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Jan 30, 2015 03:05 PM EST

University of Guelph Receives $800K for Mental Health Programs

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University of Guelph
The University of Guelph in Canada has received nearly $800,000 from the Ontario government to introduce two new programs aimed at improving mental health and wellness in young adults, school officials announced.
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The University of Guelph in Canada has received nearly $800,000 from the Ontario government to introduce two new programs aimed at improving mental health and wellness in young adults, school officials announced.

The money, which comes from the Mental Health Innovation Fund and is part of the Ontario government's Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, will fund two initiatives that will focus on helping aboriginal students and assisting incoming university students with mental issues. The funding will allow the university to foster mental health and wellbeing.

 The new initiatives will help promote awareness and understanding.

"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, minister of education, said in a statement.

The first program, which received nearly $600,000, aims to more effectively engage and support aboriginal learners with identified mental health challenges or substance abuse issues as well as those entering post-secondary education.

The project will be headed by the university's Aboriginal Resource Centre and Counseling Services, and involve Six Nations Polytechnic and Mohawk College. It's intended to integrate aspects of aboriginal wisdom and world views with western-based therapeutic approaches to mental health.

The second program is designed to help incoming university students with mental health challenges. It involves the University of Guelph, Conestoga College, the Upper Grand District School Board and the Wellington Catholic District School Board.

These partners will identify factors needed for a successful summer residence transition program. They hope to help students manage mental health challenges before starting college or university.

"Working with other institutions on both initiatives allows us to share knowledge and develop more inclusive, robust programs," said Brenda Whiteside, associate vice-president (student affairs). "The collaborations will also create promising practices and resources that can be adopted by other universities and colleges, helping other Ontario institutions that are working to address mental health issues on their campuses."

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