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  • March 26, 2013

BETTER MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES FOR POST-SECONDARY STUDENTS IN THUNDER BAY

Gravelle and Mauro announce $972,770 for college partnership project

March 26, 2013 - Postsecondary students in Thunder Bay will get more support and better mental health services thanks to funding from the new Ontario government in the amount of $972,770 over three years.

Confederation College, in partnership with Cambrian College, Canadore College and Northern College, will work collaboratively towards a goal to detect student mental health issues earlier, and then provide better intervention and supports.

Each college has agreed to work on related items and share best practices, and will lead in developing one part of the project by:

• Designing a “northern relevant” website with portals intended for students, faculty,
staff, mental health practitioners and researchers;
• Making effective use of communication technology to improve access to counseling
and student services;
• Developing programs to de-stigmatize and promote awareness of mental health
issues; and
• Developing a vibrant and sustainable peer support network.

Thunder Bay will also have access to a province-wide helpline to provide support for college
and university students 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The new Ontario government is working to provide services that help people live healthy,
successful lives and build a strong economy and a fair society.

QUOTES

“Finding more immediate, interactive ways to reach out to students who are struggling with
mental health issues and making sure they find the help and acceptance they need will be
truly life-changing for many people. I’m particularly proud of the northern focus that will be developed as part of this project.” — Michael Gravelle, MPP Thunder Bay-Superior North

“This funding will support projects which will centre on earlier detection and better
intervention and assistance for our students who are challenged with mental health issues.
Our government's goal is to encourage new and innovative approaches to the delivery of
mental health services for postsecondary students. These partnerships and projects will focus
on the unique needs and issues experienced by students within Northwestern Ontario."
— Bill Mauro, MPP Thunder Bay-Atikokan

“We have long standing and valuable relationships with our northern College colleagues and are pleased to be doing this collaborative work. We thank the Province of Ontario for addressing the growing needs of our students and for putting in place the initiatives that will support student success.” — Jim Madder, President, Confederation College

“We want to give college and university students the help they need to succeed in postsecondary education. We want to help them have a healthy, productive transition to postsecondary institutions and deal with newfound independence, both on and off campus.” — Brad Duguid, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities

QUICK FACTS

• Ontario is investing up to $12.3 million over three years to provide improved mental health services for postsecondary students, which is part of the $27 million committed to mental health services for postsecondary students.
• Kids Help Phone is working with postsecondary institutions to start the helpline service in 2013 -14 with $6 million over three years.
• Colleges, universities, student associations and local mental health providers are working together to develop new and innovative approaches to providing mental health services to postsecondary students.
• The support for postsecondary students is part of the multi-year $257 million Child and Youth Mental Health Strategy, announced in the 2011 Ontario Budget, which focuses on getting the right care, at the right time, in the right place.

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