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Ohio State Mental Health Task Force won’t give recommendations until autumn

Casey Kaiser (left), a fourth-year in psychology, and Samantha Woodring (right), a third-year in English and philosophy, tape mental health flyers on the Neil Ave. Garage Monday, April 9. Credit: Ris Twigg | Former Assistant Photo Editor

Recommendations for improvements to Ohio State mental health resources and services will not be submitted until the beginning of autumn semester, coming later than the original 60-day deadline, according to a progress report from the members of University President Michael Drake’s suicide and mental health task force.

Drake announced the creation of the task force on April 9 and said it would have 60 days to provide him a recommendation to improve mental health resources and practices, with the deadline set for mid-June.

The report stated that the task force needs more time to present a recommendation due to the members’ other responsibilities conflicting with meeting availability.

“It should be noted that many members have had professional and personal commitments surface which have significantly impacted availability during our final phase of report construction and recommendation development,” the report sent to Drake stated. “We want to ensure all constituent voices are heard and incorporated and will need additional time to do so.”

Ben Johnson, a spokesman for Ohio State, said Drake approved the extra time to complete the recommendation.

The report sent to Drake provided an overview of the work the task force has completed so far, including a recommendation direction, internal information collected, student engagement and suggestions, interviews with subject matter experts and task force meeting dates.

The recommendation direction stated that the task force must look into the “broad and diverse needs” of the students, following a more comprehensive approach, like JED Campus — an approach that examines a student’s connectedness to campus, as well as how to identify students at risk.

“It is an approach, like that suggested by JED, that the Task Force recommends that the university undertake to more fully address mental health and suicide on campus,” the report stated.

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