Ontario Increases Mental Health Funding to Support Students at Fleming College and Trent University
Funding will be used to expand access to critical services during COVID-19
Peterborough-Kawartha (February 26, 2021) – The Ontario government is providing a total of $ 695,894 to help increase access to mental health and addiction services for students at Fleming College and Trent University. 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.
“There is no denying the added stresses the COVID-19 pandemic has presented to many post-secondary students in Peterborough-Kawartha, and throughout the Province. Having to pivot to learning almost exclusively online, and the difficulties that can arise when learning from home has been a challenge for student’s mental well-being. Despite this, I have been continuously impressed by both Trent University and Fleming College’s supports available to students. That is why I am thrilled to see this additional investment coming from the Province, so we can continue to address student’s well-being and ultimately help them achieve their goals.”-Peterborough-Kawartha MPP, Dave Smith
“We know that postsecondary education can be a difficult time for students and the COVID-19 outbreak has only increased the pressure on students’ mental health. It is vital to create the right conditions to help students access supports and succeed in postsecondary education. This investment will help strengthen community partnerships, increase the number of mental health workers and programs, and immediately expand and increase access to mental health and addictions services for postsecondary students during COVID-19. We will continue to work with our postsecondary institutions to ensure that students are receiving the mental health supports they need.”- Northumberland-Peterborough South MPP, David Piccini
“Increasing access to mental health supports for students is more important than ever,” said Laurie Scott, MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock. “This additional funding will directly impact students attending both the Haliburton and Lindsay Sir Sandford Fleming College campuses and support a learning environment that helps students succeed in education and life.”- The Honourable Laurie Scott, Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure and MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock
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.
“Mental health support for students is a key priority for Trent University. Through one-on-one therapeutic support, and a range of supports to match diverse student needs, we strive to connect students with access to services and resources as quickly as possible. This new funding has allowed the University to increase mental health supports for students at our campuses in both Peterborough and Durham, as well as enhance our training and resources for faculty and staff to ensure we recognize and support students who may be struggling. Particularly in this year when the COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges and heightened anxieties, Trent applauds the Province’s commitment to investing in mental health supports for postsecondary students.”- Dr. Leo Groarke, Trent University President
“Students continue to face extreme challenges, and the pandemic has heightened the stress and anxiety that many of our students face,” said Fleming College President Maureen Adamson. “We are tremendously grateful to Minister Scott, MPP Smith and MPP Piccini for their generosity. This funding will empower us to enhance our supports for mental health and addictions, and address the needs of vulnerable and diverse groups, both on-campus and virtually.”- Maureen Adamson, Fleming College President
- To ensure postsecondary students have access to the mental health services and supports they need, the government is providing Sir Sandford Fleming College with $336,826 and Trent University with $359,068.
- 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.
Dave Smith Action Centre
1123 Water St. Peterborough ON K9H 3P7