Bell Let’s Talk today announced that $1 million in grants from the Bell Let’s Talk Post-Secondary Fund have been awarded to 10 Canadian colleges, universities and cégeps to support initiatives that align with the National Standard of Canada for Mental Health and Well-Being for Post-Secondary Students (the Standard) or the Québec Action Plan on Student Mental Health for Higher Education (Québec Action Plan).
According to Mental Health Research Canada, more than 1 in 2 Canadians who said they needed mental health support are not getting the help they need. The statistics are alarming:
- More than 200 Canadians will attempt suicide every day; twelve will die
- One in four Canadians have been experiencing high levels of anxiety
- The number of opioid overdose deaths in Canada went up more than 90% during the pandemic. It’s now 20 per day
- For more information about these statistics visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk
“Now, in the third year of funding post-secondary grants, we are thrilled to see so many Canadian schools taking action by enhancing mental health support programs on their campuses. These programs, that align with the Standard, are helping to create change and address the real and immediate mental health concerns within the student population who are under tremendous stress. We’re so proud of the post-secondary institutions’ staff, faculty and student bodies that created, implemented and operate these much needed programs. Bell Let’s Talk is committed to continuing to support student mental health and well-being across the country to create positive change.”
– Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let’s Talk
To date, Bell Let’s Talk has awarded over $5 million in grants to Canadian post-secondary institutions, starting with more than $3 million in initial grants to over 125 schools in early 2021.
“As post-secondary students, we are a vulnerable group going through periods of immense change with incredible social and financial pressures in an unpredictable world. Battling mental health challenges throughout your studies is the reality for many students today. Thanks to the Bell Let’s Talk Post-Secondary grant, we were able to launch the Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility Peer Mentoring project to provide peer-to-peer student support, creating an environment where we can talk openly about mental health challenges.”
– Brendan Roberts, President, StFX Students’ Union
Schools like the University of Manitoba are using Bell Let’s Talk Post-Secondary funds to support the current mental health needs of their students.
“With support from the Bell Let’s Talk Post-Secondary Fund, the University of Manitoba will create a welcoming and inclusive Student Wellness Centre where students can connect, learn, and enhance their mental health and well-being. Supporting student health and wellness is integral to providing an exceptional university experience. We thank Bell Let’s Talk for their generous support, which will enable us to enhance our peer support programming and help students navigate essential student support services.”
– Laurie Schnarr, Vice-Provost (Students), The University of Manitoba
“The University of Ottawa is making great strides at fostering a culture of wellness centred on compassion, caring and respect for all in our community. The creation of an after-hours peer-to-peer Mental Health Crisis Response Team, led by specially trained student employees will ensure that our students will have ready access to the most effective wraparound services and follow-up supports. We are pleased that Bell Let’s Talk has collaborated with uOttawa to offer this much needed service to our students.”
– Elizabeth Kristjansson, PhD, University Advisor, Mental Health and Wellness, University of Ottawa
“Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières takes the mental health of its university community, particularly our student population, very seriously. Students have been greatly affected by the pandemic, whether it be through isolation, anxiety or stress. Bell’s support allows us to take action by launching the Caring Brigade Peer Support program. This initiative will add to the mental health resources available to students and help them through difficult times so they can take full advantage of their university experience and achieve their goals.”
– Christian Blanchette, Rector de l’Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières
To see a complete list of the schools receiving grants and the programs they plan to implement, please click here.