UCSB To Receive $570K Federal Grant For Mental Health Services After Shooting

Congresswoman Lois Capps, announced that the U.S. Department of Education will award the University of California, Santa Barbara with a grant totaling almost $570,000. The grant funds will go towards the mental health services needed to aid and support the students and faculty of UCSB in the wake of shooting in the near-by community of Isla Vista.

“May 23 was a tragic day for the Isla Vista and UCSB communities. 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 continue to heal and as we all work together to make UCSB and Isla Vista better, safer places to live and study.

The grant funds are being provided by the U.S. Department of Education’s Project School Emergency Response to Violence (SERV) program, according to the press release.

UCSB will receive an immediate services grant, which is one of two offered by the Department. Immediate services grants are made available to school districts, colleges or universities in need of “emergency, short-term assistance.” Extended Services grants are also made available to school districts, colleges or universities with the intent to aid them in their “long-term recovery efforts that may be needed following a significant, traumatic event.”

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in the press release, “I am always saddened by any tragic event, but especially incidents that involve young people whose entire futures lie ahead of them. 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.”

On May 23, 2014, Elliot Rodger stabbed three people to death and fatally shot three more before turning the gun on himself in the Isla Vista community, which is only a half of a square mile from UCSB. All six victims in the incident were students of UCSB as were many other who were wounded by Rogers.

Since Isla Vista is so close to the school, many students live and socialize in the community and made it even harder to grapple with in the months since.

The deaths of six of their friends and peers has had a devastating impact on the remaining students and faculty of UCSB. The ensuing psychological trauma of the tragic students is ultimately what led the U.S. Department of Education to award the school with the Project Swerve grant.

In an email to The Huffington Post, senior associate dean of student life, Debbie Fleming, wrote “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 out Student Mental Health Coordination services.”

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