ASG unanimously passed a resolution Wednesday to improve the state of mental health resources on campus, calling for the creation of a Mental Health Essential NU program during Wildcat Welcome as well as increased attention to the mental health of the Northwestern community.
The authors of the resolution "Mental Health: One Campus, One Community," ASG Senators Noah Kane and Chris Harlow, state in the document that "an increase in resources and positive change in policy" could prevent the development of serious mental health issues within the Northwestern community. The resolution comes two weeks after the suicide of Weinberg junior Alyssa Weaver, which has sparked a discussion about the need for an increase in mental health programming on campus.
"If it's something that students are concerned about, then it's our job to look at that and take action," said ASG Senator and Medill freshman McKenzie Maxson, who sponsored the resolution. Maxson said that while the circumstances surrounding the resolution are unfortunate, it's encouraging to see that students collectively care about mental health and want to improve campus resources.
The resolution reads that it is the administration's responsibility to provide proper mental health resources for students and faculty. Northwestern's current mental health resources include Counseling and Psychological Services, which provides a limited number of free counseling sessions as well as workshops and outreach programs; the Women's Center, which offers free counseling and support groups; and the Center for Awareness, Response and Education, which provides support for victims of sexual violence.
The resolution also called for the administration to consider long-term means of providing and promoting effective mental health services, stating the need for the resources of CAPS to be increased to accommodate the size of the Northwestern community.
NU Active Minds Public Relations Chair and Weinberg senior Shaina Coogan said that the resolution shows that NU Active Minds and the Northwestern community, as represented by ASG, care about prioritizing the maintenance and promotion of mental health. The resolution echoes this, concluding that Northwestern as a whole "should actively pursue a culture of openness, honesty, and responsibility with regard to mental health issues."
Coogan expects that the resolution will lead to action within the administration in terms of reforming mental health services at Northwestern.
"Now that the ASG resolution has come out, it will be harder for the administration to not follow up on making this a priority," she said.