Ontario Increases Mental Health Funding to Support Students at Western University and Fanshawe CollegePublished on February 26, 2021
ELGIN-MIDDLESEX-LONDON – The Ontario government is providing a total of $905,289 to help increase access to mental health and addiction services for students at Western University and Fanshawe College. The funding will strengthen community partnerships, increase the number of mental health workers and programs, and immediately expand access for students to the provincial mental health and addictions system during COVID-19.
“I am proud that the Ontario government is providing these enhanced resources during an incredibly challenging time to be preparing for a career,” said Jeff Yurek, MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London. “It is critical that students in the London area receive the support they need to be well and make the most of this exciting time in life.”
This funding is part of the province’s total investment of $26.25 million for mental health supports for postsecondary students in 2020-21. It will support more services for students on-campus and virtually and can also be used to address the needs of vulnerable and diverse groups, such as Indigenous students, LGBTQ students and students with disabilities.
“We know that college and university can be a stressful time for our students and that the COVID-19 outbreak has only increased the impact on their mental health,” said Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “That is why we are investing more in mental health services to better meet student needs—creating the best conditions possible for students to achieve their goals.”
Providing mental health supports for postsecondary students is part of Ontario’s Roadmap to Wellness, the government’s 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.
- To ensure postsecondary students have access to the mental health services and supports they need, the government is providing Western University with $514,806 and Fanshawe College with $390,483.
- Over the last several years the mental health needs of postsecondary students have increased dramatically in Ontario. According to the last National College Health Assessment survey of the Canadian student population (2019):
- 52 per cent of students reported feeling depressed, compared to 46 per cent in 2016.
- 69 per cent experienced anxiety.
- 12 per cent of Canada’s students had considered suicide, compared to 14 per cent in 2016.
- 2.8 per cent of students reported having attempted suicide.
- In October 2020, the Ontario government announced $19.25 million in mental health supports for postsecondary students.
- In February 2021, the Ontario government announced an additional $7 million in funding to help increase access to mental health and addiction services for postsecondary students during COVID-19.
- The government’s total investment of $26.25 million for mental health supports for postsecondary students in 2020-21 represents an increase of $10.25 million over last year.
The funding supports a variety of initiatives, including Good2Talk/Allo j’écoute, Ontario's bilingual mental health helpline which provides professional counselling and information and referrals to all students via telephone, text and live chat (new this year). It is available to all postsecondary students 24/7, 365 days a year.
Roadmap to wellness: a plan to build Ontario’s mental health and addictions system.
Learn more about mental health services in Ontario.