Student Government column

Long breaks from school have always been marked by weeks of reflection that turn, at least for me, into a need for action. I found myself thinking about Carnegie Mellon (maybe way too much considering that this was supposed to be a time for relaxation) and what changes I would see within the next two and a half years. Having already spent three semesters getting to know some of the most unique and driven people I’ve ever met, I grew anxious to see what this next semester would bring.

For this reason, it was incredible to return to our weekly Wednesday Cabinet meetings to hear about the Mental Health Advocacy Open House that Eric Zhu, Student Government’s mental health representative, is organizing with the Provost’s Task Force. The Open House will take place on Monday, Feb. 20 from 6 to 8 p.m. in Peter/Wright/McKenna. The event is an opportunity for mental health advocacy organizations, such as Active Minds, Emerging Leaders, Counseling and Psychological Services, and University Healthy Services, to present their past work as well as their goals for the upcoming two semesters. This is presented with a poster session and roundtable ideation discussions on provided topics.

The goal of this event is to improve communication and coordinate efforts among those on campus who work within mental health advocacy through information and conversation. Again and again mental health has been pinpointed as one of the most pressing concerns at Carnegie Mellon, one that we can always be working harder on.

In establishing a poster template for all interested organizations, the information exchange will be streamlined to benefit both student leaders in mental health as well as general community members. By learning more about what events have already been done, or are being planned on campus, student leaders can ensure that their efforts in student wellness are maximized. For community members, this is an opportunity to find out what aspects of Carnegie Mellon’s mental health action groups interest them the most.

My favorite part of this event is the conversation component. Incredibly impactful actions on campus have all sprung from the right people having the right conversations. With such a diverse, independent, and busy campus, it can be difficult to coordinate connections — by providing a central location for the cross-pollination of ideas, we can ensure that the vision of the Carnegie Mellon of tomorrow is always innovative and empathetic.

I’m incredibly excited for everything that’s in store for this semester, and I believe that this Open House will set an important tradition that will catalyze action beyond what any of us might see during our time here. If you feel there’s something Carnegie Mellon is missing in its mental health discussions, want to join the action, or are even just interested in learning about what the Provost’s Task Force and other related organizations have accomplished to date, make sure to come by! And of course, for any other concerns or ideas you might have, you can always reach out to any member of Cabinet!