News & Notes: U. of Pennsylvania approves framework for mental health reforms| Sep 21, 2015
The Hamlett-Reed Mental Health Initiative and University of Pennsylvania administrators met and agreed upon a framework for reform Friday, the Daily Pennsylvanian reported.
Administrators agreed to look into a new program for incoming freshmen that would involve wellness counselors and evaluating counseling appointment scheduling so that visits can be scheduled online and over the phone.
They did not agree to make the scheduling of visits to counseling services anonymous, nor did they agree for counseling services to send out emails once a month containing mental health updates.
The Initiative had sent a letter to Penn president Amy Gutmann the week before asking her and the administration to reform student mental health policies at Penn. The letter was signed by relations of Penn students who had committed suicide, leaders from student mental health advocacy groups, student government, minority councils and Greek organizations.
The letter noted that seven students had died by suicide in the past two years at Penn and that, according to the National College Health Assessment, in the past twelve months almost a third of college students reported feeling “so depressed they were unable to function.”