‘Red Folder’ project preps faculty to assist students facing crisis

Araceli Castillo

CSUN Counseling Service’s Red Folder project is a new resource on campus created to provide faculty and staff with information on how to assist students facing a crisis or trauma, or who may be threatening to hurt themselves.

Inside the Red Folder, resource guides, safety tips and emergency contact numbers, like CSUN’s Campus Helpline, Suicide Prevention Hotline, and urgent care assistance, are listed.

A flowchart is also included which, based on a student’s present behavior, can be used to determine whether the student needs immediate assistance by a professional.

“What we know is that there has been an increase in mental distress over the last 10 years or so,” said Mark Stevens, director of University Counseling Services. “Every organization looks to improve the way they provide assistance to improve the community.”

The folder is available in paper format and electronically. The Red Folder project, Stevens said, is permanent and an improvement of past projects.

Stevens serves as a consultant for the Red Folder Project.

The project, he said, empowers CSUN faculty and staff to assist students and refer them to professional counselors right away, if necessary.

In development since March, the Red Folder project was created by a group of statewide Counseling and Psychological Services directors which includes Stevens, other counselors, and student conduct administrators and health educators.

CSUN Departments will be able to build on their Red Folder and add additional resources, Stevens said.

Check out the rest of The Sundial’s Mental Health Issue in a special section here.