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Iowa Lakes Community College Awarded $20,000 Mental Health Grant

October 15, 2020

(Estherville, Iowa) A $20,000 grant from Northwest Iowa Care Connections (NWIACC) Mental Health and Disability Services will assist Iowa Lakes Community College in providing mental health services to current students coping with the effects of the COVID-19 crisis.

"The mental health of college students has been an issue in the headlines for several years now. Add a pandemic to the college experience mix, and you have elevated college students' stress, fear, and anxiety. At Iowa Lakes, we are continually monitoring our students' mental health and identifying the best ways to help. With this NWIACC grant, we will be better equipped to meet our students' mental health needs," shared Kevin Range, an Educational Counselor at Iowa Lakes Community College. 

This grant will provide Iowa Lakes students with access to mental health services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year through Talk Campus. Talk Campus is a mental health app that offers a way for students to obtain instant support in an anonymous, safe space. 

"Talk Campus allows students to receive mental health assistance with no wait time, no stigma, no judgments--just instant, ongoing support," explained Range.

Additionally, the grant will allow the college to contract with Synergy Therapy to provide online therapy sessions with a licensed therapist in Sioux City for both students and staff. The Synergy Therapy portal will be active 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with therapy sessions offered by appointment.

Grant funds will also be used to develop a marketing and awareness campaign to help students understand the impact COVID-related issues play in their daily lives and discover resources to deal with mental health concerns arising due to COVID-19. The awareness campaign will provide a foundation for understanding the effects of critical issues such as anxiety, stress, depression, and more on a student's daily life. 

In a survey conducted by Active Minds in April, 80 percent of college students reported COVID-19 had a negative effect on their mental health. One-fifth of the students surveyed said that their mental health has significantly worsened due to the pandemic.

Iowa Lakes recognizes that students' mental health impacts their study habits, success rates, family relationships, and their social life. In the 2019-20 academic year, educational counselors at Iowa Lakes conducted 84 total screenings dealing with alcohol abuse, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eating disorders, depression, and substance abuse. Because of COVID-19, Iowa Lakes has seen an increase in the need for mental health services.

By offering immediate access to mental health services, Iowa Lakes students will get the support they need when they need it wherever they are.

For More Information:

Julie Williams, Executive Dean of Students, at 712-362-7912 or jrwilliams@iowalakes.edu

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