Washington, DC - The U.S. Department of Education today announced a nearly $570,000 grant to the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) to assist with ongoing mental health services following a shooting near the campus in May 2014. The immediate services grant, which is being made through the Department's Project School Emergency Response to Violence (SERV) program and administered by the Office of Safe and Healthy Students, will provide mental health support to the campus.
The Department makes two types of Project SERV awards—Immediate Services and Extended Services. Immediate Services grants provide emergency, short-term assistance to affected school districts or colleges and universities. Extended Services grants assist school districts and colleges and universities in carrying out the long-term recovery efforts that may be needed following a significant, traumatic event.
"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."
The UCSB campus community was rocked when six students were killed and others seriously injured during a mass shooting in the campus-adjacent community of Isla Vista. UCSB students make up approximately half of the 23,000 residents of the community of Isla Vista. As a result of this incident, many students, faculty and staff have and continue to experience both acute and ongoing psychological problems. The Project SERV 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, a counseling psychologist for staff and faculty through its Employee Assistance Program, two additional counseling psychologists and an additional social worker. These additional staff will help to meet the increased demand for services and the need for a higher level of response to crisis cases.
The Department's Office of Safe and Healthy Students has awarded more than $42 million through 125 grants, including UCSB, since the program began in 2001. For more information about the Project SERV program, visit: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/dvppserv/index.html.