MUSG plans to expand suicide prevention training

Becky+Robb+is+the+president+of+Active+Minds.+She+said+having+someone+advocate+for+mental+health+in+MUSG+has+strengthened+ties+between+the+two+groups.+

Photo by Claire Gallagher

Becky Robb is the president of Active Minds. She said having someone advocate for mental health in MUSG has strengthened ties between the two groups.

Marquette University Student Government plans to expand its suicide prevention training to other student organizations sometime this spring, MUSG vice president of programs and sophomore in the College of Health Sciences Alex Schmidt said.

Life-Saver Training informs students on how to identify warning signs, necessary resources and how to best support someone at risk of suicide, Schmidt said. The training was originally administered to MUSG members by a representative of the Counseling Center earlier this semester. MUSG’s mental health initiative team is in the process of opening sessions to the executive boards of student organizations and if not able to do so, they hope to extend it to all those interested.

“Expanding Life-Saver Training has been one of the central goals (of the mental health initiative team) this spring,” Schmidt said. “What it teaches students is critical.”

Exactly when this training will be more widely available is undecided.

MUSG is also working toward updating the referral list of the Counseling Center on campus this semester. The list acts as a guide for students seeking mental health services off-campus, but according to Schmidt, it is lacking.

“It’s dated,” Schmidt said. “Some members of the list are no longer viable options and there are others available not included by the list.”

As to when this update will occur is unclear.

The mental health initiative team was formed last fall with the restructuring of MUSG meetings. The team currently consists of six members. All but one are MUSG representatives.

“It’s really crucial for students to advocate for other students especially when it comes to something as stigmatized as mental health,” Schmidt said. “MUSG has the ability to start a bigger conversation than any one student or organization on campus can.”

Schmidt, who recently transitioned into the role of vice president of programs, is maintaining her role of initiative captain until MUSG leadership finds another suitable candidate.

“I’m going to be very involved (with mental health awareness) even after I’m no longer an official member of the initiative team,” Schmidt said. “Our initiatives really involve all of MUSG.”

Schmidt has served on MUSG while simultaneously serving as vice president of Marquette’s Active Minds Chapter.

Founded in 2003, Active Minds is a nationwide student-led organization dedicated to raising mental health awareness on college campuses.

Marquette Active Minds president and senior in the College of Business Administration Becky Robb said having a member of their executive board within student government has strengthened ties between Active Minds and MUSG.

“If the link weren’t there, it definitely would take more work, focus, and time on our side to keep our relationship (with MUSG),” Robb said. “Student government is a great resource, and we’re very fortunate to have (Schmidt) within both groups.”

Mental health awareness, among other issues, was a part of the platform current MUSG President Sara Manjee and Executive Vice President Daniel Brophy campaigned for last year.

The Marquette Wire reached out to Manjee and Brophy for an interview, but both did not respond.

A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Sara Manjee and Dan Brophy declined to interview, but both did not respond. The Wire regrets this error. 

This story was written by Nicole Laudolff. She can be reached at nicole.laudolff@marquette.edu.