Three months after the Utah State University Student Association declared a “mental health crisis” at the university, Utah’s higher education governing board announced the formation of a working group on student mental health.
Matthew Clewett, student advocate vice president of the USU Student Association, said it’s encouraging to see the formation of an informal group who will be working to discuss the issues of mental health in Utah’s Higher Education.
“Because as we are all aware after all of this information has come out, this is a real problem that campuses—not just Utah State University—but campuses throughout this entire state of Utah are experiencing,” Clewett said.
The Student Association declared a “mental health crisis” on campus because of what they see as an alarming number of student suicides and a shortage of school counselors. Students and members of the board of regents will join in the working group to further analyze how mental health is being handled.
“It makes a real impact when you have students who are actually giving their real input on this issue and actually giving firsthand accounts—on the ground accounts—of what’s happening at their institution,” Clewett said. “This is a positive step forward because these board of regents—who I have the utmost respect for all that they do—but they may not necessarily have the on-the ground experience of being a student at one of these institutions.”
Clewett also said he hopes the issue of mental health will not only be discussed in higher education—but also in the whole Utah education system.