UK finalizes task force charged with evaluating campus mental health


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Kernel News Desk

In a campus-wide email sent on Thursday, UK administrators announced that they had finalized the members of a Mental Health Task Force that will evaluate and recommend changes for the UK’s litany of mental health resources.

The Task Force was originally promised by President Eli Capilouto at this past February’s Board of Trustees meeting. Administrators felt a need to evaluate campus mental health resources after two students’ deaths at the beginning of the spring 2019 semester. 

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“We pledged to abandon tired stereotypes about seeking professional assistance in a time of crisis,” the letter signed by multiple UK administrators read. “We also committed to discuss candidly the sources of anxiety, sadness, and fear in our midst, and to endorse emphatically the resources on campus designed to foster healing and resilience.”

The members of the Task Force include:

  • Co-chairs Dean of the College of Public Health Donna Arnett and Director of Risk Management for UK HealthCare Margaret Pisacano
  • Fazleena Badurdeen – Professor and Director of Graduate Studies (Manufacturing Systems Engineering), College of Engineering
  • Julie Cerel – Professor and Director of Doctoral Programs, College of Social Work
  • Richard Chapman – Chief Privacy Officer, UK HealthCare
  • Sonja Feist-Price – Vice President for Institutional Diversity
  • Nancy Harrington – Professor and Associate Dean for Research, College of Communication and Information
  • Seth Himelhoch – Professor and Chair of Psychiatry, College of Medicine
  • Nick Kehrwald – Dean of Students
  • Jeff Reese – Professor, College of Education
  • Christina Studts – Associate Professor, College of Public Health
  • Leslie Vincent – Lecturer, Gatton College of Business and Economics