Im­prov­ing life for Grande Prairie col­lege stu­dents

The McLeod River Post - - Viewpoint -

Gov­ern­ment sup­port will help en­sure Grande Prairie Re­gional Col­lege stu­dents have ac­cess to qual­ity men­tal health pro­grams and care.

The Gov­ern­ment of Al­berta is pro­vid­ing $225,000 to the col­lege for each of the next three years to im­prove men­tal health sup­ports on cam­pus. The fund­ing is part of $25.8 mil­lion the prov­ince is in­vest­ing to pro­tect and ex­pand men­tal health re­sources for post-se­condary stu­dents at pub­licly funded in­sti­tu­tions across Al­berta be­tween 2017 and 2020.

“Our gov­ern­ment’s in­creased in­vest­ment in stu­dent men­tal health pro­grams is an im­por­tant com­mit­ment to help stu­dents suc­ceed and make lives bet­ter. Men­tal health chal­lenges have a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on far too many stu­dents, and we are mak­ing th­ese pub­lic in­vest­ments so all stu­dents across the prov­ince have ac­cess to th­ese pro­grams when they need them.”

Mar­lin Sch­midt, Min­is­ter of Ad­vanced Ed­u­ca­tion

“Our col­lege com­mu­nity un­der­stands the im­por­tance of men­tal health as a ma­jor fac­tor in our stu­dents’ suc­cess. This new fund­ing al­lows GPRC to re­spond to those needs and con­tinue to build and ex­pand th­ese vi­tal men­tal health ser­vices.”

Don Gnatiuk, pres­i­dent and CEO, Grande Prairie Re­gional Col­lege

In June 2017, the prov­ince an­nounced new fund­ing that sig­nif­i­cantly in­creases and im­proves men­tal health sup­ports for post-se­condary stu­dents across Al­berta. Last year, Grande Prairie Re­gional Col­lege re­ceived $40,000 from the Al­berta Stu­dents’ Ex­ec­u­tive Coun­cil’s pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment grant to sup­port men­tal health ini­tia­tives.

“The Stu­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion along with GPRC has ad­vo­cated for fund­ing to sup­port men­tal health ini­tia­tives for our stu­dents. We are ex­tremely pleased that this gov­ern­ment un­der­stands the im­pact of men­tal health on stu­dent well­be­ing and aca­demic suc­cess. The in­vest­ment an­nounced to­day will have an im­me­di­ate and long term im­pact for many years to come.”

Blaine Ba­diuk, pres­i­dent, Stu­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion, Grande Prairie Re­gional Col­lege

“I am very pas­sion­ate about men­tal health be­cause hav­ing sup­ports in place is ex­tremely im­por­tant for every col­lege stu­dent. Be­ing able to go through pro­grams like

Peer Coun­selling and be­ing ex­posed to the tools, re­sources and peer sup­port avail­able is ex­tremely valu­able and will greatly im­prove all stu­dents’ suc­cess. GPRC has done a won­der­ful job let­ting new stu­dents know they are never alone and we sup­port men­tal health.”

Ka­nee­sha Aldrich, stu­dent, Grande Prairie Re­gional Col­lege

The 2016 Na­tional Col­lege Health As­sess­ment sur­vey, con­ducted at 10 post-se­condary in­sti­tu­tions across the prov­ince, showed a high in­ci­dence of anx­i­ety, de­pres­sion and sui­ci­dal thoughts. With good men­tal health sup­ports in place, men­tal well-be­ing is linked to aca­demic achieve­ment, learn­ing, re­ten­tion and fu­ture achieve­ment.

Sub­mit­ted to The McLeod River Post

A ther­apy dog joins Min­is­ter Sch­midt and Grande Prairie Re­gional Col­lege board chair Natalia Reiman, Stu­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Blaine Ba­diuk, stu­dent Ka­nee­sha Aldrich and Pres­i­dent Don Gnatiuk for the men­tal health an­nounce­ment.

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