WITZ RADIO NEWS IS AN AFFILIATE OF NETWORK INDIANA
BLOOMINGTON -- Indiana University has earmarked a million-dollar emergency fund to help minority students cope with the financial and emotional strain of the coronavirus.
Associate vice president Lemuel Watson says the pandemic lockdowns have been stressful for everyone, but the virus has hit minorities especially hard. Adding the racial tension since the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police means a lot of mental stress in a community that's historically warier about seeking help. Mental health counseling still carries a stigma with many people of all races who view it as a sign of weakness, and Watson says that's often compounded when minorities find no counselors who share their background.
The Pandemic Health Disparities Fund will help IU campuses hire more African-American and Hispanic counselors. The university will be conducting outreach with minority students to make sure they know those resources are available.
Students can also apply for money from the fund to help with food, housing, computers and textbooks.