Bloomsburg University’s McDowell Institute Receives Gift from CMSU

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(left to right)-Danielle Empson, Bloomsburg University director, School-Based Behavior Health; Jen Jones, Care Management supervisor; Allison Wilson, Drug and Alcohol Prevention supervisor; Tim Knoster, Executive Director, Bloomsburg University McDowell Institute.

 The Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania McDowell Institute for Teacher Excellence in Positive Behavior Support received a $2,700 gift from the Columbia Montour Snyder Union (CMSU) Counties of Central Pennsylvania Service System to help increase mental health awareness for children.

The money was raised through a Green Out, a dress down day in participating schools in the four-county region to highlight children’s mental health awareness day on May 9.

“This is the first time the four counties came together to bring awareness to Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week,” said Jen Jones, CMSU Care Management supervisor and Systems of Care coordinator. “It was a rough year for our region with a number of student deaths by suicide, and as a community, we felt we needed to do something to bring everyone together. We chose to support the programming of the McDowell Institute because of the great work it is doing in support of youth mental health. This initiative wouldn’t have been as successful as it was without the collaboration of all the districts CMSU school-based prevention staff.”

The Executive Director of the McDowell Institute, Tim Knoster, says the donation will benefit the community.

“The CMSU donation will be used to support the mental health literacy and suicide prevention training we provide in the four-county region,” says Knoster. “I was pleasantly surprised when I received the call about the gift. We are all in this together, and anything we can do to accelerate further the impact  of the McDowell Institute to address the need for increased awareness of children’s mental health is a good thing.”

The McDowell Institute was established in 2012 at Bloomsburg University through the generosity of Susan W. McDowell to help aspiring and practicing educational professionals to develop strong ethical standards and skills to address non-academic barriers to learning while emphasizing promotion and prevention activities to enhance the social-emotional-behavioral wellness of all children. The Institute was founded as a direct result of Mrs. McDowell’s $2 million initial gift—the largest in the Bloomsburg University Foundation’s history at that time.

Information from Tom McGuire

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