When Brock University students return to campus next month, they will be met with enhanced mental health resources bolstered by a generous community gift.
The Children’s Educational Foundation of Canada (CEFOC) has contributed more than $387,000 to the University in support of student mental health. The funding will enhance supports and services, and increase the magnitude in which Brock is able to deliver them to students.
For four consecutive years, Maclean’s magazine has ranked Brock first among all comprehensive universities in Canada for mental health supports for students. The University relies on generous donations such as this one to assist in maintaining that high standard.
“Brock’s success is built on the foundation of constant feedback from students,” said Sarah Pennisi, Director of Brock’s Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre. “Students let us know what works best to meet their mental health needs, and donations such as the one from CEFOC mean that we can respond to students’ feedback with the supports and services they need.”
CEFOC’s gift will allow the University to increase access to mental health supports by delivering flexible and innovative services. Brock students will benefit from increased personal counselling services and access to 24-7 support through the My SSP mobile app, as well as from suicide prevention training and capacity building for Brock partners and staff.
Also made possible through the funding was the creation of a quiet room on the fourth floor of the Schmon Tower for students facing mental health challenges. The room is intended as a safe, calming space for students who find themselves in distress when accessing academic accommodations or personal counselling services.
Sonia Dupte, Executive Director, Development and Campaigns, said the gap between the unrelenting demand for wellness and mental health resources and available funding to provide these essential resources continues to widen.
“We are fortunate that the Children’s Educational Foundation of Canada, in being a great partner to Brock University, recognized and supported a crucial aspect of educational success for our students, which has increased and expedited mental health services,” she said.
This isn’t the first time CEFOC has made a donation to Brock with the University’s students in mind. In 2018, the Foundation made a significant gift that allowed for the transformation of the fifth floor of the James A. Gibson Library into an innovative space — known as the Children’s Educational Foundation of Canada Commons — that is designed to inspire creative and collaborative activity.
Both the library space and the plethora of mental health resources made possible by CEFOC will act as an ongoing reminder to students of the strong community partner that has repeatedly stepped up to support their needs.
Additional information about Brock University’s student mental health resources can be found on the SWAC website.