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Edmonds College Foundation awarded $170K grant from Verdant to expand mental health services


The Edmonds College Foundation was recently awarded $170,000 by the Verdant Health Commission to expand its mental health services for students. The grant will fund two additional counseling positions in the college’s Counseling and Resource Center (CRC) for the 2021-2022 academic year, with an additional two annual renewals.

“Mental health concerns are one of the leading indicators in a student’s academic performance and college completion, and the CRC works to accommodate the needs of our students,” said EC President Dr. Amit B. Singh. “Verdant Health has been an excellent partner and funder in our community, and we are very grateful for their continued support. This grant will allow us to care for more students by improving their health and wellbeing while also supporting them in their academic journey.”

Mental health concerns continue to be prevalent across campuses nationwide, and EC is no exception to the significant demand for counseling services over the last several years. The CRC Mental Health Expansion Project will provide expanded counseling services to EC students, increase capacity, reduce or eliminate waitlists, and serve more students in a timely, responsive manner. 

“Verdant is proud to partner with the Edmonds College Foundation to support the expansion of behavioral health services at the College’s Counseling and Resource Center,” Verdant Superintendent Lisa Edwards said. “It is so critical that students have access to counseling support when they need it, and this grant will increase staffing to reduce or eliminate the waitlist and get students mental health support in a timely manner.”

Due to this generous grant, EC will be able to increase appointments to about 4,100 per year, as compared to  2,067 appointments attended by students in 2018-2019, and services will continue to be free, accessible, and social justice oriented mental and behavioral health counseling.

"The CRC  provides counseling/behavioral health for all types of mental health and wellness concerns,” said CRC Assistant Director Diana Chernisky. “Top concerns are related to trauma, stress, depression, and anxiety, though we've also worked with students experiencing co-occurring and/or pervasive mental health concerns.

“In addition, our staff responds to students in distress and in managing crisis situations. The financial support from Verdant will allow us to expand the number of students being able to meet with a counselor and get the help that they need, given that we expect an increase in students seeking services from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The CRC Mental Health Expansion Project will serve a very diverse student population, most of whom live in the South Snohomish County service area. EC’s student population includes a high ratio of students of BIPOC, LGBTQ plus, veterans, international students, immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. The CRC also serves students of all ages and abilities and students who were unable to graduate from high school and need help with highschool completion as well college completion, first generation students, Running Start students, and students who are from lower income families and have housing and financial instability.

For more information about the CRC, go to edmonds.edu/counseling.

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Laura Daniali