In response to heightened concerns over students’ mental health and wellbeing and its effect on student outcomes, Trellis Foundation is pleased to announce the grantees selected for funding support and participation in a two-year Mental Health and Wellbeing Learning Community.

Cohort members:

  • Alamo Colleges
  • Amarillo College
  • Angelo State University
  • Austin Community College District
  • Paul Quinn College
  • Sam Houston State University
  • University of Houston-Downtown
  • University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
  • University of Texas System
  • Victoria College

“In attempting to address mental health concerns, we acknowledge the interconnectedness of students’ basic needs and mental health and wellbeing, and the role that mental health plays in ensuring students get to and through college,” Kristin Boyer, executive director of Trellis Foundation, said. “We are pleased to work with such an outstanding cohort of colleges and communities committed to meeting the holistic needs of their students, with a focus on the differentiated mental health needs of priority populations.”

Colleges will use a variety of programming approaches to strengthen supports for student mental health on college campuses, including teletherapy, peer-to-peer programming, and partnering with community mental health providers.

The Mental Health and Wellbeing Learning Community employs a grantmaking strategy as innovative as the grantee programs it will support. Cohort members will receive programmatic grants to grow their planned mental health services and supports. Grantees will be supported in their programmatic goals by individualized, targeted technical assistance from nationwide providers such as the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute, The Steve Fund, The Jed Foundation, and Active Minds. These personalized supports will be complemented by learning community activities, which will include intentional opportunities to connect across institutions and a cohort-wide curriculum of workshops covering best practices in postsecondary mental health programs and policies.

Over the next two years, as the learning community launches and develops, Trellis Foundation and the grant partners will share these learnings with the field to provide guidance and updates to institutions of higher education building similar strategies and programming in Texas and across the nation.

As the lead technical assistance provider and learning community intermediary, the Meadows Institute team will work closely with grantees, providing them with existing mental health resources and crafting key takeaways from the work as it develops. The Meadows Institute has convened learning communities across Texas on various topics related to mental health as part of its efforts to provide independent, nonpartisan, data-driven, and trusted policy and program guidance. The Institute’s work with the Trellis Foundation and the cohort grantees is part of its larger efforts to create equitable systems that allow all Texans to obtain effective, efficient behavioral health care when and where they need it.

The cohort will be further supported by nationwide providers and leaders in postsecondary mental health, including:

  • The Jed Foundation, which works to protect emotional health and prevent suicide for our nation’s teens and young adults. Their programming includes comprehensive campus assessments and training within an Equitable Implementation Framework;
  • Active Minds, a nonprofit organization that supports mental health awareness and education for young adults in more than 1,000 high schools and colleges, communities, and workplaces. Active Minds uses a racial equity lens, with programming including campus chapters, student-led institutional policy change, and workshops; and
  • The Steve Fund, which works to ensure that every student of color is fully supported by programs, services, and institutional cultures that value and promote their mental health and well-being. Their programming includes comprehensive campus change support as well as workshops and seminars for students, faculty and staff.

About Trellis Foundation

Trellis Foundation advances equitable educational opportunities in Texas by supporting postsecondary programs, practices and systems that reduce disparities and lead to success for low-income students and students of color. More information is available at www.trellisfoundation.org.