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Wednesday, January 23 , 2019, 9:35 pm | Fair 46º


UCSB Receives Federal Grant for Mental Health Services in Wake of Isla Vista Tragedy

Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, on Tuesday announced that UCSB has received a grant from the U.S. Department of Education to assist with ongoing mental health services following the May 2014 tragedy in Isla Vista.

Last May, six students were killed and several others seriously injured during a violent rampage in Isla Vista. The immediate services grant, which is being made through DOE’s School Emergency Response to Violence (SERV) program and administered by the UCSB Office of Safe and Healthy Students, will provide enhanced mental health support to the campus community. Immediate Services grants are designed to provide emergency, short-term assistance to affected universities.

The grant will enable UCSB to expand their existing campus-based mental health staff through the temporary hiring of an additional student mental health services coordinator, two additional counseling psychologists and an additional social worker. The funds will also support a counseling psychologist that staff and faculty can access through UCSB’s Employee Assistance Program. These additional mental health professionals will help meet the increased demand for services and the need for a higher level of response in crisis cases.

“May 23 was a tragic day for the Isla Vista and UCSB communities,” Capps said. “Several months later, we are still dealing with the aftermath in very real ways. This grant will provide enhanced care to support members of our community as they to continue to heal and as we all work together to make UCSB and Isla Vista better, safer places to live and study.”

“I am always saddened by any tragic event, but especially incidents that involve young people whose entire futures lie ahead of them,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “We want to provide as much support as we can to the students, faculty and community who have been impacted. This grant will help provide the necessary support needed to assist the university and community as they continue to move beyond the tragedies they’ve experienced.”

“UC Santa Barbara is pleased to be the recipient of these Department of Education funds which will allow us to continue our work to ensure that students, faculty, and staff have ready access to support services and psychological counseling,” said Debbie Fleming, UCSB's senior associate dean of student life. “The award comes at a critical time as we are about to expand our campus-based services into the community of Isla Vista, where many of our students live. These Department of Education funds will allow us to hire additional psychologists, expand the number of social workers serving students, and bring on an additional staff member to assist with our Student Mental Health Coordination services.”

According to UC Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), since the incident demand for individual therapy services has increased 27 percent, crisis follow-up has increased by 86 percent, and CAPS on call intakes have increased by 183 percent. In addition, campus outreach has increased by 776 percent.

— Chris Meagher is a press secretary for Rep. Lois Capps.


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