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July 6, 2023

JCCC will use grant funds to bolster current mental health-related services, expand training for faculty and staff, and establish a community advisory board.

Johnson County Community College was recently awarded a $75,129 Garrett Lee Smith Campus Suicide Prevention Grant by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The annual grant is awarded to higher education institutions to support expansion of on-campus mental health services.

The grant will be used to enhance and grow the mental health services offered to JCCC students. “At JCCC, we offer an array of services that support the whole student,” said Alex Wells, Assistant Dean, Counseling and New Student Retention. “In addition to helping students navigate their college academic experience, we recognize the vital role mental health plays in student success. If a student is struggling with mental health challenges, they may have trouble keeping up with coursework and achieving personal goals. Grants like this one enable JCCC to build out additional structures and services to help students cope with the complexities of their whole lives. Such support makes it easier for students to pursue their academic goals, which in turn equips them to pursue rewarding careers or additional educational opportunities.”

The grant money will help JCCC expand cross-functional training opportunities for faculty and staff, establish a community advisory board to assist in developing strategies to support mental health interventions and suicide prevention, and strengthen existing functions and initiatives that support student mental health education, assessment and programming.

JCCC students access mental health resources through their JCCC counselor, who also provides personalized academic advising and career planning. The JCCC Counseling Center provides a safe and confidential environment where students are welcome to talk with their counselor about personal concerns; when appropriate, their counselor can refer them for additional services through JCCC’s short-term Student Assistance Program. Students also have access to a full-time licensed clinician from Johnson County Mental Health Center, who offices on campus. This clinician can provide short-term therapy, crisis intervention and connections to community resources.

Additional details about the Student Assistance Program and the personal counseling services available to JCCC students are available in the Counseling section of the JCCC website.