TALLAHASSEE, FL – Last week, the State University System of Florida was awarded the Excellence in Mental Health Literacy Award by Kognito for its outstanding leadership as a System that has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to supporting mental health across all 12 public institutions.
“We are grateful to Kognito for recognizing our universities as leaders in mental health literacy,” said Marshall M. Criser, III, chancellor of the State University System of Florida. “Over the last several years, universities have augmented their mental health offerings, including adding therapists and psychiatrists, as well as enhancements to the equipment, training, and systems in place to address mental health needs. The System is fully committed to prioritizing the health and wellness of our students.”
Student mental health has been a sharp focus of the Board of Governors for the last several years. In January 2018, then-Chair Ned Lautenbach established the Drugs, Alcohol, and Mental Health Task Force. The Task Force was charged with reviewing evidence to document the most critical drugs, alcohol, and mental health issues facing students in the SUS. It was also charged with identifying best practices to inform the development of System-wide recommendations for effectively addressing the most critical issues and determining the resources required to implement System-wide solutions.
Due to the work of the Task Force, institutions implemented the following solutions:
· A Healthy Campus 2020 initiative.
· Healthy lifestyle programs for students seeking a living environment focused on wellness.
· A comprehensive needs assessment for incoming freshman students.
· Amnesty policies to help alleviate fears students may have regarding disciplinary actions from the institution if they were to assist someone needing immediate medical attention.
· Mental health literacy training program for faculty and staff.
· Campus services with a focus on proactive and responsive mental health well-being.
Student success is the overarching goal of the Board of Governors and the SUS institutions. The System continues to be committed to implementing best practices to address student wellness, drug and alcohol use, and mental health.
About the State University System of Florida and the Board of Governors
The State University System of Florida is a constitutional body led by the 17-member Board of Governors. The system has 12 universities and more than 420,000 students, making it the second-largest public university system in the nation. Responsibilities include defining the distinctive mission of each institution and managing the system’s coordination and operation. The Board appoints a Chancellor who serves as the System’s chief executive. For more, visit flbog.edu or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Kognito is a health simulation company whose evidence-based simulations harness the power of role-play conversations with virtual humans to improve social, emotional, and physical health. Learn more at kognito.com.