The COVID-19 pandemic has affected not only the physical health of some people, but also their mental health.
Among those who may be particularly affected are people who have had to adjust their education to adapt to the pandemic.
That 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 mental health and wellness services for students.
The funds will be used to train resident staff in identifying warning signs, expanding the crisis text line and peer hotlines, and creating safe spaces for students.
Malatras says it’s the biggest investment in student mental health in sunny history.
“Our students are dealing with a once-in-a-lifetime health crisis, first due to fear of the unknown and being away from family and friends, and now, when we are adjusting to ourselves again, as well as the stress of normalcy. . college, and affects their well-being at a higher rate, “Malatras said in a statement. We cannot expect students to prosper if we cannot be there for them in their time of need. Our students demand 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 are providing the help and tools that our students now need 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 where 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 is 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 the State University of New York at Brockport. “It was difficult to ask for help. Not many people loved her. You would go to your colleagues and tell them: ‘I want to ask for help but I don’t know how.’ “And with all these resources and the support of the big names for us it is really encouraging. Knowing that it is no longer bad to ask for help and that it is no longer scary ”.
This money is in addition to a $ 35 million investment made by the State University of New York campus in mental health resources.