Loredana Del Bello, Contributor