Ontario Increases Mental Health Funding to Support Students at Nipissing University and Canadore CollegeFebruary 17, 2021
Funding will be used to expand access to critical services during COVID-19
NORTH BAY – Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli is pleased to announce that the Ontario government is providing a total of $647,758 to help increase access to mental health and addiction services for students at Nipissing University and Canadore 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 that college and university can be a stressful time for our students and that the pandemic has only increased the impact on their mental health,” said MPP Fedeli. “That is why we are investing more in mental health services locally, to better meet student needs by creating the best conditions possible for students to achieve their goals.”
“Nipissing University would like to thank the Ontario government for this important investment in our student’s success, particularly as our students are experiencing a greater need for these supports during these especially challenging and stressful times as a result of COVID-19,” said Cheryl Sutton, Interim President and Vice-Chancellor of Nipissing University. “This essential funding will allow us to expand our student mental health services and supports, including the enhancement of additional virtual options to ensure we are keeping our student’s success at the heart of everything we do. As an undergraduate institution, Nipissing is ranked by Macleans as one of the top three institutions in Canada for mental health support for our students and we recognize mental health as an important pillar to ensure students are able to reach their academic and life goals.”
“Canadore College made the holistic health of our students a priority many years ago. The College welcomes this Ontario investment in mental health and addiction services as it supports our newly launched Student Mental Health and Well-being Strategy,” said George Burton, President and CEO of Canadore College. “This funding will help the College improve the support we provide for our students to cope with the usual stresses and anxieties that come with college life, as well as the additional challenges with COVID-19.”
This funding is part of the province’s total investment of $26.25 million 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 students with disabilities.
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.
- To ensure postsecondary students have access to the mental health services and supports they need, the government is providing Nipissing University with $326,388 and Canadore College with $321,370.
- Over the last several years the mental health needs of postsecondary students have increased dramatically in Ontario. According to the last National College Health Assessment survey of the Canadian student population (2019):
- 52 per cent of students reported feeling depressed, compared to 46 per cent in 2016.
- 69 per cent experienced anxiety.
- 12 per cent of Canada’s students had considered suicide, compared to 14 per cent in 2016.
- 2.8 per cent of students reported having attempted suicide.
- In October 2020, the Ontario government announced $19.25 million in mental health supports for postsecondary students.
- 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.
- The funding supports a variety of initiatives, including Good2Talk/Allo j’écoute, Ontario’s bilingual mental health helpline which provides professional counselling and information and referrals to all students via telephone, text and live chat (new this year). It is available to all postsecondary students 24/7, 365 days a year.