GPSA discusses mental health

Members said they will continue to work to raise awareness for community



Executive Director of Cougar Health Services Renee Coleman-Mitchell discusses the state of affairs and future plans of the Cougar Health Services during the GPSA meeting Monday.

CHERYL AARNIO, Evergreen reporter

Despite reductions in Services and Activities Fees, members of GPSA said at their Monday night meeting the organization will not be significantly affected by budget cuts this year.

GPSA has less money than it did last year, partly because the study center was redone, Executive Vice President David Silva said.

The association received $526,028 from S&A Fees. Its total budget for this year is $631,689. Some of the additional funds for the association’s budget will come from the Professional Development Initiative, Silva said.

Following suit with many other student groups in wake of Tyler Hilinski’s death in January, members of GPSA are putting a strong focus on mental health services available to members.

Renee Coleman-Mitchell, executive director of Cougar Health Services, said anyone who needs help is welcome at the university’s health service center.

“Our mission is to work with all of you,” Coleman-Mitchell said.

Cougar Health Services wants everyone to be healthy, physically and mentally, she said. More than 40 percent of the time, when there is a physical issue, it is related to mental health.

Josh Munroe, GPSA vice president of legislative affairs, said he traveled earlier this month to spread awareness of mental health issues following Hiinski’s suicide.

He met with U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and various community leaders including those from ASWSU, Spokane Regional Health District and Spokane schools to address mental health and suicide prevention.

“We’re really trying to get people to pay a little more attention to these types of issues,” he said, “[Especially] to things that are affected by public policy.”