Supporting Our Students in Times of Stress

Message to USC Faculty and Staff

From: Michael W. Quick, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

February 26, 2019

Now that we’re halfway through spring semester, many of our students may find it challenging to live their most healthy lives. This is a time when students may be experiencing heightened levels of stress, particularly with the pressures of midterms, planning for summer employment or studies, and thinking about their lives after commencement.

If you observe a student in distress, consider reaching out to them and offering options for receiving support. Observable signs of distress can include both changes in activity (agitation or sleeping) and changes in mood (sadness, anger, or extreme excitement). You may become aware of these behaviors during class or through emails or office hours.

You can offer students counseling on campus through USC Student Health, Counseling and Mental Health Services (CMH) at (213) 740-WELL (9355). You can also offer general advice and guidance from USC Support and Advocacy at (213) 821-4710.

If you would like to help but aren’t sure how to approach a student, consult first with either of these support networks.

Other resources include USC Student Health, which offers wellness services across campus, the Office of Religious Life, which can offer guidance through a spiritual lens, and Trojans Care for Trojans (TC4T), where you can anonymously and privately share concerns about a student who may be struggling.

Last month, we launched our new USC Office of the Ombuds, a safe place on both campuses for our community to turn to without fear of reprisal or judgement to explore their options for solving problems, resolving disputes, and promoting workplace wellness on campus. You can reach the University Park Campus Ombuds at (213) 821-9556 and, and the Health Sciences Campus Ombuds at (323) 442-0341 and

Sometimes the support of a community that students identify with can promote wellness. We encourage our students to take advantage of Campus and Student Affairs Resources. For example, LGBTQ+ students and allies can avail themselves of the LGBT Resource Center, a safe, affirming space that provides support and advocacy. Our many groups include Asian Pacific American Students Services (APASS), the Center for Black Cultural and Student Affairs (CBCSA)USC El Centro Chicano, and the Veterans Resource Center (VRC).

We are a community that looks out for each other. We continue to build a safe and compassionate campus that promotes our students’ wellbeing and deepens the positive impact of their experiences here.

Thank you for doing your part to help support and care for our students, and each other.

Cc: Wanda Austin
Academic Senate
Academic Deans
President’s Cabinet
Provost’s Cabinet