In 2020-21, the Ontario government will spend $19.25 million in mental health funding for post-secondary students, an increase of $3.25 million relative to last year. This investment will assist students by strengthening organizational relationships and growing the number of mental health professionals and services at Schools, Universities, and Aboriginal Institutes.
Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities said that providing mental health services in place for when students need them most is a vital part of helping students excel, particularly during this very challenging COVID period. This increased funding will equip the postsecondary partners with greater tools to build the best possible opportunities for students to achieve their desired goals.
In 2020-21, the Ministry will invest in the following student mental health support initiatives:
Good2Talk / Allo j’écoute ($5.16 M): Post-secondary student mental wellbeing helpline program, open all times throughout the year (24/7/365)
Centre for Innovation in Campus Mental Health ($0.5M): This is a hub of knowledge exchange, providing and granting the resources and access to expertise for the postsecondary sector.
Mental Health Worker Grant ($4.45 million): This support initiative for on-campus front-line mental health service employees, annual continuing assistance to 45 colleges and universities to offset the expense of hiring front-line, on-campus mental health workers.
Mental Health Services Grant ($6 M): This grant is to provide annual support to 45 universities and colleges to establish programs and services as defined by the institution.
Indigenous Institutes Mental Health Grant ($0.5 M): To fund the provision of mental health services, employees and needs assessment to the 9 Indigenous Institutes in Ontario as required.
Get-A-head ($250,000):-The ministry offers one-time grants to facilitate the launch of an online application for mental wellbeing.
The rest of the $19.25 M would help partnership development and greater access to services for mental health.
Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, told that the government ensures that post-secondary students have the right mental health services and support they need during those unprecedented times. Targeted investments such as this one are another example of how the government continues to develop a robust and connected mental wellbeing and addictions system. This would make every Ontarian feels supported so their emotional well-being can be sustained
The announcement is part of Ontario’s Roadmap to Wellness, the new plan of the government to build a connected and comprehensive system of mental health and addiction that ensures that children, young people, and adults in Ontario receive adequate services when and where they need them.
Post-secondary students are going through a major transition in their lives which may cause stress and anxiety. In addition to this, the global pandemic made many to feel their lives have been upended.
Thanks to the Government of Ontario for putting post-secondary students ‘ mental health and well-being first by ensuring that the 24/7 confidential counseling services of Good2Talk are always accessible by phone and text.