Ottawa To Fund Mental Health Supports For UNB Students

The federal government announced Friday it will invest $2 million for the next three years to support the mental health of post-secondary students.

Fredericton Member of Parliament Jenica Atwin unveiled a Campus Peer Support pilot project at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, N.B., with the Canadian Mental Health Association.

It aims to provide post-secondary students with tools to support each other’s well-being.

“The Campus Peer Support pilot project provides opportunities for post-secondary students to help each other navigate mental health and substance use challenges,” said Atwin in a news release.

“It can be extremely valuable to receive support from someone with lived and living experience.”

Ottawa says university and college students are among those hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic due to social isolation, virtual learning, job insecurity and financial hardship impacting mental health and well-being.

According to the feds, 61 per cent of Canadians aged 18 to 24 say their mental health has declined since the pandemic began.

The CHMA’s pilot project will work with institutions to “train and empower” students who have “lived and living experience of mental health or substance use” to support fellow students facing similar issues.

Funding for this project comes from previous mental health investments approved in May 2021.

UNB campuses in Saint John and Fredericton are among five post-secondary institutions across Canada to receive funding.

“The University of New Brunswick is proud to be involved in the Campus Peer Support pilot program, strengthening our capacity to support student mental health and well-being,” said Paul Mazerolle, president and vice-chancellor of UNB, in a release.

“Student support services are a key priority for UNB and through this program; we can empower students to utilize their unique abilities and experiences to support each other.”

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