By DONOVAN HARRELL
Senate Council leaders are working to find additional ways to provide mental health resources for the Pitt community.
In the Community Relations Committee meeting on March 24, Senate Council Vice President David Salcido said that since the Senate Plenary on mental health has been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, he and other officers are making resources available online.
The plenary was scheduled for the same day as the committee meeting and would have featured a panel discussion on faculty mental health and a presentation from Kay Redfield Jamison, co-director of the Mood Disorders Center and professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Ahead of the event, 100 physical copies of Jamison’s book, “An Unquiet Mind,” were ordered, but could not be distributed for the plenary. The book chronicles her struggles with bipolar disorder and how she coped with them while working as an academic.
He’s hoping that the book expands conversations about mental health beyond Pitt faculty.
“I think there might be messages in there for everybody,” Salcedo said.
Since the physical books can’t be distributed right away, the University Library System will have 100 digital copies of the book available for checkout, even though the library usually limits e-book checkouts.
Salcido said he isn’t sure what will be done with the physical books. Also, Linda Tashbook, mental health advocate and adjunct professor of law, has prepared kits designed to spark group discussions, which could be offered along with the physical books whenever a distribution plan is decided.
Salcido said there also are plans for a public, online discussion similar to the plenary's planned expert panelist session. Dates haven’t been finalized yet.
Donovan Harrell is a writer for the University Times. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-383-9905.
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