An anonymous donor has stepped forward to boost support for the mental health of Brock students — and the University community has the opportunity to double that impact.
Brock has received a financial commitment that allowed for the creation of a new fund to strengthen mental health resources available to students when they return from the upcoming Fall Reading Week.
Thanks to the gift from the anonymous donor, any funds raised by the Brock community to support the Student Mental Health fund will be matched up to $50,000.
The mid-term break, from Oct. 13 to 16, is meant to alleviate stress and encourage students to re-energize during a busy time on the school calendar. The new fund will enhance mental health supports available to students when they return to their studies.
Sonia Dupte, Brock’s Director of Development and Stewardship, hopes the University community will recognize the importance of the initiative.
“We need their help to support the emerging needs of our students and to ensure they receive the services required to maintain their studies and their mental health,” she said. “As the stigma of accessing resources decreases, we need to meet increasing demands and ensure we invest in the capacity to build a system of support that is in need of essential funds.”
Dupte said donations will increase accessibility and shorten wait times for students seeking mental health resources, but will also demonstrate the lasting connection between alumni and current students.
“Collaborating with Brock and community partners ensures the well-being of our students on campus and in the Niagara region,” she said. “Support for mental health can increase the active engagement of students, reduce the stigma of accessing mental health assistance and increase training for practitioners.”
Sarah Pennisi, Director of Brock’s Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre, said the additional funding will strengthen supports for students that have already seen Brock ranked first in mental health services for two consecutive years by Maclean’s magazine.
“We are committed to providing all of the resources our students need to maintain their mental health,” she said. “These new funds will allow our teams to enhance their online efforts and outreach while ensuring Brock remains a caring, student-centred campus where everyone feels supported.”
In addition to the Maclean’s ranking, Brock has also demonstrated its commitment to mental health resources through its strategic plan, which outlines a commitment to offer a transformational and accessible academic and university experience.
“We are committed to responding to student mental health needs as they emerge, and to being proactive and building students’ resilience and strengths while they are here with us at the University,” said Pennisi.
To donate to Student Mental Health at Brock University, visit brocku.ca/donate and select Student Mental Health as the designation of your gift.