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Board members plan mental health initiative - The Pitt News

The Pitt News

Board members plan mental health initiative

By Abbey Reighard / Assistant News Editor

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Two Student Government Board members are preparing a mental health partnership with the Jed and Clinton Health Matter Campus Program.

Board members Meghan Murphy and Matt Sykes said once Pitt administrators approve the partnership, the Board will contact the Program and collaborate to survey Pitt students on mental health awareness and resources on campus. After the survey results are in, members of the foundation will analyze the data and, based on the survey results,  decide on a Pitt-specific initiative to improve mental health on campus, according to Sykes.

According to the Jed and Clinton Health Matter Campus Program’s framework, the Program works to help colleges and universities promote emotional well-being and mental health programming.

Upon approval by administrators, including interim Dean of Students Kenyon Bonner, Pitt’s partnership with the foundation would last two years. Sykes said he expects administrators to approve the partnership in the next few weeks.

Murphy and Sykes shared mental health initiatives while campaigning for Board positions in November. During the Board’s annual weekend retreat in January, Murphy and Sykes began discussing a mental health initiative that they could work on together. 

“We realized that we share this same passion, so we teamed up,” Murphy said. 

Sykes added that the method for distributing the survey is “still in the works.”

Murphy said the Board hopes to host a mental health awareness event on campus before the end of the semester, but said she does not yet have any concrete plans for the event. 

“The overall goal is really to rid the [mental health] stigma on campus and make this a safe place and a welcome place for students,” Murphy said. 

Allocations:

Pitt PanthEARS requested $1,979.96 to send four people to the AudiologyNow! 2015 conference in San Antonio, Texas. The Board approved $1,819 and denied $160 in line with the allocations recommendation. 

Men’s Ultimate Frisbee requested $2,315.03 to send 25 people to the Stanford Invite tournament. The Board approved in full in line with the allocations recommendation. 

Pittch Please requested $1,614.84 for its East Coast tour competitions in Philadelphia and Baltimore. The Board approved $193, despite the allocations recommendation to deny in full, because the the event will take place over spring break. According to the Allocations Manual, the committee cannot approve for spring break travel “unless it is required.” The Board approved for part of the request because the dates of the competitions are out of the group’s control.

Pre-Med Organization for Minority Students requested $2,424.10 to attend the annual Medical Education Conference. The Board approved $1,999.40 and denied $424.70 in line with the allocations recommendation. 

South Asian Student Association requested $2,985.48 for the group’s annual SASA Show. The Board approved $2,435.68 and denied $549.80. The Board decided not to fund for non-reusable decorations. SGB President Graeme Meyer said the Board will instead look into purchasing items, such as tablecloths, that all student groups can use for their own events.

 

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Board members plan mental health initiative