March 23, Kansas State University will host its third All In for K-State day of giving with the bold objective to increase access to mental health services for K-State students. During last year’s All In for K-State, more than $500,000 was raised in one day to help students save money on textbooks. This year, K-Staters and friends are invited to go All In for K-State to reduce the stigma of mental health and raise awareness of essential mental health resources at K-State. Funds raised will support K-State’s Counseling and Psychological Services and the Morrison Family Center for Student Well-being.
“There’s a strong connection between a student’s sense of well-being and their academic success,” said Thomas Lane, vice president for student life and dean of students. “If a student is struggling with mental or physical health, or financial or social well-being, that can negatively affect their academic success.”
One-quarter of all U.S. college students have seriously considered suicide, and K-State is no exception. Of K-State students surveyed during the spring 2020 semester and prior to the pandemic, 26% said they’d thought about killing themselves at some point. In that same survey, 16% of students said they’d made a plan or had attempted to kill themselves. Fifty-seven percent of students surveyed in spring 2020 said they’d felt hopeless sometime in the last 30 days.
“One of the hidden benefits of using therapeutic services in college is the long-term benefits it ends up having later in life,” said Dr. Kodee Walls, assistant director of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at K-State. “Just as you have an exercise routine for physical health, developing skills and habits around mental wellness ends up making you a more functional adult, a better professional, partner and family member when raising the next generation. Research suggests that when you get therapy at a younger age, you have a lower likelihood of developing more significant mental health issues later.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated mental health issues for many. Since 2019, K-State’s CAPS has seen a 27% increase in use of their services.
“We are thankful for the extraordinary generosity K-State alumni, family and friends have consistently demonstrated in their resolve to accomplish one philanthropic objective in one day. This year the K-State family has the opportunity to invest in life-transforming mental health resources for students,” said Greg Willems, president and CEO of the KSU Foundation. “This March 23, we invite all K-Staters to join our third All In for K-State day of giving. With the focus on students’ mental health resources, that generous K-State spirit has the power to save lives.”
With donors’ support, K-State can expand student access to critical mental health services, increase educational and outreach programs, reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues, and ultimately, help students flourish.