University RSO succeeds in passing iCard initiative for mental health resources


Cameron Krasucki The Daily Illini

A pile of Illinois students’ iCards lays on a table. The University recently added the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on the back of new iCards.

By Mia Ginocchi, Staff Writer

Active Minds, a University RSO, recently succeeded in its campaign to put the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on students’ iCards. Students at any school in the University System will have the hotline on the back of their iCards starting in fall of 2022.
President of Active Minds, Devin Dionne, said that the Illinois Student Government worked alongside them to help push the idea to the administration.
“We worked really closely with ISG with that for a really long time,” Dionne said. “It was a really cool win.”
While the University recently passed the initiative, there was no acknowledgment that it was a result of student efforts. Shivom Patel, vice president internal of Active Minds, said that the University did not mention their group or their efforts.
“Active Minds doesn’t want recognition for it; we don’t care about that,” Patel said. “But we want people to know that the students here care about mental health, and we’ve been vocal about that for a very long time.”
The University has come under fire before for lack of mental health resources. Students for Mental Health Reform, another University student organization, planned a protest demanding more availability of mental health services in December 2019, though the event was canceled.
The University’s chapter of Active Minds works to combat the shortage of mental health resources and awareness through community meetings, events and exhibitions. Last semester, Active Minds put on a ribbon exhibition in the South Quad, placing yellow ribbons to symbolize the 1,100 college students across the nation who have taken their lives.
“We have signs that are still up with some national statistics and reminders for students that they matter,” Patel said.
The pandemic has caused increased mental health struggles, especially in students. A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that one in four people ranging from the ages 18 to 24 seriously contemplated suicide in June.
The University currently has 34 counselors for an undergraduate student population of around 33,000. According to Dionne, that amount of counselors is not enough to effectively serve the student population.
The organization hopes that the accessibility of the hotline will help students in need of resources.

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