SGPS hosts mental & physical health town hall

Graduate student society aims to listen, support, and amplify student voices

SGPS team hands out care packages to meeting attendees.
Supplied by the SGPS
The Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS) hosted a Mental and Physical Health Town Hall at Kingston Hall on Nov. 8.
The meeting was run by Emilia Ganslandt, vice president (community), and Devin Fowlie, vice-president (graduate) to hear and address graduate and professional students’ concerns about mental and physical health treatment access or accommodations.
“We at the SGPS are here to listen, support, and amplify student voices so we always welcome students with any concerns,” Ganslandt said in an interview with The Journal.
Meeting attendees expressed facing challenges when it comes to paying for health and wellness services, which aren’t easily accessible a lot of the time, according to them.
Attendees said they wanted to improve the culture of the ARC for all students, by having graduate-student-only fitness classes and expanding the women’s section—with the desire of changing its name to make it more gender inclusive.
Ganslandt said the SGPS is compiling a report on the discussions, which they’ll share with “the relevant community and University partners.”
This meeting was a part of a larger town hall series Ganslandt and Fowlie have been hosting for the last two months. At these townhalls, the SGPS focused on several student issues, including housing and funding.
Ganslandt added the SGPS offers various types of physical and mental health accommodations for graduate students, like their supplemental insurance plan, provided by Studentcare, which provides 500 hundred dollars to cover therapy.
The SGPS is also trying out a new program this year called Conversation, which offers virtual mental health support, Ganslandt said. It also helps students navigate resources and aids them in formal complaints processes.
The SGPS is hosting another town hall virtually on Nov. 22 where graduate and professional students can talk about anything that is important to them, including access to mental health care.
“We encourage students to come out to that if they have more input to provide on this topic,” Ganslandt said.

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