8/30/2019

Grant to Help College Serve Mental Health Needs of Students

 
College Student Holding Head 

Riverside City College’s Health and Psychological Services received a three-year, $306,000 grant from the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act. The College was one of four institutions nationally who received this grant.

The grant is managed by the Suicide Prevention Branch within the Center for Mental Health Services in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

RCC and the three other institutions join 19 other institutions who received a similar grant in December 2018. The 23 institutions will work to develop a comprehensive public health approach to the issue of suicide prevention.

“We will create a basic infrastructure for RCC by training and establishing key gatekeeper staff, establishing a peer-to-peer program, providing prevention education events, and designing a crisis intervention plan in order to make referrals for on-campus programs and community resources,” Renee Martin-Thornton, Ph.D., director, Health and Psychological Services, said.

According to the Active Minds organization, suicide is the number two leading cause of death among students and 67 percent of college students say they first tell a friend they are feeling suicidal before seeking assistance.

“Riverside City College’s student population reflects the socio-economic and ethnic diversity of the region it serves, which suffers from higher poverty rates (16 percent of the total population and 23.4 percent of children) and low socio-economic mobility (7 percent), both of which are indicators for higher levels of daily stress that can lead to physical and mental health issues,” Martin-Thornton said. “RCC is taking a proactive approach to student mental health needs.”​