As a member of the EMU faculty in the Department of Leadership and Counseling, I, Ron Flowers, have long been active in programming related to student well-being. The American Psychiatric Association (2018) has reported that many adolescents and young adults experience the onset of mental health issues and substance use problems or an exacerbation of their symptoms during this critical developmental stage. This became personal when my youngest son began experiencing significant mental health issues while he was in college. We lost Dan to his mental illness in the Fall of 2022.
This fund, established in memory of Dan, is to develop an interdisciplinary institute on the EMU campus to engage in research and develop mental health programming related to adolescent and young adult mental health. The institute’s focus will be to understand how the policies, practices, and cultures of colleges and universities can affect and support student mental health and well-being more broadly.