EDMOND — The University of Central Oklahoma Wellness Center and the Mercy Health System have taken another step in their partnership, implementing Call SAM (Student Assistance by Mercy), a help line that links to a mental health services call center dedicated to helping students.
The 24/7, toll-free help line can be reached by calling (855) 225-2SAM (2627). It is a service for issues such as substance abuse, mental or emotional well-being and family crisis, and is managed by behavioral health providers and medical providers trained in mental health issues.
“Call SAM is a help line students and staff can call for help with depression, anxiety, unhealthy eating, substance abuse, social issues or any other stressors,” said Shelly Whiting, Call SAM coordinator for Mercy in Schools.
“Trained mental heath professionals will talk through any crisis and help callers with supportive and compassionate care,” Whiting said. “We hope students know they’re not alone, no matter what situation they find themselves in.”
The program began as one of the five key components of Mercy in Schools, an initiative of health and wellness in collaboration with Edmond Public Schools, which has now extended to UCO.
“We’re very excited to launch the Call SAM program here at UCO,” said Danielle Dill, director of health and fitness at the UCO Wellness Center.
“It allows us to reach students who need assistance at any time and in any way, while still making it free and confidential.”
UCO’s partnership with Mercy Health System began in 2009 with the Mercy Health Clinic at UCO, located in the UCO Wellness Center. It is available to the campus community and general public and offers a full range of primary care services, including sports physicals, wellness exams and medical exams for children and adults, X-rays, flu shots and more.
For more information, go to www.uco.edu/wellness.