SG meeting addresses mental health awareness

By Alexandra Shapiro
Columnist

Forest discusses the heightened demand for counseling services (Miguel Gonzalez / Photo Editor).

Student Government discussed multiple initiatives that the College is taking toward creating a community more supportive of mental health awareness at its meeting on March 6.

SG began its meeting by welcoming Assistant Vice President for Health and Wellness Mark Forest and Dean of Students and Title IX Coordinator Jordan Draper, who gave a presentation on mental health and wellness resources at the College.

According to the presenters, the College uses a “Wellness Wheel” to look at not just one aspect of an individual’s life, but the emotional, intellectual, physical, social, environmental, financial and spiritual wellness levels of all students.

Forest presented the following data, which was gathered from the American College Health Association in 2018. According to Forest, 59.1 percent of college students nationwide felt overwhelming anxiety in the past year (with 65.1 percent at the College); 27.4 percent of college students nationwide (38.5 percent at the College) felt so depressed that it was hard to function in school; 10.6 percent of college students nationwide seriously considered suicide during the past year (9.3 percent at the College).

According to Forest, the most common presenting problems of college students are anxiety, depression and relationship issues.

Forest and Draper said that there has been an increase in the demand for services at Counseling and Psychological Services. Both scheduled appointments and walk-in appointments have been rising in recent semesters.

They announced that staffing at CAPS has increased by 50 percent since the fall of 2014. With more staff, CAPS is able to offer services to more people and therefore be more available to the community.

CAPS now has enhanced its referral capabilities for long-term treatment with community counseling collaboratives. It is also instituting increased programming in Health and Wellness.

Draper spoke about CARE Reports, which are used for students who would like to recommend other students for services through the Dean of Students’ office.  

SG proceeded to discuss a resolution, “In Support of Assembly Bill,” which requires institutions of higher education to test for lead in drinking water annually, report test results and install lead filters or treatment devices accordingly.

This bill will be further discussed next week.

Executive President of SG Brooke Chlebowski announced that College President Kathryn Foster and other administrators are coming to the general body meeting next week to give a presentation discussing the College’s budget priorities.

Senior engineering major Ricky Brum, and vice president for advancement, announced that SG and the Freshman Class Council will be holding a Panera Bread fundraiser on Wednesday, April 3.

Senior communication studies and women’s, gender and sexuality studies double major Rachel Smith, and vice president of community relations, stated that Trenton Middle School Day will take place on April 10. The event will allow students from Trenton Middle School to visit the College to learn about campus life and career fields.

The Junior Class Council will be holding a sticker fundraiser on Tuesday, March 12 through Friday, March 15, with the College and Class of 2020 themed stickers both for juniors and for any student at the College.

The council announced that it received funding from SFB for gift cards for TCNJ’s Got Talent, which will be held on April 2. Details are to come via email soon.

The Class of 2021 announced that it is working on its apparel designs, with more details to be announced soon. The class is also actively searching for venues to hold a spring formal.

The Class of 2022 announced that its formal will be taking place on March 30. More details are said to be coming soon.

 

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