LSA student government passes mental health resolutions

Wednesday, March 16, 2016 - 11:45pm

Gary Krenz, executive director of the University Bicentennial, speaks as on of the guests at the LSA student government meeting in Mason Hall on Wednesday.

Gary Krenz, executive director of the University Bicentennial, speaks as on of the guests at the LSA student government meeting in Mason Hall on Wednesday. Buy this photo
Grant Hardy/ Daily

 

At their Wednesday meeting, representatives of the LSA Student Government passed several resolutions focusing on the mental well-being and inclusivity of University of Michigan students.

The first resolution, sponsored by LSA sophomores Nicholas Fadanelli and Nicholas Meier, aimed to enact the first University Mental Health Day. According to the resolution, UM mental health resources such as Counseling and Psychological Services have experienced a 20 percent increase in demand, and the University’s student body experiences higher levels of depression and anxiety than the national average. To combat this, the resolution, which passed unanimously, authorized LSA SG to partner with a variety of student organizations and campus resources such as Wolverine Support Network, Active Minds, the Sexual Assault Prevention Awareness Center (SAPAC) to host a day centered around mental health awareness on campus.

Speaking in favor of the resolution, Meier said promoting mental health this way has had a positive response at other universities

“The concept has been implemented in other colleges like Michigan State University, and has proved to have been very successful,” Meier said.

LSA sophomore Uriel Lee also emphasized the importance of making CAPS’ current services more well known.

“We need to advocate the resources CAPS currently has, because most of them fly under the radar,” Lee said. “We can only fund so many new programs, and we need to put up our resources at the forefront.”

The representatives also passed resolutions requesting that LSA officially recognizes the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and the creation of a “Before I Die” wall for students to post their bucket list items in Angell Hall.  

In addition, a resolution advocating the implementation of a “Let’s Talk” CAPS on North Campus was proposed.

LSA sophomore Joey Hansel said one of CAPS’ focuses in the coming years should be on students in more isolated parts of campus.

“We need to help facilitate the conversation,” Hansel said. “It’s a sad truth, but CAPS is underfunded, and, as the LSA Student Government, we should focus on funding CAPS and helping these students.”

Meier, another sponsor of the resolution, said no matter where students live on campus, they should be afforded the same access to mental health resources.

“People should not be prevented from having access to the same resources as other students just because of where they were randomly assigned to live,” he said. “We need to get something there now, so they can get the help they need now. Not in a month or five years, but now.”