A student’s look at a Mental Health Committee meeting

Christopher Walton, a first-year College of Pharmacy student, calls himself “a huge advocate for mental health,” so when he heard that NEOMED had a Mental Health Committee, he was intrigued. What goes on at these meetings? Do they have anything to do with events like the Wellness Week that he recently attended – and appreciated?

As Walton discovered at a recent meeting, the answers are “a lot” and “yes” – this committee thinks about wellness for the whole person, with a special focus on students but concern for the entire NEOMED community. Students Prabhsimran (Simran) Batra, Class of 2021, represents the College of Medicine; Farheen Kaleem, Class of 2021, represents the College of Pharmacy; and Kate Hardy, a third-year graduate student, represents the College of Graduate Studies. 

“I do yoga and meditation every day,” Walton said, adding that he had sought out counseling services when he arrived on campus. He knows that there are other students who need help but are afraid to seek it.

“I can help other students by speaking out and showing them that the NEOMED community is highly supportive of helping one another,” says Walton. “I feel amazed by how much the Mental Health Committee is striving to end the stigma around mental health and seeking help. They truly consider every angle of well-being and rely on our feedback as students when deciding what steps to take.” He invites others to follow his lead, whether it’s getting counseling services, taking part in wellness activities or signing up to sit in on a meeting, where they’ll be welcome to offer suggestions.

The Mental Health Committee is just one aspect of NEOMED Cares, a campus-wide campaign to promote mental health awareness and well-being throughout the campus community.

Would you like to sit in on a Mental Health Committee meeting? Contact Committee chair Russell Spieth, Ph.D., at rspieth@neomed.edu.

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