SUNY Chancellor visits SUNY Oneonta to discuss mental health initiatives


UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras was at SUNY Oneonta earlier today to see how the school was spending state and federal aid they’ve received for mental health.

“He had came to visit us to see the special projects we have been doing around mental health,” Alberto Jose Cardelle, President at SUNY Oneonta, said. “Which include various initiatives including hiring personnel mental health personnel that will be working directly with students.”

SUNY invested $24 million dollars in new mental health services, the largest investment in their history to provide services that cater to the various needs of students.

“Last year was a different type of mental health and wellness,” Malatras explained. “It was social isolation, it was ‘we’re living by ourselves’ that’s hard to do that. Now it’s the opposite we’re kind of getting thrown back together again and there’s an anxiety to that.”

COVID brought a new focus to the importance of students’ mental health, but SUNY Oneonta saw an increase in the demand for mental health services before the pandemic, Over the last five years the demand for services grew by 33%. Cardelle, who stepped into the role as the new president in early September has made mental health a priority. 

“And since COVID we have also seen an increase especially on some of the underserved populations,” Cardelle said. “For instance our Asian students, Asian American students have seen an increase because of a lot of the pressures put on them as a result.”

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