April 05, 2010

Saluki Cares provides assistance to students

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- With just weeks to go until the end of the academic year, the countdown is on at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

For some students, it’s the time of year when stress, anxiety and pressure seem to build. When juggling responsibilities and striving for academic success seem overwhelming, some people make tragic decisions. Saluki Cares, a campus-wide program at SIUC, offer the support and care students need no matter what they’re dealing with.

“Last semester Saluki Cares helped more than 150 students. These students needed assistance with everything from homesickness and academic tutoring to grief counseling or assistance with medical withdrawals. Saluki Cares is here for every student, no matter what question or issue they’re dealing with. We help students get the answers to any questions they have and refer them to the right area providing the appropriate assistance to them,” said Katherine L. Sermersheim, director of Student Development.

Saluki Cares is a new program for the 2009-2010 school year and it’s proving its worth already, campus officials said. While help has always been available, Saluki Cares is a University-wide system coordinating student care, intervention and referral. Academic Support, Academic Affairs, Enrollment Management, Student Affairs, Student Development, the Student Health Center and various other campus units and personnel are involved.

Essentially, it’s an early alert network. Faculty, staff, parents, other students or even a student experiencing difficulties can submit a confidential referral. Someone from the Saluki Cares team will contact them, connecting them with whatever resources or help they might need.

To submit a confidential referral or concern, send an e-mail to siucares@siu.edu, call 618/453-5714 or visit the Web site atwww.salukicares.siuc.edu and click on the “Notify Saluki Cares of a Concern” link.

“We want students to know if they’re feeling anxious, stressed, pressured or worried or if they know someone who is, we care and they can get help through Saluki Cares or the Counseling Center,” said Rosemary Simmons, director of the Counseling Center located within the Student Health Center.

For immediate emergencies, calling 911 is the appropriate response, but if there’s anything SIUC can do, remember “Saluki Cares,” Sermersheim said.