In a letter sent to the Johns Hopkins community on Feb. 23, President Ronald J. Daniels and Provost Robert C. Lieberman announced the formation of a task force being convened to assess the current state of the university's support programs and mental health resources for students.
The text of the announcement is as follows:
Dear Student, Faculty, and Staff:
Johns Hopkins University places the utmost importance on the wellness of our students, which is fundamental to both academic and personal growth. As the delivery and research surrounding mental health services continue to evolve, it is important that we remain vigilant in our efforts to provide the best standard of care possible. Therefore, we are convening a task force to assess the current state of support programs and mental health resources available to students in all divisions.
The Task Force on Mental Health and Well-Being will be composed of faculty, staff, and students from across the university and will be co-chaired by Terry Martinez, associate vice provost and dean of student life, and Daniele Fallin, chair of the Department of Mental Health at the Bloomberg School of Public Health.
The university is committed to creating an environment that promotes healthy choices, encourages an open dialogue about mental health, and supports students in successfully managing situational crises, stress, and psychological issues. The goal of the task force is to ensure that the university's programs, policies, and practices regarding student psychological well-being reflect the current state of scientific knowledge and national best practices to meet the diverse needs of our students.
To that end, task force members will be specifically asked to:
- Consider the environments across JHU that affect the well-being and mental health of students, including support needs related to cultural diversity and identity;
- Evaluate the need for mental health services and the capacity for JHU services to meet current and future demand in order to identify potential gaps in service;
- Review policies and practices designed to encourage students to seek assistance, such as leave of absence and return, and academic and support service accommodations; and
- Evaluate efforts for increased awareness of mental health issues and educational and training opportunities to foster both resilience and early assistance.
We understand that the mental health needs of our students can vary significantly among different populations and across different schools within the university. Because there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to providing support services, the task force will be charged with developing recommendations that consider the specific needs of all student groups at Hopkins.
The task force will hold its first meeting in March and will work to publish a final report to the Johns Hopkins community by December 2016. We want to thank all our task force members in advance for participating in this vitally important initiative.
Ronald J. Daniels
Robert C. Lieberman
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs