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Dear Bobcat parent and family members,

I hope this email finds you well after spending time with your student and other friends and family over Thanksgiving. MSU students have been working hard, and the time away from campus is always well-deserved! Hopefully, they are rested and ready for the final weeks of the semester.

Finals week will be here before we know it -- Dec. 11-14. Many students feel pressure and stress during this time of the year, so please check in with them to make sure they are taking care of themselves. Encourage them to maintain a routine as they continue their studies and preparation for finals, including getting good sleep, nutrition and physical activity. The university offers many resources to help with this.

One of the more unique ways to combat stress MSU offers at the end of each semester comes courtesy of the MSU Library, which will host several Paws to De-Stress events. The library partners with Intermountain Therapy Animals to bring volunteers and therapy dogs to campus, allowing students some time to take a brain break by interacting with a therapy animal. The MSU Library has also created a virtual stress relief guide to help students find effective ways to calm their nerves and deal with end-of-semester anxiety. 

If your student is experiencing mental health struggles, please direct them to MSU Counseling and Psychological Services. Their offerings include individual, group, relationship and couples counseling, as well as drop-in services and resources for substance abuse.  

Also available through CPS is a suite of self-help resources with specific guides for stress management, mental wellness and final exams. There is a webpage for parents that offers suggestions on how to broach the topic of mental health and well-being with your student.  

For non-crisis concerns, MSU's CARE (Campus Assessment Response Evaluation) Program provides a direct way to express concern for your student's well-being so that university staff can assist a student who is struggling.  

If you ever consider a situation to be an emergency, call 911. For callers who live out of the area and need to report someone at MSU in crisis, call 406-994-2121, ext. 4. You can also visit CPS's crisis resource webpage, which includes phone numbers for services on and off campus that can provide support and assistance.

You know your student best, so if you sense that something is off, please reach out. You are a key part of our mission to support our students in all their pursuits here at Montana State, and I welcome your questions and concerns at any time. 

Warm regards,

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Matthew R. Caires
Dean of Students

P.S. Do you have a returning student moving off-campus in the spring? If so, please check out our Good Neighbor Committee webpage. The committee brings together representatives from MSU, local property managers, Bozeman fire and police departments and others to provide guidance and information about off-campus student living. It's a great resource for navigating rentals, leases and more! 

Bobcat Parent and Family Program, Montana State University
174 Strand Union Building | P.O. Box 174220 | Bozeman, MT 59717 | [email protected] | 406-994-7359
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