15 February 2005

Anything to help

Inside Higher Ed reports:

For five years, graduate students facing stress or feeling suicidal have had a hotline that they could call 24/7.

On Monday, the founders of the hotline announced that they had turned it over to another group. While about 50 universities have publicized the service, many others have declined to do so because it was created by a religious organization, the Campus Crusade for Christ. The hotline organizers decided it would be best to find a secular home for the hotline, so it could reach more people.

"It breaks my heart that we were not available enough to the students who need help, so I think this is a very beneficial move for students who need a life-saving resource," said Nick Repak, executive director of Grad Resources, the Campus Crusade's program for graduate students.


The help line (1-877-GRADHLP) was been turned over to the Kristin Brooks Hope Center, which runs a number of specialized suicide prevention services. The National Mental Health Association worked with both groups to help bring about the transfer.

Repak said that the hotline never had a religious agenda. Students were only counseled about whatever crisis they were facing, and no information about them was ever turned over to Campus Crusade. He said he recently came to realize that "as a faith-based organization," Grad Resources couldn't reach enough students.

No comments: