University System of Georgia Launches Mental Health Task Force w/FVSU's Jacqueline Caskey-James

Posted on Nov 15, 2019

Fort Valley, Georgia - University System of Georgia (USG) Chancellor Steve Wrigley appointed a Mental Health Task Force to address the growing concern of mental health challenges on campuses.

It will be co-chaired by Albany State University President Marion Fedrick and Valdosta State University President Richard Carvajal. It is composed of representatives from USG, state agencies, mental health organizations and the medical field.

FVSU's Jacqueline Caskey- James, director of Student Counseling and Outreach Services was among 14 members appointed to the task force.

"Incidents of mental health challenges are too common on campuses across the country and in the university system," Wrigley said. "In a recent survey by the American Council on Education, 80 percent of the 1,700 college and university presidents participating said mental health is now a greater priority on campus than it was just three years ago.

"I am charging task force members to understand the scope of the issues and to review programs, policies and best practices within USG as well as campuses around the country. Collaboration among USG institutions, along with state and local agencies and community stakeholders is critical to ensuring all resources and partnerships are on the table. The task force will provide recommendations to the Board of Regents and myself at the end of its review."

And take that charge she will. Caskey-James said she's highly honored to be selected as a member of the USG Mental Health Task Force.

"I am excited to join such a group of creative and dynamic colleagues to work toward reducing stigmas related to mental health and providing our students with the necessary resources that will help to improve their levels of functioning.

"Mental illness can have an effect on almost every aspect of a person's life, including their thinking, feelings, and mood."¯My goal as a licensed professional counselor is to provide our students with the education and resources needed to help to continue to reduce stigma's and provide the best therapeutic services utilizing evidence-based approaches to healing."Caskey-James said.

Other members of the task force include the following:

  • Richard Carvajal, Ph.D., president, Valdosta State University

  • Marion Fedrick, president, Albany State University
  • Sinet Adous, international affairs major, vice president of external affairs, Student Government Association, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Quadre Curry-Wilkerson, visual and performing arts major, president, Student Government Association, Albany State University
  • Robert Dollinger, M.D., director, Student Health Services, Augusta University
  • Shanta Dube, Ph.D., associate professor, School of Public Health, Georgia State University

  • Tomas Jimenez, senior associate provost for student affairs and dean of students; Georgia Gwinnett College
  • Teresa Johnston, LPC, executive director and assistant dean, Center for Young Addiction and Recovery, Kennesaw State University
  • Linda Kaspar, executive director, University Housing, University of Georgia
  • Autumn A. Lucas, certified nurse practitioner, Middle Georgia State University Health Clinic
  • Dante McKay, J.D., Director, Office of Children, Young Adults and Family; Division of Behavioral Health

  • Linda Osborne-Smith, deputy commissioner, Technical College System of Georgia
  • Chip Reese, Ed.D., associate vice president, Student Affairs, Columbus State University

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