The Ontario government is investing nearly $300,000 in additional funding to support the mental health of postsecondary students in Sault Ste. Marie. The additional $149,252 and $146,823 in finding will increase mental health supports for postsecondary students at Sault College and Algoma University, respectively. This funding is part of an additional $8.7 million for Ontario postsecondary institutions announced on November 4 in the 2021 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review: Build Ontario.
This additional funding will address the increased need for mental health services due to the COVID‐19 pandemic. It also includes new funding for the nine Indigenous Institutes in Ontario and the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and l’Université de l’Ontario français.
This investment builds on the government’s record investments to address mental health and addictions challenges from the 2021 Budget, for a total of $28.5 million in 2021–22 mental health supports at Ontario postsecondary institutions.
“Ontario’s publicly-assisted colleges, universities and Indigenous Institutes play an important role in supporting the mental health needs of Ontario’s postsecondary students, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “Ontario’s additional investment will help to promote campus wellness and create the right conditions for our students to succeed in their studies.”
“Mental health and addictions services must be preventative and proactive, and cannot be confined to a hospital alone. That is why we are investing in wrap-around support and services for people when and where they need them most. This increase in year over year funding for Algoma University and Sault College builds on investments we have provided at the elementary, secondary and post-secondary education levels”, said Ross Romano, MPP for Sault Ste. Marie. “This funding has increased substantially over the last few years and that is because it is necessary.”
“The COVID‐19 pandemic has increased the pressures on postsecondary mental health services, which is why we are building on our government’s record investments to address mental health and addictions challenges,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance. “Our government is committed to protecting our progress against the COVID-19 pandemic and providing mental health supports for those who need them.”
The province’s investments in mental health are part of the Roadmap to Wellness, the government’s plan to build a connected and comprehensive mental health and addictions system that ensures children, youth, and adults in Ontario receive appropriate services where and when they need them.