Retirees Association

Wright State Guardian: The Mental Health Task Force and retention rates

Provost Amy Thompspn

Excerpt from the Wright State Guardian

In the fall of 2022, University Provost Dr. Amy Thompson started a mental health task force. One initiative is projected to start this October. 

According to both Dr. Jim Denniston, founding dean of the College of Health, Education and Human Services, and Thompson, the main goal behind the creation of the task force is to improve student retention rates. There are also secondary goals that both Thompson and Denniston hope to see across campus.

“We seek to promote a greater sense of belonging and inclusion for all students, faculty and staff on our campuses,” Denniston said. 

The task force has entered into a four-year partnership with the JED Foundation, a nonprofit that protects mental health and prevents suicide among the country’s young adults. In this first phase, the university will be sending out a “Healthy Mind” survey to gauge the need on WSU’s campus. 

Once students complete the survey, the university will enter phase two. Phase two lasts two years and consists of working with the JED Foundation to come up with a plan of action and implement it across campus. 

The final phase, which takes place in the fourth year of the partnership, is to send out the “Healthy Minds” survey again to see what work still needs done to improve the mental health of those on campus.

As of right now, Thompson and her team have already trained over 150 staff members in mental health first aid and over 250 staff members in self care. There are also over 25 staff members trained to administer Narcan kits, 1,600 of which were obtained on Sept. 14, 2023. There are also 10 Naloxone boxes on campus to store Narcan for quick access.