Thursday, June 21 , 2018, 8:40 pm | Fair 61º


New Local Initiative Reaches Out to College Students with Mental Illness

In collaboration with Allan Hancock College, Santa Barbara City College and UC Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara County Department of Alcohol, Drug & Mental Health Services has launched a new mental health outreach and awareness program for college students.

Seventy-five percent of mental illnesses begins during adolescence and early adulthood — the college years. The campus outreach initiative seeks to educate college students and staff about identifying first-episode psychosis, fighting stigma and promoting early intervention.

“It is critical to reach college students and campus personnel with accurate, non-stigmatizing information about how to identify first-episode psychosis and engage people in obtaining treatment,” said Suzanne Grimmesey, MFT, chief strategy officer for ADMHS. “Early intervention is critical for promoting recovery and restoring functionality. By working with students and college personnel, we have more eyes and ears on campus to help students experiencing the onset of mental illness."

The campus outreach initiative was launched last March when 42 students and staff members from Allan Hancock College, Santa Barbara City College and UCSB were trained in combating stigma, recognizing first-episode psychosis and using effective engagement strategies.

In consultation with college students, posters and brochures were developed and are being distributed on the three campuses.

The campus outreach collaboration was made possible by a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

For more information, please call Grimmesey at 805.886.5403.


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