DOVER, Del. – Delaware State University has been awarded a $217,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education primarily in support of two mental health initiative.

The funding will support dual initiatives to establish 1.) a Mental Health First Aid Education Program at Delaware State University, and 2.) Campus Mobile Crisis Response Team.

The Mental Health First Aid Education Program will be provided to students, faculty and staff in an earnest effort to provide training that will affect a culture change with respect perspectives on mental health as well as provide the campus with increased resources to help the student population impacted by any type of trauma.

The Campus Mobile Crisis Response Team will utilize current University employees who are skilled in social work and counseling to assist University police in managing traumatic events and providing a presence at campus events and academic environment setting. The CMCR Team provide police with addition help in addressing the needs of student and other campus community members in the wake of traumatic incidents.

The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Education Project School Emergency Response to Violence (Project SERV) to four Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) that were disrupted by bomb threats last year.

In addition to Delaware State University, other HBCU recipients include Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas; Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina; and Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Project SERV provides short-term funding for local educational agencies and institutions of higher education that have experienced a violent or traumatic incident to assist in restoring a safe environment conducive to learning. The Department expects additional grants to be awarded in the coming weeks and continues to work with additional impacted HBCUs to support them in the grant application process and expedite the processing of applications once received.

“The bomb threats last year that targeted several Historically Black Colleges and Universities traumatized their campus communities, disrupted learning, and drained resources by prompting

costly campus lockdowns, class cancellations, and law enforcement activities,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “The Biden-Harris administration will always stand by HBCUs and unequivocally condemn racist efforts to terrorize Black students and educators and deprive them of their right to safe, welcoming, and nurturing environments for teaching and learning. The Project SERV grants announced today will help four HBCUs directly impacted by these bomb threats to better serve students, faculty, and staff by increasing access to mental health and wellness services and improving other vital supports.”

Cleon Cauley, the Chief Operating Officer of Delaware State University, said Delaware State University is profoundly grateful to the U.S. Department of Education for their unwavering support through the Project SERV grant.

“This grant exemplifies the government’s commitment to promoting educational excellence and ensuring that historically black colleges and universities thrive,” Mr. Cauley said. “With their generous assistance, we are able to enhance the safety and well-being of our campus, address critical needs and ensure a secure learning environment for our students, faculty, and staff.”

The University initiatives funded by Project SERV will further support Delaware State University’s Safe Space Program.

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