McMaster University in Hamilton receives $100,000 for enhanced student mental health supports

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Published January 12, 2022 at 12:07 pm

McMaster University in Hamilton received $100,000 to increase mental health supports for its students.

McMaster University in Hamilton received $100,000 to increase mental health supports for its students.

With the funds from Bell Let’s Talk, the university created the Student Urgent Response Team (SURT) — designed to provide both in-person and virtual support to students facing mental health crises on campus.

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“We are thrilled to receive a Bell Let’s Talk Implementation Grant to help establish McMaster’s Student Urgent Response Team,” said Sean Van Koughnett, Associate Vice-President (Students and Learning) and Dean of Students. “Strengthening programs and services in support of student mental health is a collective effort, and we’re very grateful for our partnership with Bell Let’s Talk.”

Mac says the idea for SURT came from a group of students who have been key partners in the Okanagan Mental Health Task Force consultation process. They request campus supports for mental health challenges that were less intrusive and helped to minimize stigma.

“This funding will enable us to add to the complement of student mental health services with an innovative approach of outreach to students experiencing a mental health crisis on campus,” said Allison Drew-Hassling, Director of Student Accessibility and Case Management, who led the proposal development.

“We know that accessing supports early can reduce negative academic and occupational impacts on our students’ lives. The SURT team will apply a student-centred holistic approach, with an aim to understand the barriers experienced by a student in crisis and will work in partnership with the student to address those concerns.”

McMaster is one of 16 Canadian colleges and universities receiving a grant from Bell Let’s Talk to support mental health initiatives on campuses.

“We are proud to continue our support of universities and colleges across the country as they work hard to put research into action on their campuses to support student mental health and well-being,” said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let’s Talk.

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