Student mental health supports enhanced through generous donation

The mental well-being of Brock students continues to be top of mind for the Niagara Community Foundation.

The organization’s most recent donation of $40,000 has helped the University to enhance its mental health resources for students, while also reaffirming the Foundation’s long-standing collaboration with Brock in support of student mental health and well-being.

The generous donation was facilitated through the Foundation’s David S. Howes Community Fund, which supports post-secondary institutions, facilities, research, health-care services, education and humanitarian issues throughout Niagara.

The funding primarily helped to implement Brock’s My Student Support Program App (My SSP), which has been used by more than 180 students since its launch in December. The app offers real-time, 24-7 confidential phone and text chat counselling support for Brock students.

“We are so grateful for the support we received from the Niagara Community Foundation to launch My SSP,” said Sarah Pennisi, Director of Brock’s Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre (SWAC). “We knew there was a need for 24-7 phone or text access to mental health services because about 40 per cent of calls for counselling supports at Brock happen after business hours. The Foundation’s support means that students have access to high quality mental health supports at any time and any place.”

Niagara Community Foundation’s focus on wellness aligns with the University’s commitment to supporting students’ mental health and well-being. For the third consecutive year, Brock is ranked first among all comprehensive universities in Canada for mental health supports for students in the annual Maclean’s University Rankings.

The Foundation’s long-standing relationship with Brock and support of student wellness has enabled the University to create new opportunities for students to focus on their mental health. Notably, the Foundation partnered with Brock on an earlier initiative supporting student access to counselling services related to their personal, professional and academic concerns.

“The Niagara Community Foundation’s commitment to supporting Brock students’ mental health is inspiring,” said Sonia Dupte, Director, Development and Stewardship, Advancement and External Relations. “Without the generosity from our partners, we would not be able to provide our students with the necessary resources to support their wellness. This gift came at the perfect time as we navigated how to continue to support our students in a virtual environment.”

My SSP can be downloaded by all Brock students on the App Store and Google Play, where students should search for ‘Brock University Student Counselling Program’ when creating their profile.

To learn more about the mental health resources available at Brock, visit or

To support Brock students’ mental health and wellness resources and supports, go to and select ‘Student Mental Health’ to donate.

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