Above: A Graduate Student Mental Health Committee Zoom meeting capture
Mental Health Committee
The Graduate Student Mental Health Committee (MHC) has been busy this year. Members have been thinking creatively about how to organize activities to give students the opportunity to interact with one another and relax outside of a lab or classroom setting.
The MHC was formed in 2019 in response to a departmental student survey, where responses highlighted concerns about mental health. It provides support by being a sounding board to hear concerns from fellow students and peers. The committee then brings those concerns to the department.
Jenna Bouvang, MHC member, said, “The main goal of the MHC is to be a source of information and support for fellow graduate students, as well as to act as a bridge between the department faculty and the students.”
For example, this semester, the MHC has brought to attention the increased workload and strain the teaching assistants (TAs) are experiencing due to COVID-19. This is caused in part from having to TA in new or challenging ways.
Events have been organized, such as “Dialogue with the Department Head (DH).” This offers graduate students time to meet directly with the DH to voice concerns or have a friendly interaction.
Members of the committee are passionate about mental health and are useful sources of information for students. Writers: Jenna Bouvang, Graduate Student and Erin Russell, Staff Assistant III, email@example.com