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SAMHSA distributes Garrett Lee Smith Campus Suicide Prevention grants, directing $3.3 million in mental health support funding to 33 colleges

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American Rescue Plan funding expands program reach by eight recipients

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released awards totaling $3.3 million to 33 colleges through its Garrett Lee Smith (GLS) Campus Suicide Prevention grant program. The Biden administration, bolstering the effort through American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) funding, is enabling SAMHSA to expand the program reach by eight colleges. The funding comes at a time when pandemic-related stressors have increased mental health disorders among younger Americans.

The GLS program, operated out of SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services, promotes colleges’ development of comprehensive approaches to enhance mental health services for their students – including those who are at risk of suicide, depression, serious mental illness, serious emotional disturbances, and/or substance use disorders (SUDs). Other goals are to prevent mental disorders and SUDs, promote help-seeking behavior, reduce negative public attitudes and improve the identification and treatment of at-risk college students so they can successfully complete their studies.

“This grant program provides crucial support to college and university communities at a critical time,” said Acting Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Tom Coderre, who leads SAMHSA. “Pre-pandemic, college had already been a time and environment where young adults often experienced the onset or worsening of mental health problems. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated mental health crises for adolescents and young adults. We want this grant program to provide needed supports to as many students as possible, and we are grateful for the infusion of American Rescue Plan funding to strengthen that support.”

Twenty-five (25) colleges are receiving the GLS awards through SAMHSA’s annual appropriation totaling $2.5 million. ARP funding of $741,252 expands the program reach to an additional eight colleges and universities. View the list of recipients receiving grant awards of up to $102,000 each year for three years.

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The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA’s mission is to lead public health and service delivery efforts that promote mental health, prevent substance misuse, and provide treatments and supports to foster recovery while ensuring equitable access and better outcomes.

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