The Ontario government is providing nearly $750,000 to help increase access to mental health and addiction services for students at Brock University and Niagara College.
The funding will strengthen community partnerships, increase the number of mental health workers and programs, and immediately expand access for students to the provincial mental health and addictions system during COVID-19.
“We know many students are struggling and need these supports, especially in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Sam Oosterhoff, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Education and MPP for Niagara West. “This important funding will ensure students at Brock University and Niagara College have access to the supports they need to succeed in their academic journey.”
Oosterhoff was joined online to announce the supports Thursday, Feb. 25 by Hon. Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Gervan Fearon, President of Brock University, Sean Kennedy, President of Niagara College, Sarah Pennisi, Director of the Student Accessibility and Wellness Centre at Brock, and Lianne Gagnon, Director of Student Services at Niagara College.
The funding is part of a $26.25-million investment by the province for mental health supports for postsecondary students in 2020-21. It will support more services for students on-campus and virtually and can also be used to address the needs of vulnerable and diverse groups, such as Indigenous students, LGBTQ students and those with disabilities.
“We know that college and university can be a stressful time for our students and that the COVID-19 outbreak has only increased the impact on their mental health,” said Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “That is why we are investing more in mental health services to better meet student needs — creating the best conditions possible for students to achieve their goals.”
Providing mental health supports for postsecondary students is part of Ontario’s Roadmap to Wellness, the government’s plan to build a connected and comprehensive mental health and addiction system that ensures children, youth, and adults in Ontario receive appropriate services where and when they need them.
“Brock University is grateful for the province’s ongoing commitment to postsecondary students’ mental health,” said Fearon. “This funding has allowed Brock to increase our effectiveness and scope in delivering mental health supports for our students. The provision of a safe and supportive learning environment for our students is something we are proud of achieving which is reflected in Brock ranking first in the Maclean’s University Rankings for three-consecutive years for mental health student supports.”
- To ensure postsecondary students have access to the mental health services and supports they need, the government is providing Niagara College with $348,749 and Brock University with $401,020.
- In February 2021, the Ontario government announced an additional $7 million in funding to help increase access to mental health and addiction services for postsecondary students during COVID-19.
- The government’s total investment of $26.25 million for mental health supports for postsecondary students in 2020-21 represents an increase of $10.25 million over last year.