The COVID-19 pandemic has affected not only the physical health of some people, but their mental health as well.
Among those who may be particularly affected are those who have had to adjust their education to adapt to the pandemic.
This is why SUNY universities are now working to provide assistance to anyone in need. Chancellor Jim Malatras announced that the university system is investing $24 million in student mental health and wellness services.
The funds will be used to train resident staff to identify warning signs, expand the crisis text font and peer hotlines, and create safe spaces for students.
Malatras says it’s the largest investment in student mental health in sunny history.
“Our students are dealing with a once-in-a-lifetime health crisis, first out of fear of the unknown and being away from family and friends, and now, when we are acclimating ourselves again, as well as the stresses of normal life..to college, it affects their well-being at a higher rate,” Malatras said at statment. We cannot expect students to thrive if we cannot be with them in their time of need. Our students request additional services and we listen to them. With the support of Senate Majority Leader Schumer, Congressman Muriel, our congressional delegation, as well as Governor Cuomo and the state legislature to expand our services to students within the state budget, we provide the help and tools our students need now to be successful. We know there is more work to be done. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Mental health needs are highly individualized and must be addressed on a case-by-case basis, but we will use this investment to foster a culture in which people are empowered to come from a place of empathy and are armed with the latest technology and information. on mental health and health care issues”.
Students say it’s an important step in removing the stigma of mental health problems.
“When I was in college, it was a big deal,” said Carrie Barnett, a graduate student at State University of New York at Brockport. “It was hard to ask for help. Not many people liked it. You would go to your colleagues and say, ‘I want to ask for help but I don’t know how.’” And with all these resources and the support of our big names, it is really encouraging. Knowing that it is no longer a bad thing to ask for help and that it is no longer scary.”
This money is in addition to a $35 million investment the State University of New York campus has made in mental health resources.