Fourth-year Education student Emily Turner, right, posed for this photo with Student Health and Wellness counsellor Holly Maki.
January 12, 2022 – Thunder Bay and Orillia, Ont.
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.
Bell Let’s Talk 2022 Campus Campaign
Now reaching students at more than 225 colleges, universities and cégeps in every province and territory, this year’s Bell Let’s Talk Campus Campaign continues to focus on Bell’s digital toolkit to ensure post-secondary institutions can safely engage students in virtual ways across the country.
The toolkit is designed to keep the student mental health conversation going during the challenges of COVID-19 and contains the following resources:
- virtual photo booth for students, faculty and staff to post selfies and share personalized mental health messages
- wellness activities that encourage awareness and self-care
a digital Bell Let’s Talk flag to be shared on social media channels and websites
- short films about mental illness, hope and recovery
Bell Let’s Talk Day is January 26 – Join the conversation!
On Bell Let’s Talk Day, Bell donates 5 cents to Canadian mental health programs for every applicable text, local or long distance call, tweet or TikTok video using #BellLetsTalk, every Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube view of the Bell Let’s Talk Day video, and every use of the Bell Let’s Talk Facebook frame or Snapchat lens. All at no cost to participants beyond what they would normally pay their service provider for online or phone access.
About Bell Let’s Talk
The largest-ever corporate commitment to mental health in Canada, Bell Let’s Talk is focused on four key action pillars – Anti-stigma, Care and Access, Research and Workplace Leadership – and is part of Bell for Better. Since its launch in 2010, Bell Let’s Talk has partnered with more than 1,300 organizations providing mental health services throughout Canada, including hospitals, universities, local community service providers and other care and research organizations.
To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.
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Lakehead University is a fully comprehensive university with approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and over 2,000 faculty and staff at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead has 10 faculties, including Business Administration, Education, Engineering, Graduate Studies, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Law, Natural Resources Management, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Science & Environmental Studies, and Social Sciences & Humanities. Lakehead University’s achievements have been recognized nationally and internationally, including being ranked, once again, among Canada’s Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities in Maclean’s 2021 University Rankings; as well as included in the top half of Times Higher Education's 2022 World Universities Rankings for the third consecutive year, and in the top 100 of 1,115 universities from around the world in THE's 2021 Impact Rankings (which assesses institutions against the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals). Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.