IUPUI launches first Chancellor’s Student Mental Health Council


Who better to advocate for student mental health than students themselves? To continue making student well-being a top priority on campus, the Chancellor’s Student Mental Health Council (CSMHC) was formed.

Student members will:

  • Actively engage the campus community around student mental health.
  • Work directly with the chancellor to identify gaps and propose solutions.
  • Learn about programs, services and resources available to students.

"I think there's a lot of value to things that are student led or student run. Oftentimes, I think the administration tries to address mental health concerns, but it's often not effective because the administration is not in direct contact with the general student population," member Moriah Carmel said.

"Having a student-led council is really important, especially considering that this community has the support of high-level administrators but is still being run by students."

"There's a lot of opportunity for this council to do good and create a lot of big changes," said member Hayden Hurst.

Establishing the council

Eric Teske, director of Health and Wellness Promotion and member of the IU Mental Health Task Force, was impressed with the pool of candidates interested in taking part in IUPUI's first student mental health council.

"Everyone from first-year students to doctoral students responded to prompts and made the case for why they wanted to join the council. I think we ended up with a dream team that is committed to making positive change," he said. 

Students will also serve as representatives to a system-wide advisory council, sharing ideas and advocating for the needs of IU students across the state.

The CSMHC met for the first time in March to connect as a group and begin setting goals for the council.

"[Our first meeting] was a steppingstone from where we are at currently and what we hope to do in the future. I think it went very well," said Hurst.

Looking forward

With the council's current representation, student members see an opportunity to connect with our diverse student population. 

"A lot of times when we talk about college mental health, graduate education often isn't accounted for, so I am glad that the council has both graduate and undergraduate representation," said Carmel.

Ultimately, CSMHC aims to be the student voice that communicates with administrators and advocates for change around student wellness.

"The council is very invested in ensuring the well-being of all students at IUPUI," said member Ananya Pendela. "I want to make sure that everyone has proper access to mental health resources and is equipped with the proper tools and coping mechanisms to help with their mental health."

Student members of the council

Moriah Carmel

Cassandra Carrillo

Michaela Di Palmo

Hayden Hurst

Michael Peck

Ananya Pendela

Saumya Saini