Supporting the Mental Health of Our Students and University Community

TO: Gonzaga Students, Colleagues and Families
FROM: Kent Porterfield, Ed.D., Vice Provost for Student Affairs
SUBJ: Supporting the Mental Health of Our Students and University Community
DATE: October 22, 2021

I write today to both reinforce awareness of, and ask for your ongoing, active help in supporting the mental health of our students and University community. Under the most ordinary circumstances, college is stressful; academic pursuits, physical health, personal and family issues can all contribute to the mental health challenges that many of us experience. Without question, COVID-19 has magnified and added to these, adding anxiety, stress and frustration to an already challenging experience.

It takes all of us to create a caring and supportive University community, so please act if you see someone in distress. If you are struggling, please let someone know. Thinking about suicide is more common than individuals may realize and should always be taken seriously. This semester, there have been several suicide attempts and reports of suicidal ideation within our student population.

There are many resources available at Gonzaga to support students, so please, do not hesitate to ask for help or to seek help for others. Check in on each other; check in often with your family and friends. There are many resources listed in the attached document, and below are few others to keep in mind.

  1. Our student-led Active Minds chapter meets next on October 25th, from 5-6 pm in the Jundt Lounge in Hemmingson and will feature a speaker from the local National Alliance on Mental Illness organization. You can reach them at
  2. The Office of Health Promotion at provides mental-health education and related training. The next scheduled events will be on November 3rd for a presentation on mental health at Gonzaga, and on November 10th with a program on trans and nonbinary student mental health.
  3. We will soon announce upcoming opportunities for additional health and wellness events and experiences for our opportunity in the weeks prior to Thanksgiving.
  4. You can also visit the wellness toolbox at any time to access information and resources.

Since Monday is Founder’s Day and a University holiday, I hope you take time to rest, reflect and focus on your wellbeing. If you are having thoughts of suicide or self-harm, please know that you are not alone and there is help and support available. You matter and we’re here to help.

Thank you.

The Office of Health Promotion offers a document with tools and resources for dealing with pain.