April 27, 2021
CALGARY, AB – St. Mary’s University has been awarded a $25,000 Kickoff Grant from the Bell Let’s Talk Post-Secondary Fund to support the initial implementation of the National Standard of Canada for Mental Health and Well-Being for Post-Secondary Students (the “Standard”).
St. Mary’s is among 123 post-secondary institutions from across Canada to receive this grant and funds will be used to support the university’s initial steps in implementing the new National Standard of Canada for Mental Health and Well-Being for Post-Secondary Students.
“It has been a challenging year for many of our students who have been forced to adapt in wake of the current pandemic,” said Dr. Tara Hyland-Russell, Vice President Academic and Student Services at St. Mary’s University. “Online learning environments have contributed to a sense of isolation in our students who are also facing food and housing insecurities, increased financial hardships and general anxiety surrounding an uncertain future.”
“The Bell Let’s Talk Post-Secondary Fund grant and the Standard will help ensure that St. Mary’s University has the programs, services, and resources in place to support the mental health and overall wellbeing of our students. We are grateful for this grant as we continue to support our students during a time when they need us the most.”
In June, Bell Let’s Talk will launch a second phase of the Post-Secondary Fund with implementation grants for institutions that have used the Standard to identify specific gaps or needs in their mental health support services and are building new initiatives to address them.
The National Standard of Canada for Mental Health and Well-Being for Post-Secondary Students provides a set of guidelines to help increase awareness, reduce stigma, improve life and resiliency skills, and create a healthier and safer educational environment overall. Bell Let’s Talk funding helped enable the creation of the Standard, led by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) in partnership with the Canadian Standards Association (CSA).
“Bell is committed to supporting student mental health and we were pleased to see so many post-secondary institutions apply for funding – such a great response in fact that we increased total funding for the initiative by almost 25% to more than $3 million,” said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let’s Talk. “These grants will help colleges and universities across the country accelerate the important work they’re doing to support student mental health and well-being. We look forward to building on their progress with more funding later this spring for schools implementing new initiatives aligned with the Standard.”
About Bell Let’s Talk
The largest-ever corporate commitment to mental health in Canada, Bell Let’s Talk is focused on 4 key action pillars: Anti-stigma, Care and Access, Research, and Workplace Leadership. Since its launch in September 2010, Bell Let’s Talk has partnered with more than 1,100 organizations providing mental health supports and services throughout Canada, including hospitals, universities, local community service providers and other care and research organizations. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.
About St. Mary’s University
Located on a historic site in Calgary, Alberta, St. Mary’s University is a liberal arts and sciences institution, open to all, and focused on developing the whole person: mind, body and spirit. Founded on the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, St. Mary’s University offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in 34 disciplines including English, History, Liberal Studies, Psychology, Social Justice and Catholic studies, as well as bachelor’s degrees in Science and Education. Through the pursuit of knowledge and service to the community, St. Mary’s prepares students to become lifelong learners, engaged citizens and compassionate members of society.