Support mental health training
UPEI receives $25,000 grant to assist with suicide intervention program
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.