During a Student Bar Association meeting on Tuesday night, the House of Delegates voted to pass a resolution promoting mental health awareness. Created in part to address glaring issues in a report from the Georgetown Law Mental Health Task Force, available here, the resolution advocates for a number of proposals relating to improving mental health awareness and care on Georgetown Law’s campus.
The resolution includes provisions advocating for a the hiring of an additional staff psychologist, additional availability of psychiatric services, facilities improvements, and awareness and outreach improvements. According to Section 2 delegate Jeff Gary, who was responsible for the resolution’s language, introduction and passage, there is already a job posting on Georgetown’s website for a new psychologist position.
On what motivated him to offer the resolution, Gary said “I think mental health has to be a top priority of any institution that hopes to succeed. Georgetown Law has done a great job so far making sure that increasing needs are met, but we’re falling behind.”
“It’s difficult to talk about the impact of mental health in real terms, but as many as 250 students in every class will be personally affected by depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues while they’re here. It’s incredibly important to provide exemplary resources and support to those students, and to give the student body a chance to stand in solidarity with those who are facing personal crises,” Gary added
When asked what is coming next in terms of mental health activism, Gary said “I hope to keep attention focused on proactive ways to address fundamental challenges that face all of GULC. The worst thing to do is to continue to make people feel like they’re alone.”
At time of publication, 26 student organizations, 7 journals and 162 individual students had endorsed the bill.
The Georgetown Law Weekly is proud to be one of the student organizations endorsing this resolution and its intent. Mental health issues are widespread in the legal field, including at Georgetown. While law school and the legal field are innately stressful environments, basic issues such as massive wait times for services should not be a problem for anyone, let alone students at a top-tier law school. As a legal community, we owe it to ourselves to be aware of the invisible battles that us and our colleagues and classmates fight. This resolution is a step in the right direction, and hopefully leads to robust discussion and real action on the part of Georgetown Law students, faculty and administration.