Peer-support hotline gets the Knapp greenlight

Student Association President Nick Gumas pitched a peer counseling center as a campaign goal. Hatchet file photo.
Student Association President Nick Gumas pitched a peer counseling center as a campaign goal. Hatchet file photo.

University President Steven Knapp committed to building a campus peer-counseling program at the Colonial Health Center opening Wednesday.

The program, which will include a hotline where anonymous students will help their peers work through problems, has been the signature issue that Student Association President Nick Gumas has pushed for over the past year. Student leaders have rallied behind the program as a way of expanding the University’s counseling services as demand for therapy rises nationwide.

“This is something that I have cared about for a while. The SA as a whole has been working on this initiative for the past year, so it’s really exciting to see it come to fruition,” Gumas said.

University President Steven Knapp said he hopes that future SA leaders will continue to build momentum on campus around mental health awareness.

He said the peer-support hotline “advances the [mental health] priority.”

Gumas said they have not worked out how much creating the program would cost or how long it would take to implement, but that he will use his last four months in office to “set the framework” for the future SA president to continue his work.

The announcement comes four months after the SA Senate passed a bill, which recognized widespread support of the program and pushed officials to commit funding.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.