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President Drake says addressing need for mental health services is “top priority”

University President Michael Drake sat down this week with The Lantern for his semesterly interview, which touched on a range of topics from mental-health services on campus to Greek life to state funding for higher education. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo Editor

The Ohio State community was given a better understanding Friday of what the university’s recently assembled mental health task force will look like.

University President Michael Drake sent a statement via Twitter and through email to students, faculty and staff, addressing the recent announcement of the task force and also Counseling and Consultation Service.

In the statement, Drake reinforced that the group, which also will include Senior Vice President of Student Life Javaune Adams-Gaston and student representatives, would figure out how to improve mental health services and suicide prevention efforts at Ohio State.

“As you know, I have announced a task force that includes students, faculty and staff to address this issue,” Drake said. “I have charged the task force with making clear what we do well, what we can do better, and what, if any, national best practices may be implemented or adapted to support or community better.”

He said addressing the rising demand for counseling at Ohio State is a top priority.

In a February interview with The Lantern Drake said CCS at Ohio State is not meant to be a comprehensive mental health resource for students.

Drake noted Ohio State increased staff at CSS by one-third within the last two years, adding the university is “committed to doing even more.” He also mentioned other services that Ohio State offers to students regarding mental wellness such as wellness coaching, group therapy opportunities among other resources.

The statement is the second Drake has released in the past four days after two people fell from the Ohio Union South garage.

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