Lehigh President Joseph J. Helble ’82 hosted state and federal lawmakers and their representatives at a breakfast Friday morning at the university’s President’s House, where he talked about student accomplishments and university initiatives, including the new College of Health and efforts to address students’ mental health needs.
Both Helble and Ric Hall, vice president for student affairs, addressed lawmakers.
Among those attending were state Reps. Ann Flood, R-Northampton; Milou Mackenzie, R-Northampton/Lehigh/Montgomery; Ryan Mackenzie, R-Berks/Lehigh; Zachary Mako, R-Lehigh/Northampton; Steve Samuelson, D-Northampton; Gary Day, Berks/Lehigh; and Ellen Kern, a representative of state Sen. Pat Browne, R-Lehigh County.
Also attending were Lehigh County Executive Phil Armstrong; Bethlehem Mayor William Reynolds; Amy Cozze, a representative of U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa.; and Mariska Van Aalst, a representative of U. S. Rep. Susan Wild, D-7th District.
Hall also discussed Lehigh’s efforts in addressing students’ mental health issues, which were heightened by the pandemic.
"Lehigh has spent time preparing programs and plans to help guide and assist students struggling with mental health concerns,” Hall said. “We have shared our mental health initiatives and plans with the [Pa.] Department of Education so Lehigh can be designated as a Certified Suicide Prevention Institution of Higher Education under Act 110 of 2018. This will allow our mental health plans to be a model for other higher education institutions in the Commonwealth."