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  • News
  • January 30, 2015

Improving Mental Health Support for Postsecondary Students In Guelph

Ontario Investing in College and University Student Well-being

Ontario is supporting two new projects at the University of Guelph (U of G) that will improve student access to high-quality mental health services and help ensure that students in Guelph can get the right care, at the right time, in the right place.  Ontario will be investing almost $771,000 over three years for these projects.

The University of Guelph’s projects are:

 Mental Health and Wellness Outcomes for Aboriginal Learners

The Aboriginal Resource Centre and Counselling Services at the University of Guelph are working together to build a flexible and culturally sensitive ‘bridge’ that integrates aspects of Aboriginal wisdom and world views, and appropriate western-based therapeutic approaches to mental health. The project will help to more effectively engage and support Aboriginal learners with identified mental health challenges, substance abuse issues and those transitioning to postsecondary education. The program is offered in partnership with Six Nations Polytechnic and Mohawk College.

The funding for this project is $582,476 over three years (2014-15: $68,750) (2015-16: $261,318) (2016-17: $252,408); and

Summer Transition Program for Students with Mental Health Issues

University of Guelph, in partnership with Conestoga College, Upper Grand District School Board and Wellington Catholic District School Board will work together to identify factors needed to develop and implement a successful program that helps students transition from high school to postsecondary education. During the summer of 2015, Conestoga College and the University of Guelph will develop a summer transition program that includes a residential program targeted at students who will be attending either institution.

The funding for this project is $188,400 over three years (2014-15: $28,900) (2015-16: $144,000) (2016-17: $15,500)

These projects are two of twelve new projects receiving support from Ontario as part of the third round of the Mental Health Innovation Fund. These new projects focus on First Nation and Métis students, students with addiction issues and students with mental health or addiction issues who are transitioning from secondary to postsecondary studies.

Providing more mental health support at colleges and universities supports the government’s economic plan for Ontario. The four-part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people’s talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives and building a secure savings plan so everyone can afford to retire.


“It’s critical that students have access to a wide range of mental health services as they pursue a postsecondary education. Our Mental Health and Addictions Strategy is about providing faster, easier access to mental health services for young people who need them, and I’m thrilled that the University of Guelph is receiving support for two new projects that will benefit students in the Guelph community for years to come.”

 — Liz Sandals, MPP for Guelph

“Every college and university student in Ontario should have access to the support they need to enjoy good mental and physical health throughout their learning journey. Through the Mental Health Innovation Fund and other important projects, Ontario is working to ensure that every single student who needs help can turn to coordinated, high-quality mental health care.”

Reza Moridi, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities

“The funding will allow U of G to foster mental health and well-being.  U of G is already recognized for being a caring, aware and supportive campus.  These new programs will allow us to address important gaps in mental health supports for aboriginal learners and to improve outcomes of transitioning students by helping them better manage mental health challenges.”

 — Franco Vaccarino, President, University of Guelph


  • Ontario is investing $770, 876 in the Mental Health and Wellness Outcomes for Aboriginal Learners and Summer Transition Program for Students with Mental Health Issues projects.
  • This support for postsecondary students is part of the multi-year, $257 million Open Minds, Healthy Minds, Ontario’s comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy.
  • Ontario invests $9 million annually to support improved mental health services for postsecondary students, including up to $6 million each year for the Mental Health Innovation Fund.
  • The Mental Health Innovation Fund has now funded 32 projects at colleges and universities across Ontario through three separate calls for proposals.
  • Previously funded projects include the training of mental health first aid instructors at Humber College, who now work at 19 colleges and universities across Ontario, as well as “By Students, For Students,” a University of Toronto project that helps students use technology to access mental health services on campus.


For more information, Contact:

Jenny Waterston

Office of Liz Sandals, MPP

(519) 836-4190

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