$93,000 grant boosts Counselor-in-Residence program

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$93,000 grant boosts Counselor-in-Residence program

Nebraska's Counselor-in-Residence Program received a $93,000 grant from Women Investing in Nebraska on Oct. 16. Pictured at the event (from left) is Candy Henning, Ann Bruntz, Connie Boehm, Vanessa Neuhaus, Jake Johnson, Laurie Bellows, Tricia Besett-Alesch, Susan Rosenlof and Linda Hoegemeyer.
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Nebraska's Counselor-in-Residence Program received a $93,000 grant from Women Investing in Nebraska on Oct. 16. Pictured at the event (from left) are Candy Henning, Ann Bruntz, Connie Boehm, Vanessa Neuhaus, Jake Johnson, Laurie Bellows, Tricia Besett-Alesch, Susan Rosenlof and Linda Hoegemeyer.

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln's new Counselor-in-Residence program has received a $93,000 grant from Women Investing in Nebraska.

The program, a partnership between Student Affairs, University Housing, Counseling and Psychological Services and the College of Education and Human Sciences, has embedded a counselor within Nebraska's Abel and Sandoz residence halls since August.

“Co-locating mental health counselors in spaces where students naturally gather makes sense,” said Laurie Bellows, interim vice chancellor for student affairs. “It not only provides students immediate access to services, but also reduces potential barriers for students who otherwise might not seek help."

Counselors within the halls will work closely with CAPS and Residence Life staff to bring convenient, accessible mental health resources to students.

“We hear from students that physically going to Counseling and Psychological Services can be a barrier, so having this resource in the residence hall hopefully eliminates one of the barriers to accessing mental health support,” said Tony Rathgeber, interim associate director for residence life.

WIN operates in partnership with the University of Nebraska Foundation to support women philanthropists. Each year, contributions from members of the group are pooled and divided equally between a University of Nebraska program or organization and a Nebraska nonprofit organization.

The grants were announced during the organization's annual awards celebration in Lincoln on Oct. 16. Bellows says she's excited to see the grant's positive impact on students as the program moves forward.

“The funding provided through the Women Investing in Nebraska grant allows us to expand the program by placing additional counselors in at least two residence halls. We believe this grant will ultimately impact student retention at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln," Bellows said. "Students who are supported in their health and well-being are more likely to persist and complete their education. That's a goal we want all our students to achieve."

WIN also awarded a grant of the same amount to the Nebraska Children’s Home Society to help expand its support network for grandparents who are raising their grandchildren.

With these grants, the 190-member organization has now awarded a total of more than $1.2 million since 2012 to benefit both the University of Nebraska and Nebraska community projects.