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Strengthening Mental Health Supports for Postsecondary Students


Strengthening Mental Health Supports for Postsecondary Students

Ontario is investing $27 million over three years to provide new services and supports to postsecondary students at Ontario's colleges and universities. The funding is part of Ontario's comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy.

The following projects have been approved under the second call for proposals:

Brock University -- More Feet on the Ground

Project partners: Niagara College, Niagara Regional Campus of McMaster University's Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, CMHA Niagara and Pathstone Mental Health

The university will develop online training to provide information and tips to help identify and prevent mental health and addictions issues of postsecondary students. Brock will also work with its partners to provide drop-in group sessions that focus on mental health and addictions issues experienced by students, while also offering peer support.

Funding: $197,048 over two years


Canadore College -- Ojibwe and Cree Language Mental Health First Aid

Project partners: North Bay Indian Friendship Centre, Community Counselling Centre of Nipissing, Right Path Counselling & Prevention Services, Lawrence Commanda Health Centre, North Bay Regional Health Centre, North East Mental Health Centre, Apitisawin Employment and Training, Seven Generations Educational Institute, First Nations Technical Institute, Nbissing Secondary School, Aboriginal Education Institute and Canadore Aboriginal Education Circle

In partnership with Aboriginal, medical and community organizations, Canadore will develop and deliver a Mental Health First Aid Train-the-Trainer program in the Ojibwe and Cree languages.  Existing programs will be adapted to be culturally appropriate for Aboriginal communities in Ontario.

Funding: $226,100 over two years


Carleton University - Carleton University Student Mental Health Initiative

Project Partners:  the University Of Ottawa and the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board

Carleton University will work with local school boards to identify at-risk students and students who have individual education plans and are transitioning to university. Once in university, these students will be referred for at least 12 weekly one-on-one sessions with a co-ordinator who will provide learning strategies and counselling. 

Funding: $640,000 over two years


Conestoga College -- New Mental Health Screening Tool and Mindfulness Based Supports for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Project partners: University of Waterloo, York University, Autism Spectrum Disorders Treatment and Care Research Chair and Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health

The project will be used to develop, pilot and evaluate an approach for engaging, screening, and supporting postsecondary students with Autism Spectrum Disorder who may be experiencing the early onset of mental health issues. The results and tools will be evaluated and shared with other postsecondary institutions to support their students.

Funding: $122,000 over two years

Georgian College -- Extending the Circle of Care: A Case Management Approach to Postsecondary Student Mental Health Services

Project Partners: Centennial College and OISE 

This project will develop best practices for delivering mental health services through a case management model at both Georgian and Centennial Colleges. The project will define the roles and responsibilities of college staff and community partners, and how to triage and deal with internal and external referrals of postsecondary students experiencing mental health issues. 

Funding: $492,150 over two years

University of Guelph -- University of Guelph Prevention Project (Mental Health Course for First-Year Students)

The University of Guelph will develop and offer a for-credit course to first-year students who are entering university with diagnosed mental health issues. The course will be evaluated and assessed for effectiveness so the curriculum and teaching methods can be shared with other postsecondary institutions.

Funding: $65,000 over two years

Ryerson University -- Speaking Your Language: A Pilot Program for Promoting Mental Health Awareness and Support for International Students and New Canadians

Project Partners:  University of Toronto and OCAD University

The universities will work together to develop, test and share a model for collaboratively providing mental health services to international students. The project will include student engagement and knowledge-gathering, group counselling based on culture and language, and community feedback and training. The work will result in an intercultural tool kit to help postsecondary institutions better support international students.

Funding: $281,250 over two years

University of Toronto -- By Students/For Students: A Digital Gateway for Mental Health

Project Partners: CONNEXOntario, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Ryerson University and OCAD University

A new digital platform will allow users to pinpoint services in their own area using a mobile device or computer. Students would be able to access up-to-date information related to services such as primary care, specialized mental health or addictions services, peer support, sexual health services, social services and crisis information from the palms of their hands. 

Funding: $1,205,500 over two years

Ryerson University -- University Virtual Ward

Project Partners: University of Toronto, York University, and Women's College Hospital

The universities will work with Women's College Hospital to support hospitalized and suicidal postsecondary students by connecting them to appropriate community and postsecondary services in their transition between hospital and postsecondary settings. The program will improve postsecondary students' treatment, recovery, and ultimately, their ability to return to studies.

Funding: $440,000 over two years

York University Osgoode Hall Law School -- Ontario Law Student Mental Health Initiative:  Enhancing the Mental Health Outcomes of Ontario's Law Students

Project Partners: University of Toronto Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa Faculty of Law (Common Law Section), University of Windsor Law, Queen's University Faculty of Law, Western University Law

The project will develop best practices for helping with law students' mental health needs and develop and implement innovative mental health supports and resources for Ontario's 4,100 law students and future lawyers.   

Funding: $92,606 over two years

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