Canadore College launches three-year Student Mental Health and Well-Being Strategy
Oct 30, 2020 | Cindy Males, Public Relations and Communications Specialist
College might be the first time being away from home for some, and the first real academic challenge for others. That can lead to the college experience being an exciting and demanding time for students. Statistically, it is estimated that two in five Canadians encounter or struggle with mental health challenges at some point in their lifetime. These challenges are often magnified during periods of change in personal circumstances, and with students ranging in age from 18 to 70 studying at Canadore College from around the world, the mental health environment can be complex to navigate. Canadore College has a long history of being student-centric; the College continually seeks ways to improve the services and tools available to learners, and to those who support them, while customizing support options. Today, Canadore College is launching the three-year Student Mental Health and Well-Being Strategy, a framework that will enhance and guide the development and evolution of student support services in the contemporary environment.
“A working group of Canadore students, faculty and staff from various departments began working on the strategy well before the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to lock-down,” stated Shawna Nielsen, Director, Student Experience and Success. “We could not have foreseen the global pandemic and the complicating challenges it has created in terms of social isolation, or the limitations we have to deliver our support programs and services, so, this strategy could not be more timely.”
The working group reviewed and analyzed current supports available as a foundation to be built upon in collaboration with students to assess what is working and what is not. The cross functional, pan-college team then developed a holistic approach to guide, execute and maintain the plan in support of the campus community.
“Canadore College is committed to providing an educational environment that supports student mental health and well-being, and provides opportunities for growth and development. For many years, Canadore students have enjoyed access to a wide range of academic and support services. However, in order to meet the changing needs of students, we have designed this strategy as a work in progress with a framework that fosters a refocus on student support with a systemic and holistic lens,” stated Shawn Chorney, Vice President Enrolment Management, Indigenous & Student Services.
“The senior leadership team of the College is grateful for recent investments made by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities in expanding mental health services in the postsecondary system, including at Canadore,” said George Burton, President and CEO. “The three -year strategy recognizes that our demographics on campus are changing and, as such, so too must the way we support our learners, including our large Indigenous student and International student populations who learn through their own cultural lens and experiences.”
The plan will be rolled out in the coming months and focuses on community partnership, measuring the efficacy of interventions and the launch of additional, proven intervention strategies. The plan can be viewed at www.canadorecollege.ca/mentalhealth and community partners are invited to team up with Canadore on the implementation of the plan in support of a stronger community both on and off campus.