Mental Health On College Campuses

  PRE-PROPOSAL 1. Media Artifact

Link to your media artifact(s) giving background on the issue:

Mental health on college campuses brouchure

 

2. Persona and POV statement Persona: Persona name: Jeremy Randolph Age: 34 School/occupation: Licensed Psychologist, Michigan State University & Private Practice Location: East Lansing, MI   Quote: "I'll be there for you"   About:
  • Loves Basketball; usually goes to play at least twice a week
  • Tries to go to a soup kitchen at least once a month to serve the homeless and provide support/chat them up
  • Often feels there aren't enough hours in the day
  • Meets weekly with former marines and other verterans to discuss experiences/traumas
Goals:
  • Serve as many students as his schedule can allow for in a day
  • Develop concrete, self-sustaining programming for college campuses to support students, staff & faculty
  • Travel at least three times a year for pleasure

 

POV Statement:
  • User
    • Jeremy, a licensed psychologist struggling to manage an ever growing case load on campus 
  • Need
    • ....needs to a way to feel like he is able to more effectively meet students needs 
  • Insight
    • ...because his caseload keeps growing but there are still only 24 hours in a day
 

 

3. Potential Solutions:

Describe three reasonable, feasible potential solutions or approaches that would help address this problem.

SOLUTION 1: All college students should do a mental health screening when they start each academic year.

SOLUTION 2: All college students are required to take a transititions course that features a state made curriculum developed by state reps.

SOLUTION 3: Make adjustments to college curriculums to provide more life skill based cours work. 

 

BACKGROUND AND RESEARCH PROCESS Context

Reference to a current Michigan bill or law that relates in some way to your proposal:

Act 258 of 1974; it is a broad comparison that is to "establish guardianship procedures for individuals with developmental disability; to establish procedures regarding individuals with mental illness, substance use disorder, or developmental disabilities."  This would relate to a college having these resources on campus for students are struggling mental and lacking knowledge about the illness. http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(nrfcbezkppzdldurdwza4m53))/mileg.aspx?page=GetObject&objectname=mcl-Act-258-of-1974

Why this proposal will make a difference in the lives of students of all ages across Michigan, or a significant subgroup (by age, background, economic status, and/or region, etc.) of students in Michigan:

Will make a big difference in the lives of students, particularly college-aged students, to offer them support and resources to cope with mental health issues they may have or be dealing with.  The ability to be able to talk to a professional who can realize what they are struggling with is a huge step in the right direction towards getting mentally stable.  College is a time where mental health issues may arise because of the stressful workload put on many of the students, so it's important that they can turn to someone or something to fight against their problems and allow them to be as productive as they need to be.    

How and where did you learn about the issues underlying your proposal?

The process of learning about mental health came from family and close friends that had gone through periods of certain mental health issues, so it hit close to home.  I also learned about mental health through various credible websites and through individual meetings with Greg Harden, who is a mental health specialist at the University of Michigan.  It hit very close to home when talking about my friends that experienced it because it had gotten so bad for some of them that they ended up taking their own life. Mental health is a real issue and when someone is going through it or experiencing it, it’s a real illness and I don’t think people understand that.

How has your service activity influenced your thinking about this proposal?

In the various community engagement opportunities I've participated in, there seemed to always be a disclaimer opportunity or discussion related to mental health which made me realize it's important in so many different things beyond a counseling office.  

Link to your media artifact(s) giving background on the issue:

https://www.higheredtoday.org/2018/12/17/rise-mental-health-college-campuses-protecting-emotional-health-nations-college-students/

Consultations

Talk directly with at least 3 real live people who have special knowledge about this topic or the impact your proposal would have, and summarize their comments. These may include people appearing in your media artifact (video, podcast, etc.).

CONSULTATION 1:

Comments from Josh's Dad, Dwayne Norris : My dad is a former professional hockey player, and Canadian Olympian, so he has tons of knowledge about mental health and what it means to be mentally “tough.”  When we talked about my proposal and how mental health facilities should be more widespread on college campuses around the country, he completely agreed. The main thing he said was that it’s very important for students to have resources to go to if they need them and it’s very important that they have someone to talk to other than their friends or family; it’s good to get away from them and be able to get another experienced person who can help in a way that only relates to you personally.  

CONSULTATION 2:

Comments from Ashley Korn: Ashley has been at the University of Michigan as an academic counselor for athletes for awhile now so she has had the opportunity to work with hundreds if not thousands of students regarding their academic load, what types of classes to take, etc.  So, she has been around kids who are stressed out and overwhelmed from school, and has learned how to maybe lessen the load of a certain semester if the previous one was a lot. That being said, she feels that it’s very important for students to have access to mental health resources around campus so that when they are overwhelmed from school and sports, they have someone to turn to.  Ashley has seen plenty of students like this who come to a point where their mental state makes it tough for them to keep up with school and sports, so having that resource to get away from everything and vent, or whatever it may be that helps the student cope, can occur.

