We are just a day away from the next Minnesota Student Association election, and once more, mental health is a central focus of the campaigns.
I can’t help but feel like I’ve heard this all before. In fact, MSA Vice President Abeer Syedah once ran on a platform of working to better mental health initiatives on campus.
She and President Joelle Stangler were elected.
Mental health was the topic of focus, and for the first time, I was excited by the work my student government was planning. Finally, this issue was going to be brought out of the dark and talked about openly and respectfully.
And that’s what everyone did — talked. We were promised a lot of things: a five-point plan, better quality care and shorter wait times. Everything was magically going to get better.
But then it didn’t. The current administration was voted in, and then I didn’t hear anything about mental health until March and the “How are You?” campaign. Of the five points on Joelle and Abeer’s mental health plan, maybe one came to fruition. Twenty percent isn’t a passing grade. I’m glad we’ve started to talk about mental health, but it’s too little, too late.
I’m underwhelmed by the conversations we’re having about mental health on our campus. Now they tell me we are going to address the issue through demands. But demands have been made, President Eric Kaler has spoken time and again — and yet, here we are.
Our mental health deserves more than just lip service aimed at winning an election.