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Improving life for Grande Prairie college students

Government support will help ensure Grande Prairie Regional College students have access to quality mental health programs and care.

Improving life for Grande Prairie college students

A therapy dog joins Minister Schmidt and Grande Prairie Regional College board chair Natalia Reiman, Students’ Association president Blaine Badiuk, student Kaneesha Aldrich and President Don Gnatiuk for the mental health announcement.

The Government of Alberta is providing $225,000 to the college for each of the next three years to improve mental health supports on campus. The funding is part of $25.8 million the province is investing to protect and expand mental health resources for post-secondary students at publicly funded institutions across Alberta between 2017 and 2020.

“Our government’s increased investment in student mental health programs is an important commitment to help students succeed and make lives better. 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

“Our college community understands the importance of mental health as a major factor in our students’ success. This new funding allows GPRC to respond to those needs and continue to build and expand these vital mental health services.”

Don Gnatiuk, president and CEO, Grande Prairie Regional College

In June 2017, the province announced new funding that significantly increases and improves mental health supports for post-secondary students across Alberta. Last year, Grande Prairie Regional College received $40,000 from the Alberta Students’ Executive Council’s provincial government grant to support mental health initiatives.

“The Students’ Association along with GPRC has advocated for funding to support mental health initiatives for our students. We are extremely pleased that this government understands the impact of mental health on student wellbeing and academic success. The investment announced today will have an immediate and long term impact for many years to come.”

Blaine Badiuk, president, Students’ Association, Grande Prairie Regional College

“I am very passionate about mental health because having supports in place is extremely important for every college student. Being able to go through programs like Peer Counselling and being exposed to the tools, resources and peer support available is extremely valuable and will greatly improve all students’ success. GPRC has done a wonderful job letting new students know they are never alone and we support mental health.”

Kaneesha Aldrich, student, Grande Prairie Regional College

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 new 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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