University System of Georgia creates task forces to address mental health challenges

COVERAGE YOU CAN COUNT ON BEGINS WITH THE UNIVERSITY SYSTEM OF GEORGIA TACKLING MENTAL HEALTH CHALLENGES ATCOLLEGES DEE: NEWSCHANNEL 6'S DEVIN JOHNSON IS LIVE IN THE NEWSROOM

DEVIN, THE U- S-G CHANCELLOR, STEVE WRIGLEY, APPOINTED A MENTAL HEALTH TASK FORCE TO TAKE A DEEPER LOOK INTO MENTAL HEALTH CHALLENGES AND STRUGGLES ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES STATEWIDE DEVIN ANCHOR —- THE TASK FORCE IS ABOUT 12 MEMBERS FROM SEVERAL COLLEGES IN GEORGIA I SPOKE WITH THE REPRESENTATIVE FOR AUGUSTA UNIVERSITY, ON WHAT THE FORCE WILL BE DOING TO UNDERSTAND THE SCOPE OF THE MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES ON GEORGIA CAMPUSES DEVIN: THE PRESSURE TO SUCCEED IN COLLEGE CAN BE STRESSFUL FOR SOME STUDENTSAND THAT STRESS COULD TRANSLATE TO MENTAL HEALTH CHALLENGES DR

ROBERT DOLLINGER / DIRECTOR STUDENT HEALTH SERVICES: "IF WE CAN IMPROVE MENTAL HEALTH, WE HELP THE COLLEGES BOTTOM LINE NOT ONLY IMPROVE RETENTION AND GRADUATION RATES, WHICH COLLEGE ADMINISTRATORS LIKE TO SEE BUT WE ARE GRADUATING STUDENTS WHO ARE HEALTHIER, HAPPIER, AND LUCKILY TO CONTRIBUTE TO SOCIETY" DEVIN: THE U-S-G CHANCELLOR, STEVE WRIGLEY, RECENTLY APPOINTED A MENTAL HEALTH TASK FORCE OF SEVERAL HEALTH ORGANIZATIONS AND STATE AGENCIES TO ADDRESS THE GROWING CONCERN OF MENTAL HEALTH CHALLENGES ON CAMPUSES DOCTOR ROBERT DOLLINGER TELLS ME 2 PERCENT OF COLLEGE STUDENTS HAVE COMMITTED SUICIDE

13 PERCENT HAVE SERIOUSLY CONSIDER IT HE SAYS THE GOAL OF THE FORCE, IS TO HELP PROVIDE MORE RESOURCES TO STRUGGLING STUDENTS DR ROBERT DOLLINGER / DIRECTOR STUDENT HEALTH SERVICES: "YOU HAVE TO HAVE MANY DIFFERENT MULTI-DISCIPLINARY PROGRAMS TO MAKE A SIGNIFICANT DENT IN SOLVING THE MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS" DEVIN: ONE STUDENT AT AUGUSTA UNIVERSITY SAYS YOU NEED TO HAVE DESIGNATED PEOPLE IN YOUR CORNER TO GUIDE YOU THROUGH TOUGH TIMES

MELVIN HILSON / FRESHMAN, AUGUSTA UNIVERSITY: "YOU'LL NEVER BE EXCLUDED EVEN THOUGH IT FEELS LIKE EVERYTHING IS GOING ON AROUND YOU; YOU'LL NEVER FEEL EXCLUDED FROM EVERYONE ELSE" DEVIN: HE SAYS WITHOUT THAT EXTRA HELP; COLLEGE CAN TAKE A TOLL ON A PERSON MELVIN HILSON / FRESHMAN, AUGUSTA UNIVERSITY: "BALANCING COLLEGE MAY NOT SEEM LIKE A LOT ONCE YOU'RE HERE AND GOING THROUGH IT, IT'S A LOT WITH WORK YOU'RE TRYING TO BALANCE YOU'RE A SOCIAL LIFE AND TRYING TO STAY HEALTHY

" DEVIN: WORDS THAT THE REPRESENTATIVE FOR AUGUSTA UNIVERSITY WILL BE ECHOING TO LAWMAKERS DR ROBERT DOLLINGER / DIRECTOR STUDENT HEALTH SERVICES: " OUR YOUNG PEOPLE ARE STRESSING OUT, SAD, AND DEPRESSED; WE NEED TO FIND WAYS TO HELP" DEVIN: CHANCELLOR WRIGLEY SAID IN RECENT NEWS RELEASE; MENTAL HEALTH IS NOW A GREATER PRIORITY ON CAMPUSES THAN IT WAS THREE YEARS AGO DEE: AUGUSTA LEADERS AND DEVELOPERS