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Lakehead University receives $100K in funding from Bell Let's Talk

'This funding will allow Lakehead to increase our ability to help students in need,' says Lakehead official
2022-01-12 - Lakehead U Bell let's talk photo
Fourth-year Education student Emily Turner, right, posed for this photo with Student Health and Wellness counsellor Holly Maki.

Today Bell Let’s Talk announced $1 million in grants to 16 Canadian post-secondary schools, including $100,000 to Lakehead University.

This funding will assist with Lakehead's initiative to support students’ mental health by building individual capacity to sustain well-being and increase the availability and scope of resources accessible to students.

“We are thrilled to have our submission chosen by Bell,” said Cheryl D’Angelo, Lakehead University’s Director of Student Health and Wellness.

“This grant will help Lakehead implement initiatives that align with the National Standard of Canada for Mental Health and Well-Being for Post-Secondary Students.”

The initiative includes a mental health screening program, increased training for members of Lakehead’s campus communities to recognize signs of distress, the development of a mental health dashboard and a campus-wide anti-stigma campaign.

“Thank you to Bell Let’s Talk for helping Lakehead do even more to assist our students,” said Dr. Moira McPherson, Lakehead’s President and Vice-Chancellor.

“We recognize that the pandemic has caused unique challenges for students and we know that this funding will allow Lakehead to increase our ability to help students in need.”

According to the 2021 survey by the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations, the pandemic has not only worsened pre-existing mental health challenges in 78 per cent of students, but it has created new challenges for 64 per cent, and while some students remain optimistic, the percentage has dropped by five per cent in the past year to 41 per cent.

“Bell’s commitment to student mental health is an ongoing priority especially as students continue to be impacted by the effects of the pandemic,” said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let’s Talk.

“We are proud to continue our support of post-secondary institutions’ efforts to expand, enhance or establish programs that support student mental health and well-being, and ultimately student success.”

In 2021, Lakehead University received a $25,000 grant from Bell Let’s Talk allowing researchers to study how COVID-19 impacted physical activity behaviour and mental health in university students.

Two researchers from Lakehead University’s School of Kinesiology, Dr. Ian Newhouse, Director/Professor, and Dr. Erin Pearson, Associate Professor, led the research project thanks to the Bell Let’s Talk Post-Secondary Fund.

To date, Bell Let’s Talk has awarded more than $4 million in grants to Canadian post-secondary institutions, starting with more than $3 million in initial grants to over 120 schools in early 2021.