Sup­port men­tal health train­ing

UPEI re­ceives $25,000 grant to as­sist with sui­cide in­ter­ven­tion pro­gram

Journal Pioneer - - COMMUNITY -

The Univer­sity of Prince Ed­ward Is­land has re­ceived a $25,000 Bell Let’s Talk Com­mu­nity Fund grant to sup­port of its Ap­plied Sui­cide In­ter­ven­tion Skills Train­ing (ASIST) pro­gram. Funding will al­low two UPEI Stu­dent Af­fairs em­ploy­ees to be pro­fes­sion­ally trained as in­struc­tors in the ASIST pro­gram. Once trained, these in­struc­tors will of­fer the two-day ASIST pro­gram free-of-charge to stu­dents, fac­ulty and staff at UPEI, be­gin­ning with high-pri­or­ity groups such as res­i­dence life co­or­di­na­tors, Stu­dent Af­fairs staff and other em­ploy­ees who may be the first point of con­tact for stu­dents in a cri­sis.

UPEI pres­i­dent and vicechan­cel­lor, Alaa Abd-El-Aziz, said, “This grant will have a sig­nif­i­cant impact on our abil­ity to en­cour­age an open dia­logue across cam­pus about stu­dent men­tal health.”

Hav­ing mem­bers of the UPEI

cam­pus com­mu­nity trained in sui­cide in­ter­ven­tion will not only fur­ther the dis­cus­sion about the state of stu­dent men­tal health, but also pro­vide cru­cial sup­port to stu­dents in need. By mak­ing this train­ing avail­able, UPEI hopes to sus­tain a healthy and sup­port­ive com­mu­nity across cam­pus.

“This is a very ex­cit­ing devel­op­ment in UPEI’s move to bet­ter equip our whole cam­pus com­mu­nity to sup­port our stu­dents, fac­ulty and staff,” said Treena Smith, di­rec­tor of Stu­dent Af­fairs. “Our plan is to have over 200 peo­ple trained in ASIST over the next three years and this is all due to Bell Let’s Talk funding.”

Mary Dea­con, chair­woman of Bell Let’s Talk, said, “The 2017 Bell Let’s Talk Com­mu­nity Fund pro­vided 70 grants to sup­port pro­grams pro­vid­ing men­tal health ser­vices in com­mu­ni­ties around the coun­try that help Cana­di­ans liv­ing with men­tal ill­ness.”


Paul Mont­gomery, sec­ond from left, se­nior sales with Bell Aliant, vis­ited the UPEI cam­pus re­cently to present a Bell Let’s Talk Com­mu­nity Fund grant to sup­port men­tal health train­ing. Par­tic­i­pat­ing in the pre­sen­ta­tion are (from left) Myr­tle Jenk­ins-Smith, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, UPEI Devel­op­ment and Alumni En­gage­ment; Dr. Alaa Abd-El-Aziz, UPEI pres­i­dent and vice-chan­cel­lor; and Treena Smith, di­rec­tor of UPEI Stu­dent Af­fairs.

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