The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools has awarded Virginia Tech a $960,685 grant to assist with ongoing recovery efforts on campus, as well as to help develop a model for assessing and responding to at-risk behaviors in a higher education setting.
"In the wake of this horrible tragedy, the Virginia Tech community joined together to support and help each other," Secretary Spellings said. "With this grant, we want to make sure they have the continued support they need to recover, rebuild and prevent future acts of violence."
Virginia Tech's grant--"Assessing and Responding to At-Risk Behaviors in a Higher Education Setting: A Virginia Tech Demonstration project"--will be used, among other things, to:
- Establish a sustainable institutional infrastructure for identifying; assessing and responding to at-risk students, faculty and staff with appropriate mechanisms for mental health services and/or referrals
- Conduct an initial and follow-up needs assessment to determine mental health needs of staff and students
- Provide case management and services coordination for at-risk students, faculty and staff
- Provide education and outreach to the university community to identify and serve at-risk students, faculty and staff
- Engage in national discussions on assessing and responding to at-risk individuals in a higher education setting.
To support these goals, Virginia Tech will engage in a variety of activities over the proposed 18-month grant period. Some of the key activities include:
- Establishing a task force to review current institutional policies and procedures
- Identifying appropriate on- and off-campus mental health services
- Providing education on trauma recovery and threat assessment
- Distributing the findings on appropriate models for threat identification and assessment.
"The safety of students on a college campus is of utmost importance to parents, university officials, as well as to us," said Deborah Price, assistant deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools. "The grant will help Virginia Tech move beyond this tragic and horrific ordeal by raising awareness of warning signs and helping to prevent tragedies by implementing new policies and procedures, conducting additional assessments and providing mental health services to its campus community."