Brittany Larkin

Students will now be able to find two programs to help them during stressful times.

The Campus Assistance Program and “Gimme a Little Head Room” are now available on Miami University’s campus to help students in need.

According to Karen Murray, director of the office of health education, the American College Health Association recommended a campus assistance program to aid students, sparking the idea of Miami’s Campus Assistance Program, or CAP.

Planning for CAP started in 2005 when and a training pilot was designed and implemented in 2006.

Murray said the final program is geared to help faculty and staff recognize students who may be exhibiting signs of distress-especially in academics-who may not otherwise seek help.

“This is an empowering program,” Murray said. “It is an attempt to support the notion for faculty and students to look out for other students. The more people our program gets to, the more people can … likely receive support.”

Murray said some signs of distress include sudden change in attitude toward classes, such as frequent absences or dropping grades. Murray said that many times, if students’ problems are not addressed, students could end up leaving school.

According to Murray, the program has been in a developmental pilot stage for almost three years and is currently just opening to the entire campus community.

While CAP is run by staff from a variety of university offices, “Gimme a Little Head Room” allows students to take the reins as part of HAWKS Peer Educators.

Senior Stefanie Sliger, program development coordinator, said the “Gimme a Little Head Room” program teaches students how to make the distinction between typically-stressed students versus potentially depressed students.

“The goal of the program is to help a friend out who is struggling with mental health problems,” Sliger said. “It teaches other students how to identify (when) something is wrong and what they can do to help.”

Sliger believes this student-run program will be a relief to students on campus.

“From the get-go, it seemed important to have a student version of the program,” Murray said. “I am glad ‘Gimme a Little Head Room’ is taking off in the right direction.”

Murray believes that through “Gimme a Little Head Room” and CAP, the Miami campus will be able to better connect students to helpful resources.

“There are so many resources for everything on this campus, but not everything is transparent,” Murray said. “It all depends on whom you interact with; the hope is to create transparency through these programs.”