BROCKPORT, N.Y. — State University of New York will invest $24 million from received grant funds in student mental health services, Chancellor Jim Malatras announced Friday.
This is in addition to $35 million invested by campuses, bringing the total invested in mental health to $59 million for the 2021-2022 academic school year. Making it the largest single investment in student mental health services in SUNY history.
The funding will be used train additional student-facing residential staff to aid in identifying warning signs and how to refer students to services; expanding SUNY’s Crisis Text Line, Peer-to-Peer hotlines, and campus student counseling networks; and creating safe spaces for students, according to a statement from the university.
The school is using grant money received through the federal American Rescue Plan. The $24 million is roughly 10% of $481 million in system wide funding. New York State Division of Budget approved the plan.
This money builds off of an emphasis of student mental health started last year.
“Our students are dealing with a once in a lifetime health crisis — first from the fear of the unknown and being away from family and friends, and now as we readjust to being in-person again — and coupled with the normal pressures of college, it is affecting their wellbeing at a higher rate,” Malatras said.
This investment comes at a time when there is escalating mental health issues. The CDC has reports that during the first wave of the pandemic, one in four college-age adults contemplated suicide, that was up from one in 10 college-age adults in 2018.
Visit the SUNY website for more information about their mental health resources.