Addressing Mental Health on Campus

 

create Scarlet Knight Support Network

To really improve mental health services on campus and eliminate the stigma associated with it, we need a grassroots movement led by students.  That’s why we are utilizing ideas that are being used around the country to connect students to students, create media campaigns, and become a foundational part of the student experience. When elected, we will put together the Scarlet Knight Support Network, which will be an organization for students by students.

 

Extend Hours of CAPS

The regular 9am-5pm business hours is not sufficient enough for students when it comes to our mental health.  That is why we will be advocating for an extension of business hours throughout the week by at least one hour each day, and to implement new weekend hours as well.  We need to make it easier for students to see counselors, as it already takes too long to schedule an appointment with CAPS already, this is a sensible solution and a good investment for our university to make.

 

Change Absence and Makeup Work Policy

To put it simply, life happens. Mental health affects our daily lives, and it certainly affects the work that we do.  A project that we will begin when elected is to change the makeup-of-course-work policy for the university to allow for students in mental health crises to get extensions on course work. The same should go for absences as well.

 

Online Appointment System

With such a large stigma around mental health, having to call to set up an appointment can be difficult to do.  It can be much quicker by transitioning to an online appointment system.  This project may take time, but students should be able to schedule an appointment with a counselor online from the comfort of their own laptop or phone.

 

RUPD Mental Health Emergency Training

Training for mental health emergencies is not required for all officers in RUPD.  Going forward, we plan on working with the Chief of RUPD to make this a mandatory training that all officers must take, to ensure that students with any form of mental health emergencies are responded to and greeted with empathy and ultimately, efficacy.

 

Ensure Diverse Counselors

One of the biggest complaints about CAPS is that often times counselors may not be able to relate to the students that meet with them.  Diversity of the counseling staff is crucial to be inclusive of all students when addressing mental health.  Having counselors with more similar backgrounds wider ranges of students can vastly improve mental health services on campus.

 

Work With Embedded Counselors in Campus Communities

The University is implementing an entirely new system for mental health services on our campus.  By embedding counselors throughout our Rutgers Community, it will be easier than ever for students to have access to mental health counseling than ever before.   Plus, these counselors will be more apt to understand the concerns of specific communities.