- The U.S. Department of Education on Thursday called on colleges to use federal money to help with coronavirus to help address the mental health issues of students and staff that it said were exacerbated by the pandemic.
- Department published guide outlining potential ways to use federal aid to address these issues, such as launching crisis hotlines or suicide prevention programs.
- Institutions can also invest funding in support of basic needs such as food and housing. Lack of basic needs greatly contributes to poor mental health, the agency notes.
Congress has allocated about $ 76 billion to help colleges from the coronavirus in three spending packages. The most recent piece of legislation was the remarkable U.S. plan to rescue President Joe Biden, adopted in March 2021, which allocated about $ 40 billion to the college.
Although colleges could use part of this funding to cover the institutional costs associated with the pandemic, they needed to apply part to directly assist students.
The Department of Education advertises ample opportunities to use money. It was also announced in January that it would send an additional $ 198 million the American Rescue Plan funds funding of public colleges and institutions in rural areas with large numbers of low-income students.
The way the colleges spent the money was of great interest to the federal government requires their report this information is quarterly and annually.
Thursday’s announcement highlights opportunities for spending funding that colleges may not have considered.
He drew attention to mental health programs that colleges have supported federal aid.
The University of California at Riverside has added “crisis support 24/7” to staff who remained on campus during the pandemic.
Sinclair Communal College in Ohio in the fall of 2021 hired a new social worker who worked with more than 380 students.
The University of Texas at San Antonio has significantly expanded telehealth by providing round-the-clock online counseling for students in need.
“If there’s one thing I’ve heard talking to college students across the country, it’s the need for more mental health support on campus,” Education Minister Miguel Cardona said in a statement. “We need to make sure our colleges and universities have the tools and resources to help students, faculty and staff heal from the grief, trauma and anxiety they experienced during the pandemic.”