The GUSA Mental Health team's mission is to develop and advocate for policy changes and improved mental health resources for Georgetown students. We work with students, administrators, CAPS and Health Education Services specialists and staff to implement mental health policy reform that reflects the diverse obstacles faced by students at Georgetown. This student team is chaired by Escadar Alemayehu and is a diverse, welcoming and passionate group. Some of our current initiatives include increasing the student body's awareness of mental health-related resources, rights and realities, advocating to have implicit bias training for any Georgetown staff working with students on issues of mental health, exploring fundraising options for mental health resources on campus, and working with NSO staff to bolster mental health-related programming. Members of this team are also able to provide procedural advice to students navigating medical leave of absence processes (among other mental health-related processes on campus) and to educate students about mental health rights.
What we’ve done so far:
Laid the groundwork for a CAPS Ambassador program for student representatives to assist in and publicize CAPS’ essential work on campus
Collaborated with Hoya Health and Yates to develop events promoting mental health through physical wellbeing
Assisted the Academic Resource Center in improving advertising for students with mental illnesses who need support with testing.
Pushed for inclusion of CAPS along with services advertising health in professors’ syllabi who include information regarding student health and resources.
Developed a plan with the NSO coordinator team to include mental health resources and training in orientation groups, including having a representative from CAPS speak at NSO.
Worked with the Mental Health Advisory Board to begin the development of a “Red Folder,” which would include mental health-related resource information and crisis response recommendations, that will be given to every faculty member on campus
Worked with Health Education Services to make self-care and mental health resources easily available on an official university web page
Collaborated with the GUSA Academic Affairs Team to evaluate existing policies surrounding medical leaves of absence
Supported CAPS in the development of an online general feedback form, a new Facebook page, and online informational materials to clarify medical leave of absence processes
Hosted a mental health open forum to highlight the great work that has been done in the past year, empower students to learn about mental health policies on campus, and provide a space for students to ask administrators any relevant questions
Supported the continued development of Project Lighthouse and its sustainable transition to the auspices of Health Education Services and CAPS
What we’re prioritizing for the rest of our term:
Advocating for implicit bias training for professionals in the Division of Student Affairs to equip them to better support students and direct them to resources
Engaging NSO leadership in thoughtfully integrating positive and constructive mental health programming into the orientation experience
Engaging Blue & Gray leadership in promoting Georgetown’s mental health resources on campus tours
Working with Project Lighthouse on a GUSA-sponsored awareness campaign
Working with the SAO to provide information and assistance to students navigating mental health-related processes on campus, particularly medical leave of absence processes
Continuing to advocate for policy changes that reflect diverse student needs through the Mental Health Advisory Board
Continuing to work with Active Minds by supporting programs that raise awareness and fight stigmas around mental health