24-hour hotline number added to student ID cards

The MU Counseling Center added a new 24-hour crisis hotline at the end of January.

The phone number of the MU Counseling Center will now be printed on the backs of new student ID cards.

The new 24-hour hotline number for the center began appearing alongside the numbers for the MU Police Department and STRIPES late last week.

“We’re very pleased they chose to do that," Counseling Center Director David Wallace said. "The fact that the phone number is on something that students have with them all the time really heightens the usefulness. Any time a student is in distress or crisis, they can call 24/7.”

The push to add the number to IDs began with Active Minds, a mental health awareness organization on campus, which wanted to connect students to helpful resources.

Senior Michael Della Fave of Active Minds said this step was "extremely important."

"The addition of the Counseling Center number provides students with the power to take charge of their mental health by providing easily accessible mental health resources through de-stigmatized channels,” he said in an email. “(This) potentially decreasing the amount of students suffering alone at the University of Missouri, truly creating a safe space and fully supporting the One Mizzou ideology.”

Della Fave said it is easy for students to forget information about resources introduced to them on tours, and he is glad it is now more easily accessible to students.

"Through our work as Active Minds peer educators, (project co-leader) Keisha Bailey and I knew that there was an increase in the prevalence and severity of mental health issues among students," he said. "We spent the majority of fall semester meeting with people, discussing the importance of our campaign. We even had petitions signed to gain enough support ... to move forward, and here we are. It was hard work, but we cannot accept all the credit; we just wanted to do the right thing for the students and for Mizzou."

Della Fave credited Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Cathy Scroggs, the ID center, all members of Active Minds and the Missouri Students Association Campus and Community Relations Committee for helping implement the idea.

"I think it's huge," CCRC Chairman Chad Phillips said. "I didn't know some of those services were available until my sophomore year, so making sure it's on one of the first things you get in the summer is huge and will make a big impact. Hopefully, if anyone needs help, they can just flip it over and call the number."

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