Indiana State Univerity’s Student Government Association is working out the final details for a new health and wellness policy.
SGA president Stephen Lamb says over the last ten years, demand for mental health services has gone up 92 percent.
Lamb says that number is three times the rate of student enrollment and there’s only five counselors to support the entire student body.
Students voted on a referendum for the policy in this year’s Spring election, and the referendum passed.
“The next step would be a lot of meetings with some of the vice presidents to hammer out the final language of the policy and how it’s going to be implemented,” said Lamb.
According to Lamb, finalizing the language could take until the end of the Spring semester, then it’s off to ISU’s board of trustees.
“It is my hope that once that work is done, and with the approval of the student body, that the board of trustees will approve it,” he said.
Lamb hopes the policy will be in action by the Fall of 2020, but the board will need to approve it by May of 2019.
“That way it gives the university a full year to integrate it into our system so that we’re prepared when we’re actually starting to implement it,” he said.
If the board approves the policy, students would pay a direct fee of 75 dollars in tuition a semester, a price student Henry Baker says is worth it.
“It’s not that too expensive for a price, especially if everyone pitches in,” he said. “And it will benefit our campus as a whole all together for people that need the health benefits for that.”
The fee would go straight into program funding, as well as the hiring of more counselors.
“We’re gonna hire more full time staff for the counseling center, for student health promotions, for our sycamores care program which is like our student advocacy program,” said Lamb. “And try to amplify the services that we currently have so that we can meet the growing demand.”