Ontario is Increasing Mental Health Funding for Universities and Colleges

Friday, May 28, 2021

The province will distribute $2.39 Million over eight projects at select universities and Indigenous institutes to improve mental health supports and services. The funding is part of Ontario’s Roadmap to Wellness - a plan to build the province’s mental health and addiction system. 

The project initiatives will address the mental health impacts of COVID-19 and increase the availability of mental health supports for underserved Black, Indigenous and Francophone students. This is how the funds will be distributed:

  • Confederation College is receiving $263,920 to provide culturally informed mental health supports for Indigenous students that are reflective of the values and cultural practices of the Anishinaabe/Ojibwe people.
  • Western University is receiving $365,000 to provide supports for Black and Indigenous students struggling with mental health and wellbeing challenges, both pre-existing and those exacerbated by COVID-19.
  • Centre Labelle is receiving $170,040 to increase availability of mental health services for underserved Francophone students with a focus on international and racialized students at Hearst University.
  • Durham College is receiving $184,000 to provide a series of workshops, volunteer opportunities and information sessions to address social isolation and grief due to COVID-19.
  • University of Ottawa is receiving $557,200 to support a physical-virtual peer support wellness lounge; a case management model for at-risk students; and a health and well-being literacy campaign aimed at vulnerable populations.
  • St. Lawrence College is receiving $168,640 to provide mental health supports in on-campus residences, including after-hours and on weekends.
  • Canadore College is receiving $375,621 to provide virtual and in-person counselling services and ensure mental health supports address the unique needs of their students.
  • Get-A-Head, a private company, is receiving $300,000 to employ artificial intelligence to support the delivery of virtual mental health services at Humber College, Six Nations Polytechnic and University of Waterloo.

Ontario says it recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic has had an incredible impact on students’ mental health and postsecondary students have been forced to adapt to new methods of learning.

Last year, the province conducted a series of public consultations across Ontario and found the key challenges facing mental health and addiction services were:

  • long wait times
  • little understanding of what services are available and where to find them
  • uneven service quality between providers and regions
  • fragmentation and poor coordination
  • lack of evidence-based funding
  • absence of data, which limits effective oversight and accountability.

The Roadmap to Wellness aims to close these gaps. 

For more information visit the Roadmap to Wellness plan from the Ontario.ca website.