TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The University of Texas Board of Regents approved funding to enhance and expand student mental health and safety resources.
In a special meeting called on Tuesday, the board approved the allocation of $16.5 million over the next five years to all 13 UT institutions for mental health and safety resources.
There will be five initiatives that will be funded, including a mental health crisis line; expanding clinical mental health services to students via telehealth; web-based alcohol and sexual assault & harassment prevention for students as well as harassment, safety and other training for faculty/staff; faculty and staff training; and Thrive at UT mobile app.
“Student safety is always top of mind for the UT System Board of Regents,” said Chair Kevin P. Eltife. “Our unanimous support of new funding speaks to the Board’s commitment to ensure the very best learning environments for all students across all UT institutions.”
UT System leadership recommended the additional investment in student mental health based on national studies, Chancellor James Milliken said.
The percentage of students at UT institutions who were diagnosed by and/or received mental health services from a professional increased from 20% to 30% from 2011 to 2021, a release from the UT System said. Student counseling centers reported a 38% increase in psychiatric hospitalizations during the same period.
“Student safety and wellness remain a most critical priority for UT institutions, and the Board of Regents’ newest investment will support, educate and treat students at all UT academic and health institutions throughout their journey toward a degree,” Milliken said. “Our campuses are grateful for the timing of these new resources that will allow them to expand and enhance the student services determined to be most effective over the past 11 years and during the pandemic.”