KSC’s student representatives for the University System Student Board of Representatives have been working with The Wellness Center and the CARES team to collect data about mental health on campus. In March they will meet with the University System of New Hampshire Board of Trustees to discuss what they have collected. This will determine allocations of resources to mental health across campuses
Zachary Christie, student and University System Student Body Representative (USSBR), and Alana Lehoullier, student and Student Trustee, sit on this board.
Christie said, “We have a board of trustees meeting for the University System of New Hampshire coming up March third and fourth, so I’ll be giving a report to the board of trustees that might be able to inform their decision on what resources to allocate into mental health.”
Christie stated, “We’ve been collecting mental health data that already exists so that we can analyze it from a student perspective.”
Jennifer Ferrell, Associate VP for Student Engagement, has been working with both Christie and Lehouillier to help guide them and give them the resources they need for this task. She said, “They’re working with folks like me and Brian Quigley, the Executive Director of our Wellness Center, to gather data and information around all different programs and things that we have for students.” She commented that her part in this task was acting as an advisor to them and helping them gather the information they need.
She also mentioned that this began with a “Directive from the student rep. board.”
Christie said on what they found, “The college is very concerned about students’ mental health, and they put a lot of resources into trying to intervene with mental health issues. They do a lot of preventative maintenance, a lot of trying to prevent somebody’s mental health issues from getting out of control.”
He added, “In the numbers data, the hardest semester for students is their first semester. After their first semester, you have a steady decline in the number of students who come in for mental health issues.” He continued, “Around thirty percent, one-third, of students will receive some sort of counseling in their academic career.”
Tiffany Mathews, Coordinator of Wellness Education, spoke on the matter of mental health and what the school does to help students who may be struggling. She said The Wellness Center does a lot more than just counseling as, “The Wellness Center offers many different resources for emotional wellbeing.”
Some of the other resources include: group therapy, their social media account that posts information about wellness, help with addiction and prevention of addiction, teaching different student organizations and departments about wellness, “Peer Educators” who set up events around campus and in residence halls to bring awareness to mental health and many other services. Mathews said, “The Wellness Center isn’t just an eight to four, there are people who are on call throughout the week and weekends.” She provided the phone number, 603-358-2436, saying, “We do have a number where people can call a certain number like a crisis hotline.”
Mathews concluded by mentioning The Wellness Center is still offering teletherapy and hopes to continue to offer it. While they are now doing in-person visits for some students, teletherapy is still an option.
Alana Lehouillier did not respond to requests for an interview.