UConn Mental Care Act Proposal

Petition Link: https://forms.gle/TtvkG3i7LsfRz1S87

  1. Proposal Request
    1. The purpose of this proposal is to enhance the mental health and student wellness services on all University of Connecticut campuses (Storrs, Hartford, Avery Point, Stamford, and Waterbury). As well as, create safe spaces and/or enhanced resources with university services. Lastly, to value the lives and wellbeing of all students regardless of race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, or any other status. 
  1. Proposal Overview
    1. To promote the mission statement of  SHaW on all campuses
      1. The mission of SHaW Mental Health is to provide the highest quality clinical services to promote the emotional, relational, and academic potential of all students. We are committed to the core values of respect, responsiveness, innovation, and quality to enhance the unique experience of each individual at the University of Connecticut.
    2. To create and provide an extended SHaW service on all campuses
      1. Possibility: Offering an optional SHaW fee for regional campus students who want to utilize the extensive services at Storrs under SHaW.
      2. Basic care and services should remain free on regional campuses unless students are seeking additional help that may align with Storrs services.
      3. Basic care and services on all campuses should provide a safe space for students to express themselves, and a diverse group of multilingual mental health professionals. 
      4. Regional campuses should have more than one person employed under SHaW.
      5. All campuses should have a space or center where students can talk about identity-related matters that affect their mental health
        1. Ex: Collaborations with cultural centers, religious groups, and wellness groups 
          1. MSA, Rainbow Center, PRLACC, etc…
      6. Assure and extend consistent wellness services to international students or students who are struggling with cultural and language barriers that are implemented in our system.
    3. SHaW and CSD collaboration and implementation of mental health care policies to better the lives of the students
      1. CSD should treat all disabilities respectfully (lack of acknowledgment towards psychiatric disabilities) 
      2. Expanding and communicating SHaW and CSD resources to students in a more approachable and visible manner rather than via UConn website exclusively
    4. Create constant and consistent events and workshops at the needs of students all semester long (additionally to midterms and finals)
      1. Address mental health and wellness all year round.
    5. Create a rigorous program or training of mental health services and knowledge for CSD staff, SHaW staff, and a standard training on mental health to professors.
      1. Such as Ask, Listen, Refer, or make this mandatory training.
    6. Guide students in the right direction of seeking outside resources in a more efficient and communicated way that is beneficial for the student body. 
      1. Assisting students in the process of finding external resources and connecting them with other professionals or prospective clinics
    7. CSD, SHaW, and AAC collaborations to acknowledge the ties and effects of mental health and holistic health on academics.
      1. Create a sustainable academic plan for students who are struggling mentally to recover from academic damage.
      2. Acknowledge that students learn in many ways from the standard curriculum.
      3. Acknowledge that social influences and pressures are heavily placed on college students and the University of Connecticut is here to support all students.
      4. Students should not be punished academically for matters out of their control
    8. Accept that some students may have psychologists, psychiatrists, and/or have reached out for help and the support of the university is needed.
    9. Acknowledge that hazing, rape, drug, and alcohol abuse contribute to the mental health of students on campus.
    10. Create a program such as alcohol.edu for incoming students on the importance of mental health and holistic health.
    11. Promote the office of diversity & inclusion. As well as, communicate primary resources to all campuses in an efficient way, so these resources are easily accessible and visible to all students.
    12. To defund the police and invest funds elsewhere to services such as CMHS
      1. The university must have a program that promotes emotional safety and the violence and effects behind hate speech and hate crimes.
        1. Must hire staff and expand resources that recognize and understands the multicultural experiences around mental health, racial trauma, the negative effects of policing on one’s wellbeing, microaggressions, and minority mental health. 
      2. Must use funds appropriately to expand mental health.
      3. The university as a collective whole must inform and observe the behaviors of authoritative individuals or faculty members’ actions that may be harmful towards the student body or others in regards to their mental health and identity.
      4. To limit interactions with police officers and utilize mental health resources and services as necessary for cases and calls. 
    13. An emotional intelligence or safety program must be required for everyone in the university community.
  1. University Resources
    1. While the SHaW provides online resources for students on a variety of topics, these resources are not commonly known amongst the majority of undergraduate students. Hands-on approaches and interpersonal approaches should come from staffing and the wellness of the university to expand the communication of these resources to not only students in Storrs, but all regional campuses.
  1. Conclusion
    1. In conclusion, this proposal is to acknowledge the efforts and strides of the University of Connecticut to assist students who are in need of mental health services or support. By acknowledging and following this act this promotes the morality of the university and is a statement to define the moral mission of the University of Connecticut. While major changes may not occur, I ask that you at least acknowledge this moral proposal and to hold the university to this moral standard. In efforts to strive to better the lives of students and to acknowledge that mental health issues affect one’s ability to learn and live.