CONSULTATION 3:

Comments from Greg Harden: Greg has had the opportunity to work with thousands of athletes and is most famously known for working with Tom Brady, Michael Phelps, and Desmond Howard, so I would say this is a very credible and knowledgeable guy.  Greg’s main comments were about self-love and self-acceptance; to be completely ok with yourself and not need anyone for your own happiness. Happiness comes from within and the more you practice that, the more fulfilled oneself will be.

Reaction or advice from a Topic Coordinator:

You must solicit a critique from a topic coordinator, and explain the impact that advice has had on the final draft of this proposal.

 

Research process:

Describe your research process — indicate who you talked to (including but not limited to consultants), what you read, what your thinking was, how it changed over time, and how your consultants changed your thinking. This description of your research process definitely could include “dead ends,” or ideas you had that didn’t ultimately bear fruit.  In short, we want to know what you did and how it led to your legislation, and we also want you to give us a window into your thought process.

For my research process, I talked to many qualified and experienced people who gave a great perspective on mental health and how it's such an important aspect of life today.  I talked to my dad (Dwayne Norris), Greg Harden, Ashley Korn, Jack Becker and Coale Norris.  At first, I thought it would just be too hard and complicated to have enough resources on campuses for all students.  The expense to keep it running, the amount of people needed, and just the overall quality of psychologists and qualified people to lead the way.  But over time, my thought process changed because I realized that there are so many people who have mental health issues, the problem is they just don't want to talk about them because it's hard to open up.  So, I figured if there were enough resources on campus and people were using them, it would allow people to open up more and allow them to realize that it's great resources that they could use to benefit them in both short-term and long-term.  

Author contributions:

Please delineate--in detail--who made what contributions to the process and to the finished proposal? Who took on which responsibilities in researching ideas, drafting language, etc.? 

I did everything myself, my partner withdrew from the class.  

FORMAL PROPOSAL

The sections below should comprise your final proposal language, submitted for consideration by your peers and potential inclusion in the MSC Platform.

Preambulatory clauses

These set up the PROBLEM, but not the solution.

WHEREAS.... 80% are overwhelmed by their responsibilities as a student and struggle to overcome it. 

WHEREAS.... 50% of students have struggled with anxiety in school which has hurt their grades.

WHEREAS.... 50% of students rated their mental health grade below average or poor. 

(Add more "Whereas" clauses if necessary.)

Operative clauses

These describe in detail, the solution you are proposing (not the problem itself; those should go in the "Whereas" clauses above).

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED....

1. Increase the number of qualified people and/or psychologists and mental health specialists by 30% within the next 3 years.

2. Increase advertisements around campus promoting that people reach out if they're struggling mentally, and see if that actually gets more people to reach out and get help. 

3. Offer classes strictly on mental health- how to notice it when something is off, what to do/ how to cope when you're going through a "phase"/lifelong problem, and how you can read others with mental health problems to try and get them to reach out for help if they want it.  

(Add more "Resolved" clauses if necessary.)

Counter-arguments:

What are three reasonable arguments against this proposal?

1. Just because you increase the number of qualified people to help cope with mental health issues, doesn't mean that more students will necessarily use the resources- it still may be just as hard for them to reach out as it was before. 

2. Unless the advertisements are everywhere around campus and very convincing, this may not be the easiest way for a person struggling with mental health to reach out- it's probably going to take an individual who can relate to that person on a personable level to get them to reach out.  

3. Classes cost money, and maybe students won't want to spend their money on a class about mental health, when they could take a business class or other classes that are more relevant to what they are studying.  

Costs and funding:

What will your proposal cost (in direct expenses, lost tax revenue, lost economic opportunity, and/or non-monetary costs)? How will you pay for your proposed legislation? Where will/could the funding for your proposal come from?  Who might object to dedicating resources to your proposal (competing interests)?  

This is a topic that applies to colleges all over the country, but it may be more difficult for some Institutions because of their schools budget compared to other big Universities that have tons of money, for example, the University of Michigan.  The most conveniant way I believe to be able to increase mental health resources on college campuses would be to increase efficiency in University spending, and cut all costs that aren't worthy to the institution.  For example, some Universities cut certain sports teams becasue there's no revenue and it takes a big chunk of money from the institution that could be used for something more valuable.  Mental health is more important than anything in the world these days, so Universities can find ways to cut their spending and be more efficient and spend it on something extremely important like mental health.  Obviously, for example, if colleges cut sports team to open up room in the budget to add mental health resources, that athletic department would oppose that decision because even though a certain sport may be losing money for the university, there may still be value in having it on campus.  For large schools who are established and have a big budget, there's a lot of economic opportunity to put forward money that is going to a great resource which could have infinite positive effects when it's put in place.  

References:

These can include websites or other information you have found about the issue.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/college/2017/05/04/more-and-more-students-need-mental-health-services-but-colleges-struggle-to-keep-up/37431099/ 

https://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/articles/2018-09-21/how-college-students-can-find-mental-health-services-on-campus

https://www.higheredtoday.org/2018/12/17/rise-mental-health-college-campuses-protecting-emotional-health-nations-college-students/
 

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Total votes: 23

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