In the wake of a student suicide some months ago and the sometimes emotional debate that followed, Northern Michigan University has named a top staff person as special adviser for campus mental health and wellness for the upcoming academic year.
We like the move, if for no other reason than it demonstrates that NMU officials are willing to address what some have called a dearth of on-campus mental health services for students.
That said, our only question is, “Will it be enough?”
The top staff person who has agreed to take on new duties is Abigail Wyche, head of the Department of Sociology and Social Work.
Well regarded on campus, Northern Michigan University President Kerri Schuiling wrote in a statement.
“As most across our campus know, Abigail has impressive expertise and experience in understanding the relationships between risk factors among members of the campus community and protective factors in the environment,” she said. “She will advance initiatives designed to promote resilience among students, faculty and staff who confront adverse events that can negatively impact mental health and wellness.
Ongoing is a mental health assessment, due out in July.
As we said, we like the move but wonder if it’s going to be enough, given the challenges students an NMU and elsewhere face.
Time and events will tell.