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Beach Well promotes mental wellness among students

Long Beach State recently launched the Beach Well plan, which will expand mental health resources on campus and better anticipate the needs of students who struggle coming forward for help.

The Beach Well: Mental Health Strategic Plan is aimed to support students before their struggles become urgent. One of the benefits of this program is a mobile crisis team of social workers that would respond to community concerns on behalf of uniformed police officers.

The university mental health program will also focus on prioritizing the mental health of students with the support of faculty members, individual counseling, therapy groups and case managers. Beach Well will offer training opportunities for faculty and staff in areas such as suicide prevention and first-aid crisis response.

“The plan strives to mobilize campus and community resources to anticipate the challenges students will face and reach out to them proactively, early and often,” Damian Zavala said, vice president of health and wellness.

Leading mental health issues in LBSU students are anxiety and depression, according to data gathered by the American College Health Association, with 22% of students experiencing anxiety and 18% experiencing depression. One in five Americans experience a mental health-related illness each year, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control in 2021.

Part of the school’s plan is to create more physical spaces where students are comfortable discussing sensitive topics with counselors. These spaces would be located near the Student Health Center by 2030.

The Beach Well plan provides a crisis line operated by confidential counselors available 24 hours, seven days a week for students, faculty, staff or anyone who is acting in support of students. Individuals can text BEACH to 741741 or visit the crisis text line website for help.

“By 2025, it is expected that the plan can create a strong foundation on which CSULB can build a campus-wide culture that addresses the mental health needs of students, faculty, and staff,” Zavala said.

Zavala added the university’s objective is to introduce a mental wellness program that is “proactive, preventative, and de-stigmatizes asking for help.”

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