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UGA Student Government Association Vice President Melissa Hevener addresses the SGA Senate on Oct. 15, 2019, in Athens, Georgia. (Photo/Kathryn Skeean, kskeean@randb.com)

Promoting awareness about mental health is the theme for the University of Georgia Student Government Association this semester.

The executive officers discussed this week’s mental wellness efforts and the UGA app at their first cabinet meeting of the semester.

“Mental Wellness Week” began on Jan. 13 and will run until Jan. 16. The week began with a “wall of wellness” on Jan. 13, where students wrote what mental health means to them in Tate Student Center.

On Jan. 14, President Rachel Byers and SGA representatives co-hosted a Mental Health Summit with the Student Health Advisory Committee at the Georgia Museum of Art. The summit began with a showing of “It’s Kind of a Funny Story,” which depicts the struggles of a teenage boy suffering from depression.

Then, a panel of psychological professionals from UGA groups Counseling and Psychiatric Services and The ASPIRE Clinic answered students’ anonymous questions about mental health.

“We’re focusing on mental wellness because we didn’t feel like there’s enough of a consistent trend to talk about what we’re struggling with,” Sen. Ciera Thomas said.

Jan. 15 features a “De-Stress with the Dawgs” event. SGA members will host a coloring session with students in Tate from noon to 4 p.m. On Jan. 16, members will pass out free Insomnia cookies and keychains from noon to 4 p.m. at Tate for “Dawgs Band Together.”

“We’re not experts on this, so want [students] to get in touch with people who are,” Thomas said, who, along with Kurt Kunich, has been planning the week since September.

Vice President Melissa Hevener updated the cabinet on a mental wellness resource coming to the UGA app. According to Hevener, a new feature will be added to the application to promote the “network of care” available at UGA.

“There are a ton of clinics on campus that lots of students don’t know about,” Hevener said.

Additionally, Hevener told members the UGA app has been updated to feature a dark mode suited for a low-light environment and a shortcut that leads the user to various student resources — for academics, career help and self-care — across campus. The update also brings an overlay to the UGA map to show gender-neutral bathrooms on campus. Users can now locate WEPA printers through the application as well.

Treasurer Nav Singh provided the cabinet with the latest developments of the small organizations on campus that he meets with. According to Singh, the Small Club Allocation Committee gave $1,492 to Inspire UGA; Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences; Phi Kappa Literary Society; and Sports Medicine Club.

Chief of Staff Hayden Kolodziejcyk and heads of various committees delivered a brief overview of the schedule for the semester. Some upcoming events include 2020 executive and general elections, Dawgs at the Dome, Georgia Way Week and Ask SGA Day.

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