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Penn State seniors put class gift funds toward mental health

The Associated Press

STATE COLLEGE — Pennsylvania State University’s senior class will donate its class gift funds to an endowment to support campus mental health services.

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Student leaders tell The Philadelphia Inquirer the gift could reach $250,000. They believe the decision indicates a growing awareness of the need for mental health treatment.

The vote was personal for senior Ramon Guzman Jr., who leads the senior class gift campaign. He sought help after a suicide attempt freshman year.

The 20-year-old Philadelphia native says he is “overwhelmed” that classmates are supporting the cause.

Dennis Heitzmann, senior director of the school’s Counseling and Psychological Services, believes the students were influenced by recent publicity about campus suicides.

Heitzmann says the funds will go toward an endowment to support more clinical services.