IC receives GEER Fund grant to support mental health training
Illinois College was recently awarded a $50,000 state grant that will provide a sustainable campus-wide network prepared to support the mental health needs of students.
The grant-funded training includes instruction on mental health issues, role-playing and guidelines for recognizing when to refer students to a counselor. It is being taught with the assistance of two mental health professionals trained in Mental Health First Aid, as well as experience in higher education settings.
Illinois College’s Center for Academic Excellence, in collaboration with Chesley Health and Wellness Center, began training for faculty and staff members in January.
Over the course of the semester, the mental health professionals assisting with the program will return to campus for eight sessions to offer additional training to widen the net of support.
“The goal is to encourage representatives from across campus — student leaders, faculty and staff — who are student-facing to participate in the training throughout the spring semester,” said Amy Schwiderski ’91, associate dean and director of the center for academic excellence. “This will ensure there is an extensive and broad net across all departments on campus to look after and assist students’ mental health needs.”
The training will build on the mental health resources that are readily available to Illinois College students.
The Chesley Health and Wellness Center provides on-campus student services such as primary medical care, education on healthy lifestyles, disease and injury prevention, management of chronic illness or disability, public health initiatives, and counseling by licensed professionals. Students are also provided information about off-campus support services.
Starting in the fall semester of 2022, students have even easier access to information about services on and off campus. Every new student ID includes a QR code that quickly and easily links to an up-to-date list of resources available on the ic.edu/studentresources web page.
The grant is funded by the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund, established in the CARES Act to provide local educational agencies, higher education institutions and other education-related entities with emergency assistance as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.