CSUMB receives $270K mental health grant

SEASIDE >> CSU Monterey Bay will receive a three-year, $270,000 mental health and substance abuse grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The grant will be used to train faculty and staff to detect distress in students so they can be urged to seek help.

“This federal grant will help CSUMB’s efforts to ensure that those at risk for suicide are receiving the help they need,” said Rep. Jimmy Panetta, D-Carmel Valley, in making the announcement.

The Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Suicide Prevention Program, as the grant is called, is awarded to universities and colleges to build capacity and promote suicide prevention efforts and wellness for students, said Gary Rodriguez, health promotion and prevention specialist at CSUMB.

Depression and anxiety run high at CSUMB, just as they do in college campuses across the CSU system and the entire country. According to the California State University Student Health, Wellness, and Safety Report, 50 percent of students surveyed in 2016 reported feeling hopeless at least once during the year, 84 percent felt overwhelmed, 80 percent exhausted, 57 percent anxious and 36 percent depressed. Students from ethnic minority groups have higher rates of mental health challenges than whites.

“What we wanted to do here is … use this money for gatekeeper training,” Rodriguez said. “We’re going to be working training staff in those areas to respond in a suicidal crisis and direct students to resources on campus should…

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