Students know best how the university experience can be a challenge for one’s mental health. So when students urged President Daniels to take on issues of mental health on campus in fall 2015, he listened. The university convened a Task Force for Mental Health and Well-Being soon afterward to begin assessing the support programs and mental health resources available to students.
The 26-member task force is made up of faculty members lending their expertise in fields including accessibility, psychiatry, and counseling. Staff members from the Counseling Center, the Johns Hopkins Student Assistance Program, University Health Services, Student Affairs, Campus Safety and Security, and others are also participating. The group includes nine students, whose voices are critical to this effort.
The group has been charged with ensuring that the university’s programs, policies, and practices with regard to student psychological well-being meet the needs of JHU’s students. Initially, task force members focused on gathering information — such as students’ experiences using the services available to them and the factors affecting their mental health and well-being — and then looked at the barriers discouraging students from using existing mental health services.