Southern University received grant to expand mental health support for students
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) – It has been over a month since Arthur Miller lost his baby girl, and the pain is still unbearable.
“It wasn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination,” Arthur Miller said.
Arlana Miller died by suicide in May 2022. Miller was a freshman and former cheerleader at Southern University. In a detailed note posted on Instagram before his death, Miller detailed his mental health struggles.
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His unexpected passing has sparked new conversations about resources available to students on campus and in the community.
“I heard people come up to me and say, because of what your daughter said in the letter, I immediately went to talk to my son and my daughter,” Miller said.
The Transformational Partnerships Fund awarded Southern University and seven other historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) a special grant designed to improve mental health supports for students of color.
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Southern University will build a support system among other HBCUs across the country with a commitment to addressing issues such as anxiety, depression, and other forms of trauma.
“What Grant is looking to do is educate our communities, break down any taboos that might exist around help-seeking and assistance-seeking. Also, to make it as flexible and as practical as possible for students who feel they need support in this area,” said Dr. Carl Walton, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at Southern University.
Outside of the university, they believe everyone can play a role in making a difference.
“If we can find a safe place for our children, for our young people to talk, we have to be able to be willing to listen without judging what you hear without always finding the answers,” Miller said. .
Miller plans to start a foundation in her daughter’s honor where parents and children can have a safe space to talk about mental health.
The Suicide Nation Hotline is available 24/7 at 800-273-8255.
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