Student Care's role is to help you manage challenges that arise during your time at Amherst. Our goal is to join with you so that you don't feel alone in managing significant stressors, while ensuring you are connected with all key support resources that may benefit you.
We take a holistic approach in our work, which means we are active, empathic listeners and focus on the whole person in front of us. We understand that everyone is situated within a complex web of societal power structures and systems of privilege and oppression, and that navigating these dynamics is intrinsically part of your life both in and out of the context of your college education.
We are available as a resource to all students and are eager to consult with staff, faculty, friends and parents as well. Most often, we support people who are dealing with challenges relating to medical health, mental health, financial concerns, family challenges, or social/adjustment issues. However, you should know that there is no wrong reason to reach out to us! We are eager to meet you and learn how we can leverage our extensive knowledge of campus and community support systems to help.
Here are some specific examples of how we can offer you assistance, including resources we might suggest partnering with to help you navigate a challenge:
- Offer you support when acute or chronic life challenges get in the way of learning and participating fully in courses.
- Facilitate connection with the Class Deans.
- Help coordinate logistics and communicate with faculty, class deans, or coaches if you must leave campus suddenly due to an unexpected family or personal issue.
- Assist you to structure your time, plan your week, and get connected with academic support systems on campus.
- Help you navigate the leave and readmission process if you decide to take a voluntary or medical withdrawal from school.
Mental Health and Physical Health
- Connect you with helpful supports (such as the Center for Counseling and Mental Health, Health Services, Accessibility Services, the Office of Identity and Cultural Resources, and other community resources) when you're going through a difficult time.
- Meet with you regularly to check in, offer a listening ear, and be a thought partner as you navigate support systems.
- Offer timely support, referral, and care coordination in cases of acute crisis.
- Offer connection to the Mammoth Ride service:
- Wheelchair accessible van that offers rides to students with temporary or longer-term mobility challenges.
- Call for a ride by dialing dispatch (413-542-2291). We recommend calling 20 minutes in advance.
- Rides are available for the following reasons: Getting to class or an academic meeting (tutoring, meeting with advisor, etc); Appointment at Health Center, Center for Counseling and Mental Health, Athletic Trainers, or UMass Health Center; Meal at dining hall; COVID testing center visit
- Hours: Monday-Friday 9am-3:30am, Saturday-Sunday 5pm-3:30am
- Offer assistance in cases of inpatient hospital treatment:
- Broker communication with Class Deans and professors while you’re in the hospital & help with the transition back to campus.
- Help you access transportation for urgent or unexpected off-campus medical appointments.
- Sort out answers to health insurance questions.
Social life, adjustment to college and residential living
- Help you thrive and brainstorm ways to foster well-being.
- Find greater social connection and sense of belonging.
- Create better balance between “work” and “life.”
- Offer consultation and support when you’re worried about a friend.
- Collaborate with Residential Engagement and Wellbeing staff to support students in the residence halls.
- Be a friendly face and a sounding-board in times of loneliness or isolation.
- Connect you with the Office of Student Activities to brainstorm how you can plug in with student groups and events on campus.
- Explore choices around alcohol and other drugs.
Family issues and financial concerns
- Offer connection to staff in the Financial Aid office and help you explore all financial resources at your disposal.
- Provide referral to the Student Emergency Fund for students that have an exceptional need for assistance with expenses incurred beyond those covered by routine financial aid.
- Except for instances of significant health or safety concerns, we do not communicate with family members without your prior consent. However, some students find it helpful to work with a Case Manager in engaging family members who wish to be involved in their support.
- Case Managers can help family understand the support resources available at the college.
- Case Managers can help you hold boundaries with family who seek to be more involved in your life than you wish.
- We are happy to consult with you and your family together about any questions you might have about college resources and refer you to appropriate staff members for assistance.
Accessibility and Accommodations
- Connect you with Accessibility Service to explore whether you may be eligible for academic or residential accommodation.