Mental health funding boost for Calgary students
September 08, 2017
New funding for post-secondary student mental health will mean better access to important supports that promote emotional well-being.
The province will provide nearly $2.5 million each year for three years to universities and colleges in and around Calgary to improve mental health supports on campus. The funding is part of a $25.8-million government investment over the three-year period to protect and improve mental health resources for post-secondary students at publicly funded institutions across Alberta.
“Our government’s increased investment in student mental health programs is an important commitment to help students succeed. 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
In June 2017, the province announced new equitable funding that significantly increases and improves mental health supports for post-secondary students across Alberta.
The mental health funding allocations include:
- Bow Valley College – $310,000
- University of Calgary – $1 million
- Mount Royal University – $280,000
- Southern Alberta Institute of Technology – $475,000
- Ambrose University – $75,000
- St. Mary’s University – $75,000
- Alberta College of Art and Design – $105,000
- The Banff Centre – $165,000
“With predictable government funding over three years, Bow Valley College can confidently build on our current mental health services and programs as well as enhance targeted solutions that are responsive to our diverse learning community. The college will apply these funds so that students can access and acquire the resources that promote positive and sustaining outcomes, including their well-being, persistence and achievement.”
Laura Jo Gunter, president, Bow Valley College
“We are pleased to see the Government of Alberta’s support for mental health, as it is a vital part of our students’ success. When our students feel supported by a strong network, they are empowered to strive for their goals with focus and clarity. They are also motivated to encourage others and contribute to a community of caring on our campus and beyond.”
Elizabeth Cannon, president, University of Calgary
“To have a healthy, inclusive campus, we must support the mental health of students and everyone in the Mount Royal community. Over the past three years, we have embedded many mental health initiatives into our culture. Now we will further strengthen our community network, so students are aware of and get the right mental health care on campus and in the community.”
David Docherty, president, Mount Royal University
“Student success is at the core of SAIT’s values and mental well-being is vital to that success. We are grateful for this funding from the Government of Alberta which will help SAIT continue our efforts in providing student-focused resources and programs — including our Lieutenant Governor of Alberta’s award-winning Make Some Noise for Mental Health campaign.”
David Ross, president and CEO, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology
“Ambrose University is thrilled with the post-secondary student mental health funding commitment. It will allow us to invest in key initiatives aimed at enhancing mental health services for all students. Additionally, it will allow us to spearhead new programming for Indigenous mental health.”
Wally Rude, vice-president, Student Services, Ambrose University
“The Alberta College of Art + Design is very pleased to see the government’s action on the very important issue of mental health. This welcome funding will allow us to better support our students through additional programming.”
Daniel Doz, president and CEO, Alberta College of Art + Design
“The Students’ Association of Bow Valley College greets this funding announcement with the utmost enthusiasm as we strive towards maintaining a campus culture heavily involved in providing mental health support and resources which can be of value to Bow Valley learners both on and off campus. We are excited to work with the college towards reinforcing current mental health initiatives and creating new opportunities in mental health programs.”
Arshit Dhingra, president, Students’ Association of Bow Valley 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 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.
Communications, Advanced Education