Sept. 19, 2018

Dear UNT faculty and staff,

UNT is a university that cares about our students. We are a place that fosters student growth - both academically and emotionally. We know that it can be difficult to excel in the classroom when students struggle with their mental health or emotional well-being.

In conjunction with National Suicide Prevention Month, I want to remind you of UNT's Mental Health Campaign which focuses on promoting emotional health and preventing suicide, prescription drug overdoses and alcohol poisoning, the leading causes of death for young adults.

There's a significant relationship between students' emotional well-being and their academic performance and retention. Of the top 10 factors affecting UNT students' academic performance, recent research shows four were related to mental health issues - stress, anxiety, depression and sleep difficulties. As faculty and staff, I hope you will all go the extra mile to care for our students' emotional well-being and connect them with available resources.

We have countless resources available on campus through Counseling and Testing Services, the CARE Team, the Psychology Clinic, Substance Abuse Resource Center and the Academic Success Center in Sage Hall, to name a few.

Our Mental Health Campaign is led by Teresa McKinney (, assistant vice president of student affairs, and I encourage you to reach out to her with feedback or ideas about what can be done to better let our students know we care. 

Let's work together to ensure that each student can be healthy, happy and remain on the path to achieving their dreams.  

UNT Proud,
Neal Smatresk