SGA hosts mental health panel


The Counseling Center is available at The Universty of Alabama. CW | Jonathan Daniels

Kourntey Jakubowski

On Feb. 10, the UA SGA hosted an event in the Ferguson Theater for Mental Health Awareness Week. SGA partners with The University of Alabama at Birmingham and The University of Alabama at Huntsville to promote mental health awareness and resources.

“Suicide prevention is key,” said SGA President, Elliot Spillers. The University hopes to treat people as early as possible before illnesses worsen.

SGA’s mental health PSA kicked off the event, produced by student Patrick Maddox. Then six UA faculty members and students joined a panel in which they answered questions such as, “What is the most common mental illness around 18-25 year olds?” and, “Why do you think suicide is more common among the Greek community?”

The most commonly discussed mental illnesses included alcohol abuse, depression, eating disorders and anxiety from being away from home in a new environment.

The panelists recommended that UA students look out for each other and seek help immediately.

They also gave advice on ways to increase mental health in people and their peers. Watching out for isolation was a big idea, as well as a decline in grades.

Pam Melton, a professor for the School of Social Work, said she took the time to reach out to a student whose grades dropped dramatically. She found help for the student and helped her graduate. 

“We have a responsibility to notice things,” said Gordon McNeil, who has taught mental health courses at the University for many years.

For more information, visit to get more information on mental illness or see the Counseling Center in the Ferguson Center.