KAWARTHA LAKES-Over the last few years the mental health needs of postsecondary students have increased 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
- 2.8 per cent of students reported having attempted suicide.
The Ontario government announced today it 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. Sir Sanford Fleming College will receive $336,826 and Trent University with $359,068.
According to the government, 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.” Peterborough-Kawartha MPP, Dave Smith commented.
“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 Sanford Fleming College campuses and support a learning environment that helps students succeed in education and life.” said MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, Laurie Scott
This funding 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.
“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.” stated 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 said.