Redbirds Reach Out is a new opportunity from the Redbirds Keep Thriving initiative. Redbirds Reach Out allows students who are feeling overwhelmed, lonely, or worried to submit a request for a letter of support. The letters of support are written by student volunteers who have expressed interest in supporting fellow students.
You can submit a request for a letter written specifically to you from another student. The only identifying information the student writing the letter will receive is your first name to personalize the letter. Once this form is submitted, the student will write a letter of support based on the information in the form and it will be sent to you in the next week.
“We hope that keeping it anonymous will help students feel comfortable sharing their concerns,” says Sarah Metivier, assistant director of Student Access and Accommodation Services. “Students don’t have to share much–just a few sentences about what they are struggling with.”
This initiative was created to give students the support that they need during this challenging time and is part of the emotional wellness resources found through Redbirds Keep Thriving. “We hope that, particularly while we are physically distanced, Redbirds Reach Out can demonstrate that support is still available; that other students have struggled with similar concerns, and that others understand” Metivier says. “Connection and belonging are so important to well-being. We hope that Redbirds Reach Out can provide students with a reminder that they are not alone.”
If you are a student interested in making an impact on your fellow Redbirds, it is easy to become a part of Redbirds Reach Out. Students can get involved as letter writers, request letters, or both.
As one letter writer shared, “I wanted to get involved in the program, because I know how valuable encouragement and support are to those who might be struggling. I feel as though we are in an unfamiliar situation and that we have to support one another in order to make it through to the other side. Hearing that your fellow students are experiencing similar feelings as you, is almost therapeutic and it benefits both the letter writer and the one receiving the letter.”
Students who would like to participate as letter writers can email their interest and contact information to RedbirdsReachOut@IllinoisState.edu.
Complete a request form if you need support or something to brighten your day. No request is too small.