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State funding to aid SUNY campus mental health services

SUNY Chancellor John King delivers remarks at SUNY Oswego, Feb. 14.
Abigail Connolly
SUNY Chancellor John King delivers remarks at SUNY Oswego, Feb. 14.

New funding for SUNY campuses will look to expand student mental health services.

Close to $10 million in annual State funding will be used to increase mental health services and support for students on SUNY campuses. SUNY Chancellor John King made the announcement during a visit to the SUNY Oswego campus. King said the investments will address two key challenges.

“It’s a critical issue,” King said. “There’s both a recruitment challenge and a retention challenge.”

The main focus of the investment will be to hire, retain, or extend contracts for campus mental health staff and expand telehealth options. At SUNY Oswego, investments will include hiring more staff to support students of marginalized backgrounds and extending counselor contracts to provide services throughout the summer. King said SUNY Oswego has been a model for other campuses’ counseling services.

“What SUNY Oswego has been doing over many years is expanding mental health supports and trying to create a culture where students, faculty, and staff understand that mental health is health, that there is no shame in asking for help,” King said.

King said the work that needs to be done to improve mental health services has to be a collective effort. He said the work that is being done at SUNY Oswego’s Mary Walker Health Center has demonstrated that.

“Ultimately mental health has to be the work of everybody on campus,” King said. “So the targeted investment in counselors and tele-mental health, crucially important. But so too is the work that folks at the Mary Walker Center are doing to support faculty and staff and the residential life team in helping to create an environment of wellness for students.”

King said the investment would not have been possible without the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the state legislature. The investment will expand services at 28 campuses and support more than 200,000 students.

Abigail is a temporary WRVO News Reporter/Producer working on regional and digital news stories. She graduated from SUNY Oswego in 2022 where she studied English and Public Relations. Abigail enjoys reading, writing, exploring CNY and spending time with family and friends. Abigail first joined the WRVO team as a student reporter in June 2022.