Georgian College project aims to improve student mental health
October 07, 2013

A new initiative by Georgian College in partnership with Centennial College aims to improve the mental health of students across Ontario colleges. Funding of $492,150 was announced by Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities Brad Duguid. The project is one of 10 initiatives supported through the Government of Ontario’s Mental Health and Addictions Strategy.

“We want to let college and university students know they aren’t alone and that there is help,” said Minister Duguid. “The new supports will help them have a healthy, productive transition to postsecondary institutions and deal with newfound independence, both on and off campus.

There is growing awareness of mental health concerns among students at post-secondary institutions across the province and this initiative puts Georgian and Centennial Colleges at the forefront of a growing effort to create effective solutions.

“Our goal is to improve the quality and consistency of supports for students facing mental health challenges,” explains Catherine Drea, Vice President, Student Engagement and University Partnerships, Georgian College. “This project will develop a best practice for mental health service delivery that colleges across Ontario can implement.”

The project’s foundation will be a new case management model to be designed, developed and implemented by a team from Georgian and Centennial Colleges, and evaluated in collaboration with consultant Dr. Peter Dietsche, former William G. Davis Chair in Community College Leadership. The new model will clarify and delineate the roles and responsibilities of college counsellors, other college staff, and community agencies and organizations in providing holistic support to students with mental health challenges.

“Support for this initiative from local community agencies and organizations is already strong,” says Drea. “We look forward to working more closely with them to better serve our students.”

Georgian is working collaboratively with Dietsche and Centennial to begin the first phase of the project by December 2013.