Ontario Supports Innovative Mental Health Projects at Postsecondary Institutions
TORONTO — The Ontario government is providing $2.39 million to help improve mental health supports and services for postsecondary students. The funding is part of Ontario’s Roadmap to Wellness and will support eight innovative projects at select colleges, universities and Indigenous Institutes.
“COVID-19 has been a difficult time for many of our college and university students. This pandemic has further underscored the need to invest in mental health services,” said Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “These new projects will help institutions build better services and partnerships for virtual and on-campus mental health supports – creating the best conditions possible for students to achieve their goals.”
The following projects include initiatives that will address the mental health impacts of COVID-19 and increase the availability of mental health supports for underserved black, Indigenous and Francophone students:
- Confederation College is receiving $263,920 to provide culturally informed mental health supports for Indigenous students that are reflective of the values and cultural practices of the Anishinaabe/Ojibwe people.
- Western University is receiving $365,000 to provide supports for black and Indigenous students struggling with mental health and wellbeing challenges, both pre-existing and those exacerbated by COVID-19.
- Centre Labelle is receiving $170,040 to increase availability of mental health services for underserved Francophone students with a focus on international and racialized students at Hearst University.
- Durham College is receiving $184,000 to provide a series of workshops, volunteer opportunities and information sessions to address social isolation and grief due to COVID-19.
- University of Ottawa is receiving $557,200 to support a physical-virtual peer support wellness lounge; a case management model for at-risk students; and a health and well-being literacy campaign aimed at vulnerable populations.
- St. Lawrence College is receiving $168,640 to provide mental health supports in on-campus residences, including after-hours and on weekends.
- Canadore College is receiving $375,621 to provide virtual and in-person counselling services and ensure mental health supports address the unique needs of their students.
- Get-A-Head, a private company, is receiving $300,000 to employ artificial intelligence to support the delivery of virtual mental health services at Humber College, Six Nations Polytechnic and University of Waterloo.
“With many of Ontario’s postsecondary students having been forced to adapt to new methods of learning, we know the COVID-19 pandemic has had an incredible impact on their mental health,” said Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “Since the release of Roadmap to Wellness, we have committed to making the necessary investments to close the existing gaps in care and expand the availability of mental health and addictions services for all of Ontario’s postsecondary students.”
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