SGA discusses CHW-ECAPS merger


Murphy Robey

SGA members in a meeting.

By Vivi Smilgius

The Student Government Association met with Associate Dean and Director of Counseling, Health and Wellness Brandin Dear on Nov. 5 to discuss the integration of the college’s Center for Health and Wellness and its Counseling and Psychological Services.

The college announced its CHW-ECAPS merger last fall, hiring Dear shortly after. Dear, who came to Emerson from Harvard last semester, said he plans to increase efficiency and communication between the two departments, making it easier for students to access mental and physical health resources.

“[Students] don’t want to go to 20 different offices to get an answer,” Dear said. “With integration, the left hand knows what the right hand is doing… I’ve been trying to bring these two centers together.”

CHW plans to set up student-run counseling services and peer groups, Dear said, to foster student-to-student connection and help. Dear also stated that preventing crisis situations and maintaining accessible health help are priorities for the center.

“Whatever makes the student experience better is what I’m here for,” he said. “My plan moving forward is to look at other ways to meet students’ needs, so that seeing a therapist isn’t the first thing we go to.”

Dear said he will reach out to SGA for collaboration after designating staff members to help manage and supervise the changes implemented.