Temple University is creating a task force to evaluate the university’s current mental health and wellness programs and make recommendations for addressing students’ needs, Gregory Mandel, senior vice president and provost, announced in a message to the Temple community Monday.
The task force was created in response to rising mental health issues among college students during the COVID-19 pandemic. It will also consider how Temple can support employees and how faculty and staff can support students.
“One of the many lessons underscored by the COVID-19 pandemic is the importance of protecting and promoting the mental health and wellness of our students, faculty and staff,” Mandel wrote.
The task force is composed of nine staff members, six faculty members and two students, including co-chairs Daniel Berman, vice provost for undergraduate studies, and Melanie Cosby, director of the Office of Health, Equity, and Diversity and Inclusion at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine. Anna Oppenheim, associate university counsel, will serve as counsel to the task force.
One in five students said their mental health had “significantly worsened” since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a survey from Active Minds, a non-profit mental health organization, cited by the Hope Center for College, Community and Justice.
Last year, while a majority of classes were remote due to the pandemic, students sought treatment at Tuttleman Counseling Services for anxiety, depression and lack of motivation.