Donnelly College

Program Name:  Wellness for Life
Grant Type:  Garrett Lee Smith Campus
Grant Status:  Alumni
Year Awarded:  2013
State:  Kansas

Donnelly College's Wellness for Life project is a multi-faceted, comprehensive approach over three years to (1) create a climate of wellness for all its students and (2) to train 'gatekeeper' faculty and staff, as well as peer helpers, to identify and refer students with mental health problems and to assist them in seeking help. Additionally, Donnelly will (3) strengthen and formalize its networking infrastructure with area treatment and recovery support services, as well as other agencies/institutions dealing with mental health issues. The holistic approach of our project takes into account the fact that college-going years offer a real opportunity to impact mental health of students and eventual graduates throughout their lives.Donnelly students face some of the same mental health challenges as other college students, but they also have additional needs and challenges found in populations with high poverty levels, immigrant status, and poor educational backgrounds. Because of these needs, Donnelly intends to undertake a comprehensive approach to wellness, mental health promotion,and suicide prevention. Programmatic elements of the project include:

  • Enhancing the mental health staffing structure
  • Creating/obtaining educational materials on mental health and wellness that are appropriate for Donnelly's unique student body
  • Conducting open-enrollment seminars on wellness and mental health promotion
  • Training 75% of its part-time adjunct faculty to serve as gatekeepers in identifying mental health issues among their students
  • Training 95% of full-time faculty and staff to serve as gatekeepers
  • Training 35 student leaders each year to serve as gatekeepers; selected members of the student gatekeeper group will serve on a Student Advisory Committee for the project
  • Formalizing relationships between mental health care providers and Donnelly so that students have seamless access to mental health services, including instituting a Partner Advisory Council
  • Creating an emergency response line that will connect student callers with appropriate help both day and night
  • Creating a crisis response plan for the Donnelly campus.