Student Affairs has announced the launch of Red Folder, a new resource designed to help connect students to care and support resources both on and off campus. Utilizing a “recognize, respond, refer” approach, Red Folders enable faculty and staff to provide appropriate support for students who find themselves in a moment of crisis, connecting them with the help and assistance they need.
Red Folders, sometimes referred to as 911 Folders, are used by numerous colleges and universities across the United States and Canada, among them Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Stanford University, and all of the institutions in the University of California and California State University systems.
EWU’s Red Folder program was the result of effort and input by numerous units, including the Student Accommodation and Support Services team, the Counseling and Wellness Services team and the JED Campus Leadership team, among others. Designed by Yicel De La Cruz, a junior in the Design Program, and spearheaded by Samantha Armstrong-Ash, associate vice president for student life and dean of students, the Red Folder contains resources aimed at helping students in crisis, including a resource related to identifying those who may be at risk of suicide.
Feedback from students and parents has recognized the value of the Red Folder.
Mark Bryant, EWU student and an EMT, wrote: “I’m beyond proud to see that EWU is taking the time and resources to assist their staff in further education and recognition of ways to help a student who may be struggling. Receiving resources and support like these can sometimes be the extra hand and safety net in a student’s life that changes their future.”
Jennifer Mitchell, an Eastern parent, also reached out to praise the new program. “My daughter had the packet sitting on our kitchen table the other day, and when I opened it, I was completely blown away at the wealth of important information I found inside. I have two children attending Eastern and I cannot tell you how important it is to me, as a parent, that you have undertaken this kind of comprehensive project as you look out for the emotional needs of your students.”
Maddie Drennen, founder of EagsTakeCare, said she was pleased that Red Folder will bolster resources already in place: “I created EagsTakeCare because I saw a need for broader mental health support on campus. It warms my heart to see the Red Folder expand that support further to give access to those in need.”
Administrators in Student Affair are encouraging faculty and staff to become familiar with the information found in the folder, and to take advantage of additional trainings on campus.
These opportunities, offered by Eastern’s Counseling and Wellness Services, include “Mental Health First Aid” and “QPR – Question, Persuade, Refer.” Faculty, staff and students interested in learning more should contact the Counseling and Wellness Services team.