Algoma University has partnered with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) on an agreement that will improve mental health services to students.
The initiative comes at a time when student demand for mental health services is soaring across the country. More than ever, providing mental health training to university employees is critical to the well-being of students. This initiative provides the university community with access to a Mental Health Educator who will support existing programming and help to implement additional activities outlined in the agreement.
As part of the agreement, Algoma University will be the first university in Canada to launch Talk Today – a mental health and suicide awareness program specifically designed to support student athletes.
“We are very happy to formalize an agreement with the Canadian Mental Health Association,” said Tom Mauro, Director of Ancillary and Student Services. “Having access to a Mental Health Educator will further supplement the services already provided on campus and support our training efforts.”
Going beyond simply supporting students, the Mental Health Educator will provide workshops and training in order to equip university employees with the knowledge and skills required to deal with mental health issues.
The agreement includes the following deliverables:
The Mental Health Educator will organize and deliver mental health education programming to students, faculty and staff on campus two days per month to help build awareness and support services for students.
The Mental Health Educator will coordinate and deliver a Talk Today Program – one of the most comprehensive mental health programs for amateur sports in Canada. Its aim is to promote the mental health of young athletes and to spread awareness about suicide prevention and the benefits of positive mental health throughout communities across the country.
The Mental Health Educator will deliver up to four safeTALK training sessions to faculty, staff and students to create awareness and prevention around suicide.
The Mental Health Educator will deliver up to four Mental Health First Aid training sessions to faculty, staff and students aimed at identifying and supporting students who may be experiencing mental health issues.
“We are so pleased that Algoma University has decided to partner with us in providing access to mental health awareness training for students and staff and at the same time to launch the Talk Today program with its entire athletics department,” said Annette Katajamaki, Executive Director of the CMHA, Sault Ste. Marie/Algoma. “Algoma U will be the first university campus to launch this very successful program, on the heels of Sault College launching the same program and becoming the first college campus! Sault Ste. Marie has been fortunate to have both of these academic institutions recognize the importance of good mental health in promoting student achievement.”