January 28, 2020

On January 9, 2020, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) received the wonderful news that they had been awarded, through the CSU Office of the Chancellor, a $150,000 Mental Health Partnerships Grant under the California Budget Act of 2019.  Included in this grant was a highly competitive $25,000 award for an “innovative pilot project” as well as the maximum award available ($125,000) for “encouraged activities.”  The main grant will be spent a variety of ways:

a)      To increase capacity for counseling services (e.g., through facilities renovation projects to expand CAPS physical space and hiring part-time clinicians).  By next year, CAPS may be able to add up to 36 additional appointments per day.

b)      To provide training to CAPS clinicians as well as key campus partners (e.g., the Basic Needs Taskforce, Dean of Students office, Medical Providers, Health Educators, Res Life, etc.) in suicide prevention, eating disorders, and substance use issues in an effort to reduce stigma and to increase the capacity of those in key roles across campus to help recognize and helpfully respond to students with such issues.

c)      To engage in campus wide stigma reduction and marketing activities (e.g., by providing health information and anti-stigma campaigning, self-help tools, and marketing on “wellbeing” TVs positioned in key areas on campus).

d)      To provide funding to students in the launching of an Active Minds chapter on campus.  This money will allow leaders to travel to and attend the national conference of Active Minds.

CAPS is extremely excited about the $25,000 Innovative Project Award, and plans to spend this grant money developing the expertise and foundation for an intensive treatment program geared for high risk students with significant and/or chronic mental health issues.  This comprehensive program will include several components, including individual and group therapy, using the evidence-based practice of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).  Eventually, HSU CAPS plans to share the program with other CSUs so that it can be replicated on other campuses. 

The overall goal in all aspects of the grant is to improve the health and wellbeing of our students which we believe will lead to higher life satisfaction, improved relationships, and higher success rates in academic and career endeavors. 

Jennifer Sanford, PhD

Director, Counseling and Psychological Services

Associate Director, Student Health and Wellbeing Services

Humboldt State University

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