Office of the President
Campus Messages

Investing in Mental Health and Well-being

A Message from President Darryll J. Pines

By Darryll J. Pines

Dear Terrapin community,

The journey toward a healthier campus community is paved with dedicated steps. Each initiative, each partnership and each expanded resource represent a milestone on this path. Today, we share our progress in fostering a culture of care, so that every member of our community feels valued, empowered and supported.

In recent years, collaborative efforts between the Division of Student Affairs and other divisional and college leaders have helped improve mental health services for our students. These enhancements were made in response to the changing mental health landscape on college campuses. They were also informed by some recommendations from the Presidential Task Force on Community Policing, with input from students, faculty and staff. These advancements acknowledge recent challenges our community has collectively faced. And in challenging times and not, we must continue to prioritize our mental health and how we support one another.

In July 2020, we announced our commitment to increasing staffing for student mental health services. We are proud of the progress we have made, not only in augmenting staffing but also in strengthening and expanding our mental health services for graduate and undergraduate students:

  • Increasing Staffing and Services: To address the growing demand for mental health support, the Counseling Center has hired additional full and part-time staff and restructured its approach to allow for quicker and more efficient access to care. It has also expanded its virtual health services to provide students with more options for accessing care, regardless of their location or schedule.
  • Creating an Initial Access Team: The Counseling Center’s new Initial Access team has five clinicians and is expanding. The primary function of this team is to improve and expedite access to treatment and develop new treatment options that meet students' evolving mental health needs.
  • Establishing New Partnerships, Care and Transport Options: The Counseling Center, University Health Center and University of Maryland Police Department are together ensuring that students in crisis receive comprehensive and effective care from the moment they need transportation to an emergency room for a mental health emergency to their return to campus life We have implemented an improved and more supportive process to transport students in crisis safely to the appropriate health facility. Agreements have been secured with local health facilities and hospitals to help students receive streamlined and effective care. And, a new comprehensive care management system will support students returning to campus from mental health emergencies requiring hospitalization.
  • Piloting an Embedded Clinician Team: In partnership with the Provost’s Office and four colleges and schools, we have embedded three mental health clinicians directly within these academic units. By integrating mental health clinicians within these specific schools and colleges, we aim to gather more nuanced insights into the mental health care and support that students in those schools and colleges need. This pilot could be built upon in the future.

Looking ahead, we are pleased to share that Senior Vice President and Provost Jennifer King Rice and Vice President for Student Affairs Patty Perillo just received recommendations from the Mental Health Task Force. This task force, co-chaired by Senior Associate Vice President for Student Affairs Warren Kelley and School of Public Health Dean Boris Lushniak, has been working to assess our current mental health initiatives and will propose new commitments to further enhance the care provided to students, faculty and staff.

We are grateful for the dedication and passion of everyone involved in our collective effort to prioritize mental health. Together, we are creating a stronger, more supportive campus community where all Terps can thrive.


Darryll J. PinesPresident, University of MarylandHe/Him/HisChetan JoshiDirector, University Counseling CenterHe/Him/His