Practicing Good Mental Health Amid Tragedy

July 29, 2022

Faculty, Staff and Students,

Greetings, all. I hope those of you on Summer Break are well, both physically and mentally. But I especially want to reach out to those who are from — and those who are working in or taking classes in — the eastern portion of our state.

Over the last couple of days, the area has experienced record flooding, with as much as six inches of rain reported in some cities over a span of 24 hours. Multiple deaths have been reported, and more than 23,000 are without power.

A State of Emergency has been declared by Gov. Beshear, and I want to personally send my thoughts and prayers to those affected. We will see what else we can do to help these areas in the coming days. But in times like these, we must remember to stay healthy, from both a physical and mental perspective.

I felt this may be an appropriate time to talk to you about 988 Lifeline.

The 988 Lifeline for Mental Health Emergencies is now live, and I want you to know about this new initiative that will help people access critical mental health support the same way that 911 does for emergency services. Anyone can now call or text 9-8-8 for free, confidential support for mental health emergencies 24 hours a day.

When people call, text, or chat 988 they will be connected to trained counselors who will listen, provide support and connect them to resources.

988 offers access to people experiencing a mental health-related crisis. This could include:

  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Mental health or substance abuse crisis, or
  • Any other kind of emotional distress

People can call or text 988 for themselves, or even if they are worried about someone else who may need crisis support. For more information, visit

Again, make certain that you are communicating with those around you, and that you are budgeting your time to stay well — mentally and physically.

For those in the eastern part of the Commonwealth, please stay safe, and remain resilient. You are part of our family, and family never gets left behind.


Continue to stay healthy and well,