U Matter, We Care 2.0

It Takes All of Us

The U Matter, We Care is reinvigorating itself to do the most good for as many UF students as possible. Please click the boxes below to learn about where we have been, where we are and where U Matter, We Care 2.0 will take our campus for a new generation!

Where We Have Been

The U Matter, We Care initiative has been actively assisting students since 2010. With the sole mission of helping students in distress. This effort seeks to connect students with the resources and professionals to get help when they need it most. To support this aim the University of Florida developed a website, phone number and email address to provide students, faculty, staff, family members, and community a one-stop-shop for all things care. Since the establishment of these one-stop efforts, there have been tens of thousands of website visits, phone calls and emails. Additionally, a coordinated marketing campaign was established to make students aware of the resources available to them.

To support these efforts the University of Florida established the Care Team, operated out of the Dean of Students Office. The Care Team has been able to provide students with an in-person resource for UF students. The Care Team works in tandem with several on-campus and off-campus resources to get students to help. Since 2010, the Care team has helped over 20,000 Gators in distress also expanding its services to include the Hitchcock Field and Fork Pantry and Collegiate Veterans Success Center.

While the Care Team continues to be the most visible sign of the U Matter, We Care initiative they do not support UF students on their own. Together with resources such as the Counseling & Wellness Center, Office of Victim Services, UF Police Department, GatorWell Health Promotion Services, Student Health Care Center, and many more the U Matter, We Care initiative seeks to ensure that no Gator is left behind.

Where We Are

Over the past few years, it has become apparent that students are expecting and deserving more from the U Matter, We Care initiative. The University of Florida has seen the mental health and support needs of students rise. It has also become increasingly clear that although services have expanded the pathways to get students to the correct location has not always been the clearest. We sometimes hear “well I didn’t get help because I didn’t know where to go.” With a campus of hundreds of departments and thousands of students, it can be difficult to find the right first stop. This is further compounded by confusion in good-faith marketing/ connection efforts with different resources and student organizations all trying to do the best for students. Which is why in the Summer of 2018 many UF departments and services began to re-examine the U Matter, We Care initiative to re-energize the goal of helping students in distress. That is when U Matter, We Care 2.0 came about. See below for the work that has been done so far.

U Matter, We Care 2.0
  • Summer 2018 – Action workgroup was created chaired by Dr. Heather White, Dean of Students composed of departments and resources from around the University of Florida. | Research conducted on effective national best practices and benchmarking of successful care programs nation-wide.
  • October 2018 – Action workgroup refocuses U Matter, We Care initiative on today’s students. A new philosophy was developed that focuses on students to take action for themselves and others while ensuring support systems become better aligned to assist and support students when they need it.
  • November 2018 – Action workgroup commissions new website and a call for more student input. | Met with Student Government to chart a pathway to helpful pathway for students to access care-related resources for students.
  • December 2018 – Dr. Heather White and members of action workgroup meet with a student focus group to chart the needs of the website and corresponding marketing/ communications plan. | Action workgroup meets to review student feedback and map next steps.
  • February 2019 – A new U Matter, We Care BETA website is launched.
  • Where We Are Going

    Empowered with a new website resource hub, the U Matter, We Care initiative will turn its attention to empowering students to turn caring thoughts into caring actions. Over the next several months, administration and students alike will be examining the ways in which students can learn about ways to take action for themselves and others. The new U Matter, We Care website will be learning the information students, faculty/ staff, families and community members are seeking and ways that we can connect services. Shifting from being reactive to becoming proactive. Students will have the opportunity at all times to provide feedback, assist in the development of new marketing campaigns, and provide ways that students can take action for the UF community.

    Some of the ways that you can help:
    • 1.) Explore this website and let us know what is missing. This is a new BETA website so search, click links, and think critically if something is incorrect. You can provide feedback via the Website Feedback Form.
    • 2.) Be on the lookout for U Matter Ambassadors and GatorWell Health Huts. During the spring semester, the U matter Ambassadors and GatorWell health educators will be on campus at various times to collect student feedback about the website as well as new logos, taglines, campaigns, and ways that resources can reach today’s students.
    • 3.) Sign-Up for a focus group. During the spring semester, the U Matter, We Care action workgroup will be hosting open focus groups for students to give their input into the initiative. This will be as open as space allows. Some focus groups will be specific and some will be general. Sign-Ups will be available in March 2019.
    • 4.) Watch for a new U Matter, We Care initiative logos, taglines, and giveaways. This is last on the list because at the heart of this reinvigoration plan is making sure that the support systems and pathways are clear and established before changing the U Matter, We Care identity. Coming May 2019
    Website Resources To Come:
    • 1.) More Resource Information. As you will see on the site we have over 30 plus campus resources listed. On each resource card, you will find descriptions, websites, addresses, phone numbers, and contact information. In the next phase of the U Matter, We Care invigoration plan each resource will also include buses and parking directions as well as accessibility information. Coming Summer 2019.
    • 2.) Stories of Care in Action. We know that students benefit most by seeing stories of how other students have taken action for themselves, for someone else and for their community. Which is why perspectives will be shared as well as tips for helping others. Coming Summer 2019.