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New mental health funding for Edmonton students

A boost in mental health funding will support Edmonton post-secondary students’ success by furthering access to quality mental health programs and care.

A total of nearly $2.6 million in annual government funding for three years to universities and colleges in and around Edmonton will expand and improve mental health supports on campus. The funding is part of $25.8 million the province is investing over the three-year period to protect and improve mental health resources for post-secondary students at publicly funded institutions across Alberta.

“Our government’s increased investment in student mental health programs is an important commitment to help students succeed. Mental health challenges have a significant impact on far too many students, and we are making these public investments so all students across the province have access to these programs when they need them.”

Marlin Schmidt, Minister of Advanced Education

In June 2017, the Government of Alberta announced new funding that significantly increases and improves mental health supports for post-secondary students across Alberta.

The mental health funding allocations include:

  • Grant MacEwan University - $360,000
  • University of Alberta - $1 million
  • Northern Alberta Institute of Technology - $495,000
  • NorQuest College - $265,000
  • Burman University - $80,000
  • Concordia University of Edmonton - $90,000
  • The King’s University - $75,000
  • Athabasca University - $215,000

“The post-secondary years are a time of extraordinary change in students’ lives. But along with the excitement and opportunity that change brings come challenges and stresses that can derail their school year. It is crucial that students are able to access supports to help them cope with and overcome these challenges, and give them the skills to succeed. It’s impossible to overstate the importance of this funding to the mental health and well-being of students at MacEwan—and across the region.”

Deborah Saucier, president, Grant MacEwan University

“The University of Alberta is encouraged by the Government of Alberta's commitment to student mental health. Mental health is a critical factor for student success. This investment will guide our efforts to create a sustainable student mental health model and further partnerships with community resources that provide our students with access to the supports they need – when they need them and where they need them."

Andre Costopoulos, vice provost and dean of students, University of Alberta

“I want to thank the Government of Alberta for their investment to ensure institutions like NAIT have the additional resources needed to continue to break down barriers to accessing help for mental health problems. Having supports for mental health is critically important for student success. In a recent survey, 99 per cent of NAIT students agreed that mental health and well-being is important for academic success.”

Glenn Feltham, president and CEO, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

“NorQuest College provides workforce-relevant education that promotes health and wellness. This generous boost in funding will allow students to access quality mental health support, which is important for them to reach their full potential. By investing in the mental health of Alberta's post-secondary students, we are creating stronger communities and a stronger Alberta.”

Jodi L. Abbott, president and CEO, NorQuest College

“Athabasca University applauds the Government of Alberta for its commitment to student wellness. This additional support for Athabasca University helps us further our long-standing mission of removing barriers to post-secondary education for all learners, regardless of their personal circumstance"

Neil Fassina, president, Athabasca University

“This funding will make a difference for the mental and emotional health of our students. The King’s University looks forward to enhancing the holistic approach we take to students’ overall well-being.”

Melanie Humphreys, president, The King’s University

“Investing in adequate and accessible mental health and wellness supports for students is crucial to their success and to a healthy campus environment, especially during a time in their life when their mental health is particularly vulnerable. The funding announced today will go towards securing on-campus mental health services and reducing wait times for students in need.”

Stephanie Nedoshytko, president, Students’ Association of MacEwan University

“The Government of Alberta's investment in student mental health will contribute greatly to Burman University's commitment to support students academically, physically, and mentally. This funding will provide students with quality mental health support that contributes to their overall success. We are proud to join the Government of Alberta in their efforts of building stronger and healthier university campuses in Alberta.”

Loren Agrey, president, Burman University

The 2016 National College Health Assessment survey conducted at 10 post-secondary institutions across the province showed a high incidence of anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts. With good mental health supports in place, mental well-being is linked to academic achievement, learning, retention and future achievement.

To find out more about this funding and how the provincial government is improving post-secondary mental health and addictions supports for students, please visit Next Steps to Improve Post-Secondary Student Mental Health.

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