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Ford govt. increases mental health funding for post-secondary students

Today the Ontario government announced that it is investing $19.25 million into mental health supports for post-secondary students in 2020-21, an increase of $3.25 million over last year. This funding will help students by strengthening community partnerships and increasing the number of mental health workers and programs at colleges, universities and Indigenous Institutes, officials said.

Having mental health supports in place for when students need them most is a key part of helping students succeed, especially during this very difficult COVID period” said Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “This additional funding will equip our postsecondary partners with greater resources — creating the best conditions possible for students to achieve their desired goals.”

In 2020-21, the ministry is investing in the following initiatives supporting student mental health:

  • Good2Talk/Allo j’écoute ($5.16 million) mental health helpline service for postsecondary students, available 24/7/365
  • Centre for Innovation in Campus Mental Health ($0.5 million): knowledge exchange hub providing resources and access to expertise for the post-secondary sector
  • Mental Health Worker Grant ($4.45 million) for front-line mental health service workers on campuses, annual ongoing support to 45 colleges and universities to offset the costs of hiring front-line, campus-based mental health workers
  • Mental Health Services Grant ($6 million): annual support to 45 colleges and universities, for the development of programs and services as determined by the institution
  • Indigenous Institutes Mental Health Grant ($0.5 million)support to the 9 Indigenous Institutes in Ontario for the provision of mental health services, staff, and needs assessment as needed
  • Get-A-head ($250,000) – the ministry is providing one-time funding to support the launch of a mental health online application.

The remainder of the $19.25 million will support the development of partnerships and greater access to mental health resources.

“Our government is ensuring post-secondary students have the right mental health services and supports that they need during these unprecedented times,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Targeted investments like this one, is another example of how we continue to build a comprehensive and connected mental health and addictions system, so every Ontarian feels supported so they can maintain their mental wellness.”

Today’s announcement is part of Ontario’s Roadmap to Wellness, the government’s new plan to build a connected and comprehensive mental health and addiction system that ensures children, youth, and adults in Ontario receive appropriate services where and when they need them.

“As we move forward with Roadmap to Wellness, we will continue to listen and work with our partners across the mental health and addictions sector,” said Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “We are enhancing and strengthening the available supports, while exploring new and innovative services to ensure that every student in Ontario’s colleges and universities can access the high-quality care they expect and deserve.”

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