UA receives $826,202 grant for mental health support on campus


College students face a rigorous, fast-paced academic schedule. On top of this, they often juggle extracurriculars and jobs, all while attempting to maintain their physical and mental health. However, in a recent Health Mind Survey (HMS) nearly 60% of students at The University of Akron (UA) who responded to the survey noted that they struggle with at least one major mental health disorder.  

The University has taken note of these concerns and will utilize a new $826,202 grant from the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) to increase mental health support on campus.

The grant will be used in a four-step, comprehensive care model to address the mental health concerns on campus.

  • Educate the student population about mental health resources on campus and in the community.
  • De-stigmatizing students seeking aid for their concerns.
  • Partner with organizations that excel in mental health training programs and care.
  • Train faculty and staff on referral and response techniques to support students seeking aid. 

The comprehensive care model acts as a guide for the grant’s allocation of funds, which will be used to establish new comprehensive mental health programs for students, such as preventative care, early intervention, and ongoing support mechanisms designed to cater to unique mental health challenges. 

More specifically, the new services will expand counseling services, implement educational campaigns to raise awareness of mental health, development new partnerships and create new sensory-friendly relaxation environments on campus.. Additionally, it will help fund peer support programs and outreach programs, as well as develop avenues to collect data that will provide insights for specific mental health needs and implementation of online, self-help resources for students to receive online peer support. 

“This grant is more than just financial support; it is an investment in our students,” said Dr. John Messina, vice president for student affairs. “The initiatives that will be created through these funds will provide our campus with the resources necessary to break barriers and allow our students increased access to direct mental health triage, support and ongoing care.”

By investing in a variety of mental health services for students, UA hopes to mitigate the effects on the mental health of its students and seek empowerment for students to thrive in their academic journey. 

Media contact; Cristine Boyd, 330-972-6476,