Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Saturday, March 23, 2019

Student Government to advocate for greater mental health awareness

Undergraduate Senate passes resolution to focus more on student mental health services

The Student Government Undergraduate Senate voted unanimously Sept. 28 to pass a new initiative that advocates for a larger focus on mental health issues and services available to students on campus.

Jasmine Nadim, senator for the Campus At Large, is a sponsor of the resolution, which she said she hopes will help to inform students about mental health resources on campus.

“This resolution allows for us to have more concentration on letting the student body
know what mental health resources are available,” Nadim said. “I strongly believe that mental health awareness is vital to a happy and healthy community.”

The counseling center offers a variety of mental health services to students, including
consultations, crisis interventions, group counseling and self-help resources, according to the American University Counseling Center’s website. Counseling is confidential and free of charge to all students.

“It’s really important that we let people know about the counseling center and let the
counseling center know that we’re there for them,” Nadim said. “I think there is more we can do to extend the reach of the counseling center. The first step is making the conscious effort to think about what the counseling center and the students at AU need.”

Under the new resolution, the Undergraduate Senate will lead a year-long discussion with students about appropriate mental health services and advertise the services offered at AU.

“I hope that from this legislation, the counseling center and the student body realize that the goal of the Senate is to help raise advocacy for mental health and help them as well,” Nadim said.

The senators plan to continue this new focus after their transition into the new Undergraduate Senate next month.

“Our project coming into the next senate is that we are going to spend more time talking about mental health resources and health advocacy for the school,” Nadim said.

Speaker of the Undergraduate Senate Alex Bradley said he plans to make advocacy for mental health a primary issue in all offices of the senate, which previously did not have a large focus in student government.

“Mental health advocacy is going to be a major priority of my office, and of the entire Undergraduate Senate,” Bradley said. “I am thrilled that senators are taking initiative and are beginning some really substantive work on this issue.”

Never miss a story.

Get our weekly newsletter in your inbox.