Red folders on school desktops ease access to mental health services

Zack Jordan

Red folders showed up on computers around Sacramento State and other CSU campuses to raise mental health awareness for students.

Sac State’s Executive Director of Student Health and Counselling Services, Joy Stewart-James, said the Red Folder Project is a resource for faculty and staff to help them identify, respond and refer students they see in distress to information or who to get in contact with.

“The hope is that everyone will be better able to recognize the sings of psychological distress and be able to connect students to the appropriate and available resources on campus,” said Stewart-James.

The working group for the Red Folder consist of mental health counselors, health educators and student conduct professionals to make sure it is able to connect students correctly.

Inside of the Sac State Red Folder, information on different contacts such as the campus police and Student Health and Counseling Services, how to respond to protocol when you are facing a distressing student, certain symptoms or indicators a student might give off if they are feeling distressed and how to handle the student if they are showing the symptoms is given out.

Stewart-James said this project is being funded by the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA) Student Mental Health Initiative.

Senior Director of Customer Service and Information Security Officer, Jeff Williams, said they did not install the Red Folder on lab or classroom computers on campus.

“The Red Folder is a resource geared more toward faculty and staff. We pushed it to all the state-owned desktops and laptops that are assigned to faculty and staff,” Williams said.

Williams also said there was contact made to those whose computers did not have the folder inputted on to have it placed and also any new computers or laptops that are issued to the faculty and staff will have the Red Folder on it.

According to Clinical Director at Sac State Ronald Luts, the project started a few years ago by the CSU Chancellor’s Office under a project committee and has recently been put into effect.

“As a community we all interact with each other, and we are responsible for what goes on around campus,” said Lutz.

Lutz said even though the folder is only available for faculty and staff on campus, he believes students can download the folder onto your laptop or desktop, along with a Red Folder App where it uses your location depending on what campus you are on and will give specific numbers to contact if you see someone in danger or if you are in danger yourself.

Stewart-James said along with this being a permanent feature, a group of students at CSU San Bernardino are working on the second phase of the app to help better it for those who access it.

This folder can be found at or you can download the mobile app at It is also available at the App Store and on Google Play.