TORONTO, Sept. 27, 2012 /CNW/ - The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) is pleased with the recent announcement of the Mental Health Innovation Fund by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU). The fund will consist of $7 million each year until 2015 and was created to identify gaps in current mental health support services on campus, promote best practices across the sector, and encourage partnerships within local communities.
Addressing mental health on campus is a huge priority for students and institutions alike. "Students in post-secondary are usually of the most common age of onset for mental health issues, but also are the most likely to recover and adopt effective coping strategies," said Alysha Li, President of OUSA. Earlier this year, OUSA partnered with Colleges Ontario (CO), the Council of Ontario Universities (COU) and the College Student Alliance (CSA) to host a conference on how campuses can best support students with mental health issues. "It is excellent that our voices were heard and the government is taking a leading role in providing this support."
An OUSA report published earlier this year entitled Student Health: Bringing Healthy Change to Ontario's Universities outlined the need for such a fund, calling specifically for an innovation fund that would allow community-driven solutions to mental health concerns to attain government funding. "OUSA is pleased that the government has taken this recommendation and turned it into action that has to potential to help hundreds of thousands of students," said Rylan Kinnon, Executive Director of OUSA.
MTCU announced that proposals will be accepted over the course of the next month, emphasizing that successful proposals will have to display innovation, facilitate partnerships and address current service gaps in mental health service provision. The entire sector is eligible to submit proposals for funding consideration, including all universities and colleges, as well as universities, colleges and student groups.
OUSA is looking forward working with our partners over the next months to ensure that these new resources are used in the best interest of students.
OUSA represents the interests of over 150,000 professional and undergraduate, full- and part-time university students at nine member associations across Ontario.
SOURCE: Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance
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