The Ontario government is providing a total of $729,389 to help increase access to mental health and addiction services for students enrolled at the various campuses of St. Clair College and the University of Windsor. 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.
"Mental health has now become an everyday topic as we slowly work to de-stigmatize these conversations," said Rick Nicholls, MPP for Chatham-Kent-Leamington. "This funding will further help those in need and is especially useful in the high-stress environments of post-secondary schools."
This funding is part of the province’s total investment of $26.25 million for mental health supports for post-secondary 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.
"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 post-secondary 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.
"We are extremely grateful for the provincial government's enhanced support of the mental health services which we provide to our students," said St. Clair College President Patti France. "The incidence of debilitating stress and depression affecting young people has been escalating almost annually, and it has unfortunately been exacerbated by the pandemic. We plan to significantly expand our support services to students with this new provincial funding."