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Saint Louis University Awarded $100,000 Grant From Boniface Foundation in Support of Student Mental Health Initiatives

ST. LOUIS (October 10, 2022) — Saint Louis University announced today that it has been awarded a $100,000 grant from Boniface Foundation in support of student mental health initiatives at SLU.

“We are incredibly grateful for this gift from Boniface Foundation,” said Eric Anderson, assistant vice president for student well-being at Saint Louis University. “It will allow us to continue to expand our mental health services and education for our students, which is instrumental to their ability to flourish both here at SLU and after they graduate.”

Established in 2017, Boniface Foundation provides support for charitable and educational activities that promote individual and community health and well-being in the St. Louis metro area.

“We are thrilled to make this investment supporting Saint Louis University’s unwavering commitment to mental health,” said Win Reed, chairman of Boniface Foundation’s board of directors. “We appreciate SLU’s emphasis on caring for the whole person—body, mind and spirit—and its multi-pronged approach to student mental health. We believe these efforts will have a substantial effect on the well-being and success of its students.”

The grant will support various ongoing mental health initiatives at the University. These include providing additional counselors to assist SLU’s University Counseling Center during high-demand times such as during midterm and final exams, and expanding SLU’s mental health first-aid training (MHFA). Managed and operated by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing and the Missouri Department of Mental Health, MHFA trains faculty, staff and students to recognize the risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns and teaches strategies for how to help students in both crisis and non-crisis situations.

The grant also supports the updating of SLU’s WellSPACE – the acronym stands for Supporting and Promoting Artistic and Creative Expression—which is a physical space designed to provide students with an opportunity to decompress, engage the senses, assist in mood and affect regulation, inspire creativity, encourage movement and create community. The development of such spaces on campus is a priority of SLU’s strategy to strengthen its student well-being resources. In addition to the University’s current indoor WellSPACE, a therapeutic garden is in development.

“With the generous gift from Boniface Foundation, we have been able to design, implement and partner with innovative and collaborative student-centered therapeutic programs and approaches to mental health treatment that will not only facilitate access to support but will demonstrate our overall commitment and intentionality to enhance well-being related services,” said Knieba Jones-Johnson, director of SLU’s University Counseling Center. “We are beyond grateful for this invaluable contribution.”

Additionally, the grant will support SLU’s undergoing the four-year JED Campus program, a nationwide initiative of the Jed Foundation designed to guide schools through the development of systems, programs and policies that address student mental health, substance abuse and suicide prevention. The program provides schools with a framework for supporting student mental health, as well as assessment tools, feedback reports, a strategic plan and ongoing support from the JED higher education team.

Learn more about SLU becoming a JED Campus

About Saint Louis University

Founded in 1818, Saint Louis University is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious Catholic institutions. Rooted in Jesuit values and its pioneering history as the first university west of the Mississippi River, SLU offers nearly 13,000 students a rigorous, transformative education of the whole person. At the core of the University’s diverse community of scholars is SLU’s service-focused mission, which challenges and prepares students to make the world a better, more just place. For more information, visit