(WBNG) -- SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras announced $24 million investment in student mental health and wellness services Friday.
Malatras has directed all SUNY universities and colleges to use 5% of their institutional grants through the American Rescue plan ($24 million of approximately $481 million in institutional funding system-wide) to expand and enhance student mental health services.
The Chancellor's Office said the funding will be used for "expanding programs such as training additional student-facing residential staff to aid in identifying warning signs and how to refer students to services; expanding SUNY’s Crisis Text Line, Peer-to-Peer hotlines, and campus student counseling networks; and creating safe spaces for students."
The $24 million in funding is a single addition to $35 million in investments by campus. The total financial support in mental health resources for the 2021 to 2022 academic year is $59 million, Malatras' Office said.
Malatras called the directive the "largest single concerted investment in student mental health services in SUNY history," and will help to connect students to the customized help they need where and when they need it to build a culture of early intervention and to eliminate the stigma associated with seeking help.