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Province announces mental health funding for local university, college students

MPP Lorne Coe, MPP Lindsey Park, and Durham College President Don Lovisa

The province is making moves to better support student mental health at Ontario Tech University and Durham College.

Whitby MPP Lorne Coe and Durham MPP Lindsey Park recently announced the province is investing $184,000 to help improve mental health services for students. The investment is one of eight chosen by the province as part of a new initiative to foster social connectedness through activity-based intervention among Durham College and Ontario Tech students.

“We know the COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on our postsecondary students,” says Coe. “That is why it is so important that we support new projects that will help build better services and partnerships for virtual and on-campus mental health supports.”

The funding is part of the province’s Roadmap to Wellness, which helps ensure students receive the support they need, and builds on the previous investment announced in February 2021 that provided more than $700,000 in funding to support student mental health at both institutions.

Park says supporting students and their mental health as they navigate their postsecondary education is vital, and even more so during a pandemic.

“The funding for this new project will assist students to stay the course as they work to gain the skills and training needed for today’s changing job market,” she says.

Monica Jain, Director of Careers, Counselling, and Accessibility at the Office of Student Life for Ontario Tech University, says supporting the health and wellbeing of students continues to be a priority.

“This funding enables us to partner with Durham College and Ontario Shores to offer innovative new programs and services, and expand supports that address students’ needs,” she says.

Darlene Heslop, Director of Durham College’s Campus Health Centre, says the college is “excited to receive these funds” and work with its partners to address social isolation and grief among students.

“Funding for projects like this is incredibly important as we look to support students during these tough times,” she says.