Prioritizing mental health on campus

By AACC 21st Century Center Staff

A new center at Brookdale Community College will focus on mental health, wellness and social justice.

The Caroline Huber Holistic Wellness Center will open on campus this year. The two-story space will include a reflection room for meditation, a food pantry, a dedicated office space for a Monmouth County social worker and offices for community partners. Additionally, a courtyard will provide a peaceful Zen area.

Holistic health programming is being planned and there will be opportunities for those who need clinical-based mental health services to get assistance.

It’s all in line with the wishes of Caroline Huber, whose bequest has propelled the wellness center forward. A recent state allocation of $550,000 also will support the center.

“New Jersey is wrestling with a growing demand for mental health care, and Brookdale’s Wellness Center is poised to offer a comprehensive array of services and programs that will help address that urgent need,” said State Senator Vin Gopal, who championed the effort for state funding.

A reveal ceremony was held in May with more than 150 friends and wellness center partners from across the community who viewed the artist renderings for the center and met the newly appointed director, Dinneen Jackson. 

Jackson’s expectations for the wellness center mirror the mission of the center: To connect students, employees and community members to campus resources and local partners that will support basic needs, enhance individual and community wellness and promote social justice.  

During the ceremony, Huber’s son, Sam Huber, spoke about his mother and her connection to Brookdale.

“My mother knew she wanted to support Brookdale because she always loved Brookdale, she taught at Brookdale, had taken classes at Brookdale, and has watched it grow over the years,” he said. “She understood there were many parts to wellness and community. She always said, ‘so you are doing great work, tell me who your partners are.’” 

How is your college prioritizing mental health? Sound off at LinkedIn.

AACC 21st Century Center Staff

is a contributor to the 21st-Century Center.