Release of Executive Order No. 5 — Establishment of the Select Student Body Department on Mental Health Intervention
To conduct research into mental health crises and suicide prevention measures implemented at other campuses, current best practices according to scientific literature, and to get a better understanding of the needs of students surrounding mental health.
WHEREAS, it has become increasingly evident that the NC State community is in the midst of a mental health crisis; and,
WHEREAS, there have been multiple student deaths by suicide during the first ten weeks of the fall 2022 semester; and,
WHEREAS, North Carolina ranks 31st among all states in overall adult mental health; and,
WHEREAS, approximately one third of first-year university students experience mental health problems largely stemming from academic and social stress; and,
WHEREAS, suicide is the twelfth leading cause of death in the United States; and,
WHEREAS, over 45,000 Americans died by suicide in 2020 and an estimated 1.2 million attempted; and,
WHEREAS, members of the LGBTQ community are over four times as likely to attempt suicide or have suicidal thoughts, including over half of young transgender and nonbinary people; societal mistreatment and rejection have been proven to be critical and influential factors in the high suicide attempt rate of those in the LGBTQ community; and,
WHEREAS, according to a 2020 survey, transgender and nonbinary persons are twice as likely to not attempt suicide if their pronouns and gender identity are respected; and,
WHEREAS, a 2020 research article from the University of Michigan found that the odds for Black college students having attempted suicide was significantly higher than their peers; and,
WHEREAS, the same study supported the need for additional research and inclusion of students of color in suicide and mental health interventions to gain a better understanding of the populations needs; and,
WHEREAS, through conducting research into the prevention policies of other universities, NC State can better address the mental health crisis affecting our campus community; and,
WHEREAS, Student Government has a responsibility to represent the entire student body; address relevant issues that pertain to students and student life; and promote a positive student experience for all students rooted in the prioritization of student wellness and mental health awareness; and,
WHEREAS, Statute §3-3.12. establishes the presidential power to release executive orders that direct Student Government policy; and,
NOW, THEREFORE, I, MCKENZY HEAVLIN, Student Body President of NC State University, by the authority vested in me by the Student Body Constitution and Student Body Statutes of the Student Government, do hereby order the establishment of the SELECT STUDENT BODY DEPARTMENT ON MENTAL HEALTH INTERVENTION, with the following:
- Mission–To conduct research into mental health crises and suicide prevention measures implemented at other campuses, current best practices according to scientific literature, and to get a better understanding of the needs of students surrounding mental health.
- Scope of Authority–The Department shall be considered a part of the Executive Branch for administrative purposes but shall be exempt from requirements set forth for standing departments.
- Membership–The Department shall have the following members:
- Department Chair
- Chair – Chazzlyn Jackson, Senator
- Department Vice Chair
- Vice Chair – Ria Bakshi, Director of Wellness
- Department Members
- Three Student Senators, to be appointed by the Senate President, one of which shall be a First-Year student; and,
- Two members of the Executive Branch, to be appointed by the Student Body President; and,
- One member of the Treasury Branch, to be appointed by the Student Body Treasurer.
- Additional Department members may be appointed by the Student Body President or the Chair; and,
- Department Chair
- The Department shall be open to the public, and all members of Student Government shall have full speaking privileges at meetings of the Department; and,
- Additional officers may be elected by the membership of the Department at any meeting of the Department where a quorum is present; and,
- No members of this Department shall be barred from serving in any other role, committee, Senate Office, or Student Government position.
- Charges and Duties–The Department shall have the following minimum charges and duties:
- Determine the current best practices surrounding suicide prevention, as found in the scientific literature; and,
- Research practices surrounding mental health crises and suicide prevention and general mental health initiatives at our peer institutions, and at non-peer institutions with consideration for practicable scaling of those interventions; and,
- Work to get a general sense of the desires of the student body regarding student mental health; and,
- Liaise with the Office of Prevention Services to identify current policy and practice surrounding suicide prevention and mental health intervention; and,
- Make recommendations to Student Government about future programming, outreach, and advocacy; and,
- Make recommendations to Student Government leadership to bring to University administration regarding policy changes surrounding suicide prevention and general mental health intervention.
- Meet at the call of the chair to discuss ideas, review current policies and practices, meet with relevant university stakeholders, and other actions to achieve the above charges; and,
- Provide periodic and timely updates to the Student Body President and Student Senate President regarding department activity; and,
- Conduct all Department meetings consistent with Student Government and Executive Branch expectations and standards, including but not limited to, open meeting requirements, quorum, and non-member participation as listed in Statute §3-3.15.; and,
- Make all agendas, minutes, and department materials publicly available and accessible on the Student Government website, subject to the approval of the Student Body President; and,
- Dissolution–The Select Student Body Department on Mental Health Intervention shall be deemed temporary until the end of the one hundred second session, or until the department receives notice to dissolve from the Student Body President, whichever comes first.