U.Md. Receives $5 Million Donation to Improve Mental Health Services

By Erika Gonzalez
|  Wednesday, Apr 3, 2013  |  Updated 9:57 AM EDT
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In the wake of a murder-suicide just off campus, a large donation to the University of Maryland will help the school improve its mental health services.

Erika Gonzalez

In the wake of a murder-suicide just off campus, a large donation to the University of Maryland will help the school improve its mental health services.

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Less than two months after a murder-suicide just off campus, the University of Maryland will use a large donation to improve its mental health services.

The school announced Tuesday that it has received a corporate gift of $5 million -- $500,000 per year for the next 10 years. While the money could have been used for anything, university leaders say they decided to improve the school's Mental Health Services department and counseling center.

"We've seen increased demand for mental health services, and so we just want to be able to meet that demand," said Vice President for Student Affairs Linda Clement.

On Feb. 12, graduate student Dayvon Maurice Green, 23, fatally shot one of his housemates and wounded another before turning the gun on himself.

Undergraduate Stephen Alex Rane, 22, of Silver Spring, died at a local hospital after the shooting. The surviving housemate, also an undergraduate, underwent surgery for non-life-threatening injuries.

Green's family told police he suffered from a mental illness and had been prescribed medication at least a year before the shooting.

At a vigil on that night, University President Dr. Wallace Loh told the gathered crowd, "There are lessons to be learned, policy questions to be discussed and changes to be made."

Student Government Association President Sam Zwerling said Tuesday that the millions in funding couldn't come at a better time.

"In the counseling center, there can be up to a month wait for students, which is a really long time," she said.

Selena Roper knows that all too well.

She said she's been struggling with depression and anxiety, and had wanted to see a counselor last month -- but still has no appointment.

"Suicide happens way too much, and way too often, it's just a sad story on page three," Roper said. "I'm really happy that this has gotten the kind of response that it has."

In addition, police will be extending their jurisdiction to a number of communities, including the neighborhood where February's shooting occurred.

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