Tulsa Community College hopes to help students with some new classes for faculty and staff. The college will train more employees in mental health, first aid.
The research on mental illness shows it usually crops up before age 25, and that's why colleges are putting more emphasis on mental health. Though stresses of school can weigh on students what's happening outside the classrooms can have a big impact on their education.
“There's a lot of things you can see, and you can tell when students are stressed,” said TCC Assistant Professor Kathy Stotts. “From homelessness to abusive situations, financial situations that cause undue stress.”
This spectrum of problems is why TCC plans to expand their wellness programs with more focus on mental health. The school plans to build on its "mental health first aid" program.
Our student population could be at higher risk, and if they are, we want to recognize that and get them to the resources available to them,” said TCC Director of Wellness Services Jessica Heavin.
Since Tulsa Community College started mental health first aid training 150 faculty and staff have taken the class. Now, TCC has a new $375,000 grant to expand the program which they say will allow them to offer more training reaching 600 faculty, staff and students.
They'll have more help with a full-time case manager for students and they'll do more to spread the information advising people that help is available. The director of the program says it's all designed to ultimately help students through school.
“They want a model and a program that can help them talk to the students and get students to the right resources if the students say their academic problems are because of a mental health issue,” said Heavin.