Brandon University (BU) will receive $25,000 to promote student well-being and mental health through the Bell Let’s Talk Post-Secondary Fund.
The Kickoff Grant is part of $3 million in funding being distributed to 123 institutions across Canada to support initiatives aligned with the National Standard of Canada for Mental Health and Well-Being for Post-Secondary Students. Bell Let’s Talk funding also enabled the creation of the Standard, which was developed by post-secondary institutions in partnership with the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) to increase awareness, reduce stigma, improve life and resiliency skills, and created a healthier and safer educational environment.
On January 28, BU supported Bell Let’s Talk Day by promoting initiatives to increase awareness and acceptance around mental health.
The total funding from Bell Let’s Talk for the Kickoff Grants was increased to $3,075,000 from the original $2.5-million commitment to meet high demand. Another phase of grants will be launched in June to support implementation of mental health and wellness programs for institutions that have used the Standard to identify needs in their supports and services.
The 2019 National College Health Assessment found that 69 per cent of students felt overwhelming anxiety and 16 per cent had seriously considered suicide in the previous year. The MHCC reports that 75 per cent of mental health problems are diagnosed between the ages of 16 and 24, coinciding with an age when many are in, or are just out of, post-secondary education.