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WSSU receives grant funding for behavioral health support

The primary goal of the grant is to increase students’ well-being, which will directly impact retention rates.

Winston-Salem State University was one of nine University of North Carolina System institutions awarded funding as part of the Behavioral Health Initiatives Grant. The two grants that were awarded will support students’ mental health needs through direct counseling via telehealth, and suicide prevention and first aid training.

The primary goal is to increase students’ well-being, which will directly impact retention rates. A well-supported campus community will produce much higher outcomes

"Study after study shows that supporting student well-being can be the difference between academic success and failure. Building safe and supportive learning environments for our students is more critical than ever in these unsettling times," said UNC System Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer Kimberly van Noort. "The programs that these grants support will play an important role creating brighter futures for students across North Carolina and from all walks of life."

As a complement to ongoing counseling services, WSSU has chosen to use these funds to support two training programs, Mental Health First Aid Training and QPR (Question, Persuade, and Refer) Master Training by Mental Health of America that will be available for the campus community.

Implementation will include hiring a certified trainer from Mental Health of America to provide training for faculty and staff for both curriculums. Trainings began in July with the Housing and Residence Life staff.

WSSU will identify 60 faculty, staff, and administrators who will participate in the training, and 20 will serve for two years as Mental Health Wellness Campus Champions. Our campus champions will co-facilitate workshops for their peers focused on developing educational, mental health programming for WSSU students.

If you are interested in becoming a campus champion, please contact Dr. Terri Tilford, director of Counseling Services.

Grant Team:

  • Dr. Yolonda Byrd, associate professor and chair, Department of Social Work
  • Dr. Erin Lynch, associate provost of scholarship, research, and innovation
  • Dr. Chinyu Wu, associate professor, Department of Occupational Therapy
  • Dr. Quinyta Walker, associate professor, Department of Rehabilitation

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