Georgia Tech puts $1 million toward mental health counseling services

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Georgia Tech puts $1 million toward mental health counseling services

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Steve Schaefer
A small group of people gather at a memorial for Georgia Tech student Scout Schultz Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, in Atlanta. Schultz, an engineering student at Georgia Tech, was shot by Georgia Tech campus police after telling officers to shoot. STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC

Georgia Tech, which has been criticized by some students in recent days for not having enough mental health services, announced Wednesday it will have an additional $1 million for such efforts.

Tech’s student government association is contributing $500,000 for mental health initiatives. President G.P. “Bud” Peterson said he’s contributing a matching $500,000 from campus funds.

The combined $1 million will be disbursed based upon proposals and recommendations submitted to various campus organizations, Tech officials said.

“We will be able to do a lot of good with this,” undergraduate student government president Sujay Peramanu said in a statement. “Student groups that have ideas about how to make improvements will be able to get the support to make it happen.”

A police officer is under investigation in the deadly shooting of a Georgia Tech student.

Campus mental health services and counseling have been in the spotlight since this month’s shooting by a university police officer of engineering student Scout Schultz. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting.

Schultz, president of the Georgia Tech Pride Alliance, attempted suicide two years ago, the student’s mother said. Georgia Tech has declined to discuss whether it provided any counseling services for Schultz, citing federal privacy laws.

One student group, the Georgia Tech Progressive Student Alliance, announced plans after the shooting to hold a rally next week demanding better mental health services and other proposed campus improvements. Matt Wolfsen, a student leader in the alliance, said Wednesday it’s supportive of Tech’s efforts, but said some alliance members wonder if some of the funds should go to student groups at all.

Peterson announced Saturday that a $1 million endowment has been created for campus mental health services. He said Wednesday that a 16 session limit on the number of visits students can make to the campus counseling center will be temporary lifted to allow its Mental Health Action Team time to conduct a more thorough review of student needs.

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