A government funding boost will help ensure Northern Lakes College students have access to quality mental health programs and care, says a government news release dated Sept. 8.
The province has granted $290,000 each year for the next three years as part of the government’s $25.8-million investment to protect and improve the mental health of post-secondary students at publicly funded institutions across the province between 2017 and 2020.
“Northern Lakes College is very pleased to receive funding that will allow us to further enhance opportunities for our students, including access to mental health resources and engagement activities,” says NLC president and CEO Anne Everatt.
“Funding will allow Northern Lakes College to progress our goal of developing a comprehensive wellness program that is focused on mental health.
“We want our students to have every opportunity for success.”
Funding and support are appreciated by students.
“I am happy to see that mental health is a priority and that more programs and services will be available for NLC students,” student Reegan Fraser says.
“Student mental health and well-being have a tremendous impact on a student’s educational success.”
Support is also valued from a local MLA.
“One thing I heard loud and clear when I co-chaired the review of our province’s mental health system was that we need to do more to support the health and well-being of students and young Albertans,” says Lesser Slave Lake MLA Danielle Larivee.
“This grant is an important step in ensuring that young people in northern Alberta have the tools and support they need to succeed as they pursue their dreams.
“I’m proud that our government is investing in the health of students at Northern Lakes College and across Alberta.”
Advanced Education Minister Marlin Schmidt announced the funding.
“Our government’s increased investment in student mental health programs is an important commitment to help students succeed,” Schmidt says.
“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.”
The province announced new funding in June that significantly increases and improves mental health supports for post-secondary students across Alberta.
Over the past two years, Northern Lakes College has received $77,500 from the Alberta Students’ Executive Council government grant to support mental health initiatives.
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.
For more about the new funding and how the provincial government is improving post-secondary mental health and addictions supports for students, visit online to Next Steps to Improve Post-Secondary Student Mental Health.