Creating Cost-Effective Campus Mental Health Programs

The California Community Colleges (CCC) is the largest and most diverse higher education system in the U.S. with 113 campuses in 72 districts ranging from urban to rural to frontier. The system comprises 113 colleges, 57,500 faculty and staff, and 2.2 million students.
In 2012, when the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA) created funding for mental health service prevention and early intervention, the Chancellor’s Office issued a request for proposal from qualified organizations. The primary criterion for selection was a proven, scalable solution that would be accessible to reach everyone in the CCC system, regardless of geography and time constraints.

After a competitive application process, Kognito, the only company with mental health and suicide prevention simulations listed in the National Registry of Evidence-based Best Practices and Programs (NREPP), was awarded the three-year contract. In the inaugural year, the CCC Student Mental Health Program focused on three Kognito simulations; At-Risk for University and College Faculty & Staff, At-Risk for College Students, and Veterans on Campus for Faculty & Staff. Three additional simulations were added to the program in the second year, Veterans on Campus: Peer Program, LGBTQ on Campus for Faculty and Staff, and LGBTQ on Campus for Students. By the end of the initial contract term, 100 campuses participated, superseding the original goal of recruiting 50% of the colleges (56). As a result of Kognito’s success, the contract was renewed through 2017.

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