Niagara College receives $100,000 to implement mental health supports

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Published January 26, 2023 at 10:40 am

Niagara College was given $100,000 yesterday (Jan. 25) to implement its Mental Health and Well-Being Framework for students from the Bell Let’s Talk Post-Secondary Fund.

The college was given the funds – the maximum amount of grant money available to any one institution – on the annual Bell Let’s Talk Day which donates cash and raises awareness towards mental health initiatives across Canada.

“We are extremely grateful to Bell and the Bell Let’s Talk Post-Secondary Fund for not only supporting the mental health of post-secondary students but for also helping to support systemic change of mental health supports,” said Rick Anderson, the college’s Vice-President Student Affairs.

“The entire College community shares the responsibility for the mental health and well-being of its students. This new Framework will support our ongoing work of proactively supporting students with workplace goals that strengthen the ability of college employees to respond.”

The school is creating the framework for campus-wide mental health support programs after consultations with students, faculty and staff who have diverse lived experiences including international, Indigenous, 2SLGBTQIA+, and BIPOC students.

Funding will also be used to create and execute knowledge-building campaigns to increase awareness of mental health supports, reduce stigma and create a culture of understanding and action that more effectively supports student mental health and well-being.

“A thriving community is one that supports the mental health and well-being of its members, and the development of Niagara College’s Mental Health and Well-Being Framework will provide our staff, students and faculty with the tools and resources they need to support each other and those dealing with mental health issues,” said Karen Csoli, Director of Health, Wellness and Accessibility Services for the Welland Campus.

The Bell Let’s Talk campaign has run into some controversy after receiving $122 million in federal COVID-19 subsidies during the height of the pandemic and then axing hundred of employees just a few days later.

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