As exams and other pressures begin to intensify, Brock University is welcoming the return of additional resources to help students manage their mental health.
Thanks to funding from the Niagara Community Foundation’s David S. Howes Community Fund, counsellors from the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) will be assisting students with their personal, professional and academic mental health concerns in room ST 231 in the University’s James A. Gibson Library from Monday to Thursday, with drop-in sessions from 4 to 7 p.m.
Along with existing mental health resources in Student Health Services, Student Counselling Services and the 24-hour Good 2 Talk hotline, the additional CMHA resources will help to extend the hours of availability for students seeking mental health support and counselling between Oct. 21 and Dec. 19.
Sarah Pennisi, Director of Brock’s Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre, said the timing and location of the extra mental health supports is intentional.
“The program starts after the Fall Reading Week to align with the increasing stress of our students,” she said. “Having counsellors in the Library provides support to students in a place they are familiar with. We know through the Healthy Minds Study that about 50 per cent of the survey respondents stated that they experience significant mental health concerns.”
After first helping out at Brock following the 2019 Winter Reading Week, Tara McKendrick, Executive Director of CMHA Niagara, said counsellors from the organization are ready to hit the ground running.
“CMHA is excited to be back this fall to work together with the Brock Counselling staff to meet the mental health needs of the students here,” she said. “Feedback from the spring period was overwhelmingly positive and indicated our partnership is having an impact on the wellness of students by increasing accessibility and availability of support to address their concerns.”
With Brock recently being named No. 1 by Maclean’s magazine when it comes to providing mental health resources that help students cope with stress, Pennisi hopes the expanded service will continue to keep the University at the forefront when it comes to caring for students in need.
“We listen to our students and try to provide appropriate resources whenever they need them,” she said. “By working together with partners like the CMHA, we are helping more students than ever and normalizing the conversation around mental health.”