COVID-19 Mental Health Task Force to guide decisions for Nevada’s higher ed system

Local News

Courtesy: NSHE/Facebook

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A newly established task force will advise Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Chancellor Melody Rose on matters related to the mental health of students, faculty and staff.

Rose formed the COVID-19 Mental Health Task Force to respond “to mental health needs that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to a Tuesday news release.

NSHE Chief General Counsel Joe Reynolds will lead the task force.

“Emotional and mental health is often an overlooked condition and under-resourced area that impacts every aspect of our lives, and the ability of students and employees to learn, work, and live within the NSHE community,” Rose said. “With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, these pre-existing concerns have been exacerbated.”

The task force is expected to convene in early February and regularly throughout 2021. It will make recommendations to address these challenges across NSHE’s eight institutions.

The Task Force is charged with making recommendations on how NSHE can better:

  • Address the emotional and mental health needs of NSHE students, faculty, and staff for the short-term emergency issues we are facing for the spring/summer 2021 semesters brought on by COVID-19.
  • Implement long-term changes necessary to lead in these areas, so that emotional and mental health conversations become an integral part of Nevada’s higher education culture and strategic resource allocation.
  • Identify the resources currently within NSHE, as well as those available through local, county, state, federal, and nonprofit entities, that can be scaled statewide to address these needs more effectively.
  • Develop a strategic plan on how to communicate to NSHE students and faculty on how to get assistance.
  • Make recommendations on how to improve mental health awareness, services, and resources provided to NSHE students, staff and faculty.

“As a statewide system, we must be proactive in recognizing that we have been indelibly changed by this experience,” Chancellor Rose said. “We must recognize that the pandemic has had a deleterious impact on the mental health of many of our students, faculty, and staff.”

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