Stevens Awarded More Than $333k by NJ Office of the Secretary of Higher Education to Address Student Mental Health Needs
For its commitment to supporting the mental health needs of students, Stevens Institute of Technology recently received the Mental Health in Higher Education: Community Provider Partnerships Grant from the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE).
The pandemic exacerbated growing levels of anxiety and depression among college students. The grant, which totals more than $333,000, will create sustainable and strategic local partnerships that provide students with quality mental health resources both on campus and throughout the surrounding community; and to offer evidence-based and meaningful professional development for campus staff and faculty.
“Although we have had many successes and achieved national recognition with the 2022 Active Minds Campus Healthy Campus Award, it takes constant attention and creativity to respond to the complex issue of mental health among college students, which is evolving at an alarming rate,” says Sara Klein, Vice President for Student Affairs. “It is our responsibility to have an agile, innovative approach to mental health support and to always consider new strategies and responses.”
According to Executive Director of Student Wellness and Director of Student Counseling Eric Rose, the grant will fund new mental health initiatives on campus.
New initiatives made possible by this funding include partnerships with local psychotherapy practices in Hudson County to reduce the cost or cover the cost of treatment for students who need financial support; hiring a part-time care coordinator in CAPS to work with students to match them with reduced-cost or free treatment with local providers; continuing Stevens’ relationship with the JED Foundation, with a particular focus on mental health and suicide prevention for students of color and LGBTQ+ students; and yoga and mindfulness options for students in person through free local classes, as well as remotely using virtual reality headset.
“I am excited about our ability to help students that need to defray the cost of off-campus care. For a portion of our student body, the financial barriers to finding their own care are too steep. Because they cannot afford care, some students put their health on the backburner,” says Rose. “I’ve seen this be so disruptive to a student’s ability to succeed academically and socially. Being able to help these students realize that it’s OK for their mental health to be a priority — that feels huge.”
Visit the Student Support page to learn more about Stevens’ approach to student wellness.