ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The State University of New York Board of Trustees adopted a series of recommendations to expand mental health services for students across SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities.
The recommendations developed by the SUNY Student Mental Health and Wellness Task Force said it will help shatter the stigma associated with seeking help for mental health struggles and build a culture of early intervention. Also, build on a series of initiatives unveiled last fall to help students grappling with increased feelings of isolation, fear, loneliness, and depression triggered by the pandemic.
Ending Stigma Associated with Seeking Help
- Establish early intervention culture
- Cultivate a mental health and well-being workforce by providing graduate training and internships to early career professionals
- Develop a Community of Practice (CoP) comprised of student mental health and well-being personnel
- Establish training opportunities for Resident Directors, Resident Assistants, and other student-facing positions that direct students to mental health services and programs.
Increase Number of Licensed Mental Health Service Professionals on SUNY Campuses
- Publish a SUNY-wide Request for Proposals to increase counseling and mental health professionals on all campuses
- Prepare a multi-year funding/hiring plan
- Continue to expand and enhance reach of services and programs already launched by SUNY, including tele-counseling, QPR (Question-Persuade-Refer) Training, the National Crisis Text Line, Thriving Campus, and Middle Earth Peer Assistance Program hotline services
- Explore a partnership with the Jed Foundation
Seek and Leverage External Funding, Resources, and Partnerships to Further Expand Mental Health and Wellness Services
- Partner with local communities, nonprofits, employers, and faith-based organizations to generate creative strategies for promoting and augmenting student mental health and wellbeing
- Seek external investments in SUNY through foundations, federal, and state grant opportunities, and government funds that will support the advancement of mental health and well-being programs and services
Create Permanent Mental Health and Wellness Positions at SUNY
- Create the position of associate vice chancellor for health and wellness within SUNY System to lead the system-wide expansion of mental health services
- Establish a SUNY Mental Health and Wellness Advisory Committee that will lead the enhancement and mobilization of mental health and wellness services, harmonize efforts across campuses, and provide periodic progress updates to SUNY Board of Trustees