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New helpline offers 24/7 support for students

Graphic by Francisco Wang Yu

The Wellness Center has launched a confidential, 24/7 helpline—the Rollins Mental Health Helpline—that connects students with licensed counselors outside of regular Wellness Center hours. Its number is 407-646-1516.

“The Wellness Center recognized that students may experience challenges outside of our regular business hours,” said Connie Briscoe, director of the Wellness Center, and Cristelle Garnier, assistant director of Health Promotions. “So we wanted to provide a resource that students can use year-round, during the weekends, the holidays, the summer, and anytime during the day or evening.”

The helpline’s mental health professionals are employed by ProtoCall, a company that specializes in crisis intervention. Rollins purchased the company’s services in a bundle, along with WellTrack and TogetherAll, for an annual fee of $35,000.

The decision to provide the helpline was collaboratively made by the Wellness Center, the Dean of Students, and Rollins Leadership. Its launch was announced in mid-November via a campus-wide email. 

Accessing the helpline

Briscoe and Garnier said that the primary goal of the Rollins Mental Health Helpline is to “provide support for the mental health of students. This means that faculty and staff can call regarding concerns about a Rollins student specifically.” As such, faculty, staff, and parents can use the helpline to find support for a Rollins student. 

Callers can talk to a licensed counselor 24 hours a day, seven days a week from anywhere in the United States. Rollins students studying abroad and students without an existing relationship with CAPS can also utilize the helpline. 

As of now, an average of nine to 10 students a month call the Rollins Mental Health Helpline.

If a student is calling during a crisis or an emergency, they will be connected within a few minutes. For non-emergencies, they may be asked to hold for a short time if there is a high volume of calls. 

“[The helpline] is accessible for any student who needs mental health support or just needs to talk to someone,” said Briscoe and Garnier. “It could be for stress, anxiety, loneliness, depression, family issues, or anything the student wants to discuss.”

The helpline is ideal for students who need in-the-moment support from a mental health professional, “which is different than having an on-going relationship with a therapist. It should feel like a regular conversation with a therapist that will be there to guide them through whatever they may be experiencing in that moment,” said Briscoe and Garnier. 

During a call, the mental health professional will help the student create a plan regarding their concern. They will also give additional information on resources available on and off campus. 

While calls are not anonymous, they are confidential. 

“I do feel as though this is a service that is offered by many publicly available nonprofits and agencies, so it is not necessarily going to be the most helpful thing for students,” said Kayla Poholek (‘25), campus safety senator. “The funds going into having this 24/7 counseling could be better allocated if they went to more trauma-informed therapists that students could access by appointment.” 

Students who want on-going support should contact the Wellness Center at 407-628-6340 to schedule an Initial Clinical Consultation (ICC) with CAPS.  

“The [helpline] aims to make mental healthcare more accessible than ever on the Rollins campus,” said Wellness Senator Perry Middleton (‘23). “The line represents a promise to the student body that this school cares about your mental well-being no matter what time of day. That being said, […] a crisis line is not a replacement for therapy. The inclusion of the line is a crucial step, but it’s one step of many.”

Other mental health resources for students

Students can contact multiple services for support on and off campus, including the following resources:  

  • CAPS at the Wellness Center – M-F 8:30am – 5:00pm
  • Lifeline of Central Florida – 407-425-2624
  • National Suicide Prevention Hotline – 1-800-273-8255
  • Victim Services Center of Central Florida – 407-500-4325
  • The Trevor Project (LGBTQ+) – 1-866-488-4673 or Text START to 678678
  • Crisis Text Line – Text HOME to 741741 or Text STEVE to 741741 for BIPOC students
  • WellTrack App – interactive self-help app – create account with email 
  • TogetherAll – chat for students – create account with email 
  • IMAlive – to chat online 
  • Suicide Prevention Lifeline Chat – to chat online 
  • Veterans Crisis Line Chat – to chat online
  • The Trevor Project – to chat online

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