Mental Health Task Force
The Mental Health Task Force at Westchester Community College is a multidisciplinary team of faculty, staff, and students who use a holistic, public health framework to assess the current culture and services related to student mental health. The Task Force’s development and utilization of a strategic plan will support the goal of enhancing the quality and accessibility of mental health and wellness services, information, programs, and resources across the Westchester Community College community.
The Mental Health Task Force (MHTF) at Westchester Community College uses a public health framework to address issues like mental health health, suicide prevention, and substance use within the WCC community. The work of the MHTF focuses on a campus cultural shift towards education, de-stigmatization, and prevention. For more information on the JED Campus framework utilized by the MHTF, please click on the JED Campus tab.
History and Highlights
- In Fall of 2020, first student representative, SGA President, Gianna Jimenez, joined the MHTF
- Sept 16th & Sept 18th: JED Campus visit with MHTF and development of strategic plan
- Sept. 30th: Meet the Mental Health Task Force event on Zoom; Event open to WCC students, faculty, & staff to learn about the goals of the MHTF
- Oct. 2020: MHTF created subcommittees based on strategic plan and identified goals
- Gatekeeper Subcommittee
- Student Input Subcommittee
- Policy Subcommittee
- Communications Subcommittee
- Connectedness Subcommittee
- Sept. - Dec. 2020: It’s Okay to Not Be Okay Days; Monthly student programs intended to destigmatize conversations around mental health
- March 2020: Launch of Mental Health Task Force website and e-mail address
- March 2020: Completion of JED Campus Life Skills Inventory
- The Mental Health Task Force (MHTF) at Westchester Community College was formed in 2019 by Co-Chairs, Pat Sheehan, LMHC, and Kristy Robinson, LCSW. Faculty and staff representing a variety of departments, specialties, and populations, were invited to commit to 1-year of serving on the MHTF.
- Nov. 2019: The MHTF promoted the Healthy Minds Study campus wide. The HMS is annual web-based survey extended to all WCC students examining mental health, service utilization, and related issues among undergraduate and graduate students. 764 students completed the survey.
- Nov. 2019-Dec. 2019: The MHTF worked and ultimately submitted the JED Campus Assessment. This assessment looked at critical components of men
- May 2020: The MHTF promoted the Healthy Minds Study COVID-19 Module –an additional web-based survey extended to all WCC students examining the impact of COVID-19 on mental health and service utilization. 363 students completed the survey.
Meet the Mental Health Task Force
- Pat Sheehan, LMHC (Co-Chair), Personal Counseling Department
- Kristy Robinson, LCSW (Co-Chair), Personal Counseling Department
- Dr. Shawn Brown, Chief of Staff and Vice President of Strategic Operations
- Dr. Rachele Hall, Department of Student Involvement
- Dr. Ray Houston, Dean, School of Mathematics, Science, and Engineering
- Dr. Karen Taylor, Dean, School of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
- Adam Frank, Dean, Student Life
- Ashlee Pierce, Viking ROADS Opportunity Program
- Dorothy Posada, Strategic Marketing and Communications
- Blakeley Lowry, School of Health Careers, Technology and Applied Learning
- Jade Watts, Personal Counseling Department
- Walesca Marmolejos, LMSW, Personal Counseling Department
- Sophia Piñeiro, Student Support Services
- Gianna Jimenez, SGA President 2020-2021
QPR Training - #ReachOutSUNY
With mental health struggles amid college students rising throughout the pandemic – including an alarming increase in suicidal ideation – SUNY is encouraging all faculty, staff, and students to take this free QPR crisis intervention training before the end of the semester.
The course takes less than an hour, and may help you save a life. The more people take it, the stronger and safer our SUNY communities will be.
What is it?
QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) is an evidence-based emergency mental health intervention for people at risk of suicide. The goal of QPR is to recognize a suicide crisis, interrupt it, and direct the person to appropriate care.
Like CPR, QPR works to increase an at-risk individual's chance of survival. People trained in QPR are taught to recognize the warning signs of suicide, which include depression, expressions of hopelessness, and talk of suicide. They are then taught how to respond.
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Westchester Community College is a proud JED Campus. The Jed Foundation (JED) is the leading non-profit in higher education mental health and suicide prevention. JED Campuses embark on a four-year strategic partnership with JED that not only assesses and enhances the work that is already being done, but helps to create positive, systemic change in the campus community.
Westchester Community College became a JED Campus in the Summer of 2019.
WCC’s Mental Health Task Force has been critical in implementing the strategic plan developed in partnership with JED Campus experts and advisors.
JED’s Comprehensive Approach is drawn primarily from the overall strategic direction of the United States Air Force (USAF) Suicide Prevention Program, a population-based strategy to reduce risk factors and enhance protective factors for suicide (Knox et al., 2003). The JED Comprehensive Approach is also based on what is known about how to decrease risk factors and increase protective factors for mental health and suicide among adolescents, college students, and the general population; an understanding of the student mental health problems that campuses face; and existing recommended practices.
The Equity in Mental Health Framework provides colleges and universities with 10 recommendations and implementation strategies to help inform and strengthen their mental health support and programs for students of color. The Equity in Mental Health Toolkit offers additional support in implementing the recommendations in the Equity in Mental Health Framework, including supporting campus-based efforts to reduce shame and prejudice around mental illness, increase responsiveness, improve campus climate, and provide system wide opportunities to help all students thrive. The goal of the EMH Framework is to better equip schools across the country to prioritize this important work. Both the Framework and Toolkit were created in partnership by The Steve Fund and The Jed Foundation (JED).
- WCC's Personal Counseling Department
- ThrivingCampus: https://sunywcc.thrivingcampus.com
- ULifeline: http://www.ulifeline.org/wcc/
- Stress & Depression Questionnaire (free/anonymous): https://wcc.connectsyou.org/welcome.cfm
For WCC Employees
- Employees Assistance Program (EAP)
Community and Online Resources
- Project Hope: 914-708-6104 (Free/Anonymous/Confidential)
- Information • Education • Emotional support • Links to resources
- NAMI/NAMI Westchester: https://nami.org/Home
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:https://afsp.org/
- RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network): https://www.rainn.org/
- The Steve Fund: https://www.stevefund.org/
- SUNY SAVR (Sexual Assault and Violence Response): https://www.suny.edu/violenc
- Black Emotional and Mental Health (BEAM): https://wellness.beam.community/
- 911 or Nearest Emergency Room
- Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) (free, 24/7)
- Crisis Text Line: Text HELLO to 741-741
- WCC Security: 914-606-6911
- St. Vincent’s Hospital Westchester
- Crisis Prevention and Response Team: 914-925-5959
- 24/7 Evaluation and Referral --Call 914-925-5320
Walk-ins are welcome: 275 North Street, Harrison, New York 10528