Two units in West Virginia University Division of Student Affairs received more than $1 million in federal grants. WELLWVU received two grants, and the Student Family Resources Office earned the third.
The WVU Student Family Resources Office has been awarded a $644,519 Child Care Access Means Parents in School grant from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education. The four-year funding will specifically support low-income student parents through the Student Child Care Assistance Program, the Mountaineer Kids Club and the establishment and support of summer school-age care. The WVU Student Child Care Assistance Program helps offset the costs associated with quality childcare for students who are parents.
“I am pleased that we have once again received funds to continue supporting the unique needs of our students who are parents,” said Leslie Haning, director of Student Family Resources. “We are also excited to announce that one of our new family support programs being created will specifically assist our military-connected students. After talking with our student veterans and collaborating with WVU Veteran Affairs, we believe we are more responsive to the needs of our student veterans and their families.”
The WVU Student Child Care Assistance Program provides financial assistance, paid directly to the childcare provider, for a portion of the student’s childcare expenses while they attend school. The WVU Mountaineer Kids Club, located within the Student Recreation Center, will expand its services and provide free childcare for low-income student parents during nontraditional hours, including summer, evening and weekends. Finally, Child Care Access Means Parents in School funding will establish and subsidize school-age childcare during the summer for low-income student families.
The WELLWVU Carruth Center for Psychological and Psychiatric Services received a $306,000 grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to enhance suicide prevention efforts and student mental health services at WVU. The grant provides funding over a three-year period, during which WELLWVU staff will collaborate with faculty, staff, students and community members. WVU will also provide a 1:1 match in funding to support the program.
Grant funding will allow WELLWVU to implement a new program called “helpWELL,” which aims to develop and sustain a campus community that is committed to identifying and supporting students who are at-risk for suicidal behavior and other related mental health concerns.
“We hope helpWELL will decrease the mental health stigma that many college students experience, increase help-seeking behavior and facilitate improved collaboration across campus,” said Dr. Cathy Yura, assistant vice president of WELLWVU. “We plan to implement a public health model that expands on current campus services, student groups and University units to create a systematic suicide prevention program.”
The WELLWVU Office of Health and Wellness Promotion received a $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Violence Against Women. The grant will be used to develop a three-year program to support comprehensive, campus-wide, power-based violence prevention to reduce domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.
The goal of the Office of Violence Against Women’s “Campus Program” is to adopt protocols and policies that treat violence against women as a serious offense and victim service programs that ensure victim safety, offender accountability and the prevention of such crimes. This campus-wide effort will split funds among WELLWVU, the WVU Police Department, the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the Rape and Domestic Violence Information Center.
“Only 28 awards were made to colleges and universities nationwide, and we are fortunate to be one of those institutions of higher education to be chosen,” said Alison Tartaglia, WELLWVU program director and health education specialist. “This funding will allow WVU to continue the work that has been done in this area, in addition to creating a cohesive, coordinated response from the University related to prevention, advocacy and policy.”
For more information, contact Erica Bentley at Erica.Bentley@mail.wvu.edu or 304-293-8944.
CONTACT: Erica Bentley, Student Affairs
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