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All of Us town hall encourages wider discourse on mental health issues

By Kelly Gu

Jan. 27, 2016 7:31 a.m.

Students from an undergraduate student government initiative will hold a town hall meeting Thursday to discuss mental health issues and showcase campus resources.

The All of Us campaign, an Undergraduate Students Association Council initiative that encourages UCLA students to openly discuss mental health issues, will host the event. At the town hall, students will brainstorm concerns and solutions to mental health problems on campus, said Kevin Casasola, co-advocacy director for All of Us and third-year statistics student.

He added they will also discuss the new Counseling and Psychological Services policy that reduced the number of counseling sessions available to students from 10 to six sessions per quarter.

After its first town hall event last fall, All of Us launched two initiatives that aim to inform new freshmen and transfer students about mental health services on campus during their orientation sessions, and list mental health resources on class syllabuses.

Casasola said students who attend the event can ask a panel of administrators about mental health. The panel will feature the director of the Office of Campus and Student Resilience, representatives from the Depression Grand Challenge and the director of Counseling and Psychological Services.

“We want students to give feedback to the projects and directors who are addressing mental health on campus,” Casasola said.

He added more than 100 students participated in the first town hall meeting, and he expects about the same number will attend the Thursday event.

“I never knew what mental health was until I got into college,” Casasola said. “When I started going through my own mental health issues, I realized it’s important to talk about and acknowledge that our experiences are real.”

The public meeting will be held Thursday in De Neve Grand Plaza Room from 6 to 8 p.m.

Compiled by Kelly Gu, Bruin senior staff.

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