The Stanford Red Folder is a new resource, from Vaden Health Center, designed to help faculty and staff respond to and assist students in distress.

See this digital version and printable pdf version of the Red Folder. (Requests for hard copies of the Folder should be sent to

The Red Folder describes the indicators of distress, which can include repeated absences from class, marked changes in physical appearance and expressions of hopelessness. The folder then provides a blueprint for how to respond and offers tips for having a tactful conversation that builds trust. The folder also includes a comprehensive list of campus resources and information on how faculty and staff can appropriately connect students to them.

Those resources fall into three main categories:

  1. Social-connection resources for students having a hard time but whose safety is not at risk. These resources include Stanford’s many community centers.
  2. Specialized resources for students who show signs of distress and could use more thorough help from places such as Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) or the Office of Alcohol Policy and Education.
  3. Urgent resources for students who exhibit dangerous or threatening behavior to themselves or others and need more immediate support.

The Red Folder is just the latest initiative in a broader strategy to support student mental health and well-being at Stanford. Over the past several months, Stanford has made an aggressive push to improve its services, including a new student-intake model for CAPS, well-being and resource matrix (WARM) trainings and partnerships with the JED initiative, which is a nationwide program to address mental health issues among teens and young adults.

Stanford Resources