Supporting the entire student to develop a balance between personal and academic growth is a top priority for Austin Community College District (ACC). The college recently expanded its work to support the mental health and well-being of our students.
On Thursday, February 9, ACC and the University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony honoring the opening of the new Amplify Center. Located at ACC Eastview Campus, the Center is a new mental health clinic for ACC students.
“Student success reaches beyond the classroom. It’s critical that colleges and universities understand that we must support students in every aspect of life,” says ACC Chancellor Dr. Richard Rhodes. “This collaboration between ACC's Clinical Counseling and Dell Medical School’s Center for Youth Mental Health programs builds a connection like never before. Together, we will help more students get access to critical mental health support to reduce stress and succeed in life.”
More than 100 people turned out to celebrate the grand opening of the Amplify Center. The Center is a pilot program designed to enhance early intervention efforts for young students who may be experiencing mental health challenges. Data show students in adolescence through young adulthood lack adequate mental health services.
“Young adulthood doesn’t fit well into our existing mental health care systems,” said Deborah Cohen, Ph.D., a Dell Medical School assistant professor and Amplify Center executive director. “Our current mental health system was created to support adults who are already living with chronic mental illness. A young adult usually can’t access those services unless they are in crisis or have a run-in with the police. We need better solutions for this age group than what’s currently in place,” said Cohen.
The Amplify Center is one of the first of its kind in the nation. In its first year, it will focus on mental health services for at least 200 ACC students ages 18-29.
To seek support, students are encouraged to submit a District Clinical Counseling Services Request form. The team continues to offer free services and programs across the district to help students foster life balance, develop personal and academic growth, and help maintain a safe and healthy learning environment. Any student in need of acute care will be referred to the Amplify Center for continued free care.
To learn more, visit the ACC’s Mental Health Counseling webpage